A baking stone can help you increase your baking skills and produce crusty pizza and equally browned bread in the oven.
But if you are new to these stone slabs for baking, you could be at a loss regarding what type of baking stone to buy as they come in varied materials, sizes, and shapes.
What are the best bread baking stones? The best bread baking stones are composed of materials that conduct heat uniformly, such as ceramic, cordierite, clay, and cast iron. To choose the ideal baking stone for you, examine the size, shape, finish, and utility of the baking tool.
In this post, we will tell you not only the fundamental requirements to consider when selecting a baking stone but also what are the main distinctions between baking steel and stones.
Additionally, we have identified nine of the greatest bread baking stones. No matter which one you choose, you are guaranteed to obtain wonderfully baked bread.
Bread Baking Stones
You should really consider investing in a bread baking stone if you consider yourself a baker.
Even baking of bread and pizza dough is possible with the aid of a baking stone.
Because the temperature is higher near the places where the heating elements are placed, ovens feature both cold and hot zones. If your bread or other baked goods are coming out at different temperatures, a baking stone is a perfect solution.
These stones are great for grilling since they heat up quickly and keep their heat for a long time. There is no need to rotate the pan during baking to get an equal crust.
Baking steels are an alternative to traditional bread baking stones.
If so, you may be asking what the distinction is between the two and when to employ one over the other. What follows is a comprehensive comparison of baking steels and baking stones.
Which Is Better, a Baking Steel or a Baking Stone, for Bread?
To start, baking steels are, as their name implies, composed of steel. Cooking stones can be crafted from a variety of materials including ceramic, cordierite, clay, marble, and even marble.
The second advantage of baking steel over baking stones is how rapidly it heats up. Additionally, it is capable of reaching higher temperatures.
You should know that while using a stone or steel for baking, it is best to heat the stone slowly so as to avoid subjecting it to thermal shock. While baking steel may crack under normal oven temperatures, it holds up well under the oven’s extreme heat and cold.
Finally, baking steels and baking stones require different types of upkeep. Steel, on the one hand, can withstand repeated blows without cracking. However, seasoning is necessary to avoid corrosion.
Bread baking stones, on the other hand, are fragile and easily chipped if not handled with care. You can prevent rusting by cleaning food scraps with steel wool, then burning off the ash and wiping the pan off with a dry towel; they won’t rust otherwise.
Both baking steels and baking stones can be used for the same purposes. However, a baking steel is the best option if you need a fast-heating baking plate. If you only ever make pizza, having a baking steel is preferable.
You might as well get a bread baking stone and use it for anything from pizza to bread and cookies if the heating time is of no consequence to you.
Some bread baking stones can also absorb moisture, depending on the substance. One of the tricks to making crispy bread in the oven is this. If you’re looking for a way to ensure that your baked goods bake evenly, look no further than baking stones.
Stones for bread are usually less expensive than baking steel because of their adaptability. In this sense, they are also a cost-effective option.
10 Best Baking Stones for Bread
Unicook Rectangular Cordierite Baking Stone
A cookie sheet might be a better comparison for the size of this 15 × 12 inch rectangular stone. Though convenient for cookies, a pizza with a 12-inch width feels a bit sparse in comparison. There are many 12-inch-diameter frozen pizzas on the market, but homemade pizzas can be any dimension. Making my homemade pies smaller ensured that I wouldn’t have to worry about them slipping off the edge of the stone if my aim was less than perfect. The shape worked well for burger buns and oval or long loaves of bread.
As a whole, it’s a solid stone. It does its job well, and it’s small enough to store when not in use. Because it might fit in certain countertop ovens, that’s a plus. For those who require a smaller stone, this is a good option, although larger stones with greater useful space should also be considered.
Cuisinart CPS-013 Baking Stone
This Cuisinart baking stone is ideal for baking bread in loaf pans and circular loaf-type breads, such as artisanal