I have a Pizza Stone.....now what?

jasdipDecember 22, 2011

I was just freecycled a pizza stone. It's in great shape, looks like it hasn't been used. It's round and thin, and has a metal stand that it sets on out of the oven.

I want to use it for my breads and maybe even a potential pizza.

Can it be washed with soap and water? Do I put it in the cold oven and let it heat up with the oven? (I'm assuming that is the right way.) I don't have to wet it first, like the clay bakers?

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According to this site you shouldn't use soap on it which is what I thought. And NEVER put a cold stone in a hot oven. Just leave it in there all the time - that's what many people do. Don't wet it. Just heat it up, use it, sweep it off and move on.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 3:57PM
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And don't use that rack.
since it's thin it won't work very well....it won't retain a lot of heat.
But...put it in your oven....heat at LEAST 30 minutes 45 is better and slide on your prepared pizza....or bread....or rolls....or biscuits.
You do have a peel don't you?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 4:28PM
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No Linda, no peel. That's what I'm assuming I'll need next. I didn't even think that an oven mitt won't withstand the heat.

The peel is to slide the bread onto the hot stone and remove it?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 4:38PM
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I don't have a peel - I just put the bread or pizza on parchment and then use the parchment to pull it onto the stone. Works for me.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 4:57PM
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Before I bought a peel I used a cookies sheet turned upside down sprinkled with corn meal. Enjoy your stone, you are going to love it! Also, you can run it through the cleaning cycle of your oven if you have that option available.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 5:46PM
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You can use the rack to set the Stone on,
when you remove it fromn the oven.

But that is not practical.

I keep 2 stones in the oven, on top and bottom shelves.

The Pizza is baked in Pizza Pans.

I have a small Peel but most of the time, I take it out of the oven with a Chefs Knife,

take a peep at the bottom.

If the bottom needs more Baking, I take it out of the Pan with the knife and on to the Stone.

When done,it is taken out and onto a cutting board.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 6:11PM
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I love my Pampered Chef Pizza Stone. Everybody gave excellent advice - no, never use soap on the stone - just scrape off any food particles with a plastic scraper and use hot water if you must. Some advice is to bake something buttery like crescent rolls or butter cookies the first time you use it. Then just wipe it off. Don't try to season it with oil like you would cast iron. My pizza stone is well seasoned, very dark and doesn't look the prettiest, but it sure makes a nice crisp crust.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 8:55PM
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If you opt to leave the stone in the oven all the time, DO remove it if you're going to bake anything that might bubble over. I baked a fruit pie that bubbled over onto the stone and caused the stone to break. I'm still puzzled as to why that caused it to break. Anyway, to be on the safe side, I quit storing my stone (the replacement) in the oven.

Ditto on using parchment paper. I use a rustic dough (sticky) for pizza and just flatten it out onto parchment that's placed on a wooden pastry board or wooden peel.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 9:36PM
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It sounds like the dough is baked on the parchment paper, on the pizza stone. Isn't parchment good for 400 degrees or thereabouts? Does it not catch fire at 500?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 9:48PM
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Pizza Pans don't burn !!!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 9:55PM
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Jasdip - I've had parchment catch on fire when using it on a stone in a 500+ oven. I've found that a quick trim of any loose, flapping-in-the-breeze excess alleviates the problem. Doesn't need to be anywhere near perfect, just cut or rip it within an inch or two of your pizza, calzone or whatever and you'll be fine. Even if it does catch on fire a bit, it's not very threatening. Blows out as easy as a candle.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 10:55PM
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Jasdip, the whole purpose of having a stone is so that you can bake directly on the stone. The hot stone will draw the moisture out of the dough making for a better crust.

I leave my stone in the oven. And I also leave it in during the cleaning cycle.

I use a peel to slide pizza and breads on to the stone.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 11:09PM
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I agree, Ann, but I'm among the "challenged" in this regard so what I typically do is slide whatever into the oven on parchment and then slip the parchment out from under a minute or two into baking. Works for me, anyway.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 11:23PM
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Exactly as Ann said. The porosity of the stone allows the moisture to permeate, giving you a nicer crust.

In addition, stone is a good insulator, giving you a different end result when you are baking. You will have less burning of the bottom comparing to baking on metal


    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 11:27PM
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I do the same as FOAS - sorry I neglected to mention it. I usually pull the parchment off after about 5 minutes.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 11:43PM
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A peel with lots of corn meal or flour works very well.....and doesn't hold the moisture like parchment does.
It's a knack thing....to get the pizza or bread from the peel to the stone...takes a certain flick of the wrist. Once you do it successfully, it's in your bones. But you may fold a few pizzas before you get it right.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 11:47PM
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I like a thick, chewy crust and dislike those thin cracker crispy crusts. I crank the oven up as high as it will go--500--gas oven and preheat at least 30 minutes. I've never had parchment catch on fire. The paper does brown & get crisp around the edges though. Remember that I'm working with high hydration, sticky dough. Even if the paper did catch on fire, I wouldn't worry about it. It's in an oven after all and not like the house is going to burn down or anything get damaged.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 11:52PM
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Not true about baking in a Pizza Pan.

I may have had a Stone Shelf longer than anyone here, 1960.

Couldn't take the mess of Cornmeal everywhere.

I built my Pizza Ovens for the Pizzera, with Stone shelves.

The Pizza's were baked in a pan, until the top was baked a little and firm,
then taken out of the pan onto the Stone.

