question about stoneware baking

krikitNovember 17, 2006

I am buying a pizza stone from a club fundraiser - it is a Rada brand. I've heard pizza stones are really nice, so figured I'd give one a try. I noticed that they have other stone type bakeware like a loaf pan and 9 x 13 dish. Does anyone have these that could comment on them? I'm esp interested in knowing if there is a transfer of food flavors, like using the loaf pan for a meatloaf and then for bananna bread - is that a problem? Also, I heard that pizza stones will crack if you preheat them with the oven so that you get the crispy crust of putting your pizza on a hot stone, is that true?

Thanks in advance of any and all info!

Frances

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gardenlad

I've never used commercial stoneware cookware. But by wife used to be a potter, and we've used a lot of her ware to bake and roast with. Never had any problems such as you detail.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 1:57PM
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llaatt22

A few hints about pizza stones:
Keep a scrubpad for use only with the stone. Clean the baking surface of the stone with it and running water only. Never use any kind of soap. Don't soak the stone.

The first few pizzas using the stone will probably have an odd tasting dry crust. To avoid this "bake" the stone a few times on its own. You can season and bake the stone with a very light coating of veg oil to lessen this effect and help start the creation of a nonstick coating. Once pizza production starts the seasoning can usually stop.

Pizza stones of the $10 type are usually made from compressed sand and are really rugged. I've placed frozen pizzas onto stones at 430F and haven't lost one yet. The secret seems to be get it down fast, flat, and centered to lessen thermal shock.

My recipe for a frozen Kraft Delicio. I like them in a pinch because they don't overdo the sauce and toppings so the bread has a chance to become something other than a soggy mess. Also like to pop off the frozen pepperoni and put it back 5 minutes before the finish :

Preheat ordinary oven half hour or so 25 to 30 degrees above directions given on pizza box with stone on next to lowest or lowest rack. When ready, quickly open oven, push the frozen pizza so its "front" edge goes nearly to the back edge of the stone and quickly drop it in place it so it is centered, close oven. When the crust and cheese start to darken put the pepperoni back on top and close oven. I like to have it in a ring on a paper plate and quickly upend it so it all falls in a circle about halfway between the center and crust. Leaving the center bare helps the bread in the center to finish rising. If necessary, I use silicone turners to ensure the pizza isn't stuck to the stone when it's time to remove it.

Leftover or even made ahead pizza slices quickly reheated in the microwave produce a soft breadlike crust which some folks prefer to the fresh from the oven crustiness.

Your results will be unique to your conditions of course. A pizza stone is a very handy item to have around. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 6:23AM
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lindac

I have a Pampered Chef ( it was a gift!!!!) stoneware loaf pan....and frankly I don't think much of it....
It's not bad....but a pyrex loaf pan would do just as well for a lot smaller price....but it was a gift....I said "Thankyouverymuch" and am using it.
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 7:18PM
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krikit

Thanks so much for all the info, and for the pizza baking instructions - have printed them out for reference. It is so great to have a place to go to for unbiased info.

Thanks again,
Frances

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 7:15AM
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sharon_sd

I bake 6-10 pizzas from scratch every Friday. I have 2 Pampered Chef stones and one generic stone. I use all 3 in a convection oven at 550 degrees F. I always put the stones in a cold oven and heat to temp before putting pizzas on them. I have not lost a stone in about 4 years of pizza nights.

The hot stone and high oven heat allows the pizzas to bake quickly top and bottom while the stone pulls the moisture out of the dough, crisping the crust.

Baking on hot stones is also the only way to use the stones repeatedly for subsequent pizzas.

I assemble the pizzas on a peel and use that to transfer them to the stone. You can't make up pizzas on a hot stone.

The hot stones are useful for keeping pizzas hot, and the crusts crispy, after baking. I have a giant lifter that allows me to transfer half a cut pizza at a time from the chopping block back onto a stone.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 9:17AM
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calliope

I use stone cookware whenever possible. I have standard bread pans and also french bread stoneware pans with lids, chicken roasters, cookie sheets, and pizza stones. They bake a really good crust and are very forgiving when it comes to burning.

The roasters are also excellent and very like using a slow cooker. I slap a pizza stone over a stoneware bowl and use it for slow roasting. Meat is always tender and juicy.

The stones develop a cured dark appearance. I only use a teflon scraper in them and wipe them with a paper towel. They do not get washed.

No......you do not get transfer tastes.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 10:06PM
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