If someone can not get a good Pizza baking that way,
they are doing something wrong.

Then it is blamed on the Recipe , or whatever they can think of, to cop out.
To say their way is better.

Everyone to their own taste.

I'm out of here til Tuesday.

Have a Great Weekend.


    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 10:31AM
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Cilantro. You can bake a thick or thin crust on the stone and still get the perfect crust to suit your taste. Baking directly on the stone does not make a "thin, cracker crispy crust" unless that is what you are going for. That has to do more with the thickness of your dough.

I prefer a thin crust pizza, with a nice chewy rim. Not a thin cracker crust.

My favourite pizza joint (In Victoria) has a wood burning oven and the pizza is baked directly on the floor of the oven. Amazing crust and flavour.


    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 11:10AM
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The pizza places I know where you can watch them make the pizza, slide the pies into the oven on a long peel then bring them out when done, also with the peel, and put them on the pans to serve.
Baking directly on the stone gives a much better and crisper bottom than baking on paper on a stone.....you might just as well put your pizza pan in the oven, get it hot and slice the pizza and the paper beneath onto the pan.....you would get the same results.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 2:03PM
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Jasdip, your stone is not just for pizza. I'm lazy. I rarely pan breads. I just bake them directly on the stone. Even rolls. With a little practice (and, probably, some mess while learning) you'll get so you can slip 18 rolls onto a stone with a quick flip of your wrist. One scoop gets them all back out on the peel & no pans to clean. Honestly, it does take practice though. I learned with a cold oven & DS's frisbee on the peel. Once you get the wrist motion, start with round loaves & be liberal with the cornmeal. Pretty soon you will have it down & be able to cut back on the cornmeal & not have the mess. Practice makes perfect.


    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 2:39PM
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I have a rather coarse textured rectangular one I bought and didn't like all that well that stays in the oven and gets spilled on etc. I don't cook on it, its just for stabilizing the oven temperature since I don't like it for anything else.
I have a round pampered chef one that seemed almost pre-seasoned (which made me wonder with what) that I cook mostly cookies, biscuits etc. on since I'm yeast dough challenged.
Choclate chip cookies make a mess of it so I take a soft mushroom cleaner type brush and with some plain water and the brush scrub off the worst of it.
When cooking cookies I put the dough on the room temperature stone for the first batch, then after that since its hot I switch to the aluminum pans if making a whole batch (often I freeze the dough in small batches since I'm single and just cook one stone full of 6 cookies at a time).
Haven't had a problem with the 'cold' stone going into the oven. Who wants to put dough on a hot stone?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 4:50PM
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Tricia, my main reason for asking for the stone is for breads.
I've never made pizza, so some time in the future I'll contemplate and attempt that.

I still pan my loaves, but also have a rustic french loaf recipe that I want to bake on the stone.

I'll do the cornmeal or parchment and look for a peel in the meantime.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 5:06PM
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I do what tobyt and FOAS do. I put shaped bread or pizza on parchment that's already on a wooden peel. I trim the excess paper away and place on the heated stone. About five minutes into baking, I quickly remove the parchment. It works for me better than getting cornmeal or semolina on the stone. In my opinion, it doesn't bake long enough on the paper to negatively affect texture.

I really dislike baked goods with undercooked bottoms (like what you usually get in grocery stores). So I always place pans of scones, biscuits, rolls, buns, even muffins directly on the stone for the last two minutes of baking.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 5:44PM
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I have been using one for over 20+ years for pizza every Friday night and just use foil or paper to get the pizza on and off. I wish I had a peel. I saw a SS pizza paddle at Ross for $18 and was very tempted. But where would I store it?

We take out the stone and put it on the rack to cool. I don't leave mine in the oven all the time, only when I use it. I always start with a cold oven and preheat with it in the oven. I have also used it for rustic sourdough bread.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 6:57PM
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Lovely pizza, Ann.

I have a rectangular stone & make the pizza to fit the whole stone. That way, one pizza feeds the four of us and we can all eat together at the same time. I have a large wooden peel that I cover w/ parchment the size of the stone. Between the wet floppy dough & a ton of toppings, the parchment trick works good for me and no one is complaining. All guys 'cept for me and they're more interested in quantity, IYKWIM. If, when we get to be empty nesters, I'll work on technique! Right now, I'm just happy to have found a good crust recipe and can finally make a pizza that tastes really good.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 10:10PM
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I leave my pizza stone in the oven all the time... I don't make pizza either and only use it for breads... But after the stone has cooled off I turn it upside down so if anything spills it won't stain the cooking side of the stone... When it gets too nasty looking, on the bottom, I run it through the oven cleaning cycle.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 1:08AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I think I'm going to practice outside in the yard with the peel and cornmeal. I am also "peel" challenged and the mess, btw, w/cornmeal, has been enough to make me use parchment, for pizza anyway.
I trim the edges and have not had a problem.
I've had my stone for 16 years and also run it through the cleaning cycle.

The biggest issue has been singed eyelashes when making pizza. Preheat the oven at 550 for an hour and it's hot!
I leave the parchment on for the entire pizza cooking time and think the crust is very good.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 2:02AM
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If you don't buy Mother Earth News, head for the library. The last issue for 2011 has the good basic five minute no knead bread recipe. You really can' bake this in a regular bread pan but it is made for a pizza stone. Today just before prepping for the pre bake rise I worked in some rye flour and flavoring. It smells terrific

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 12:57PM
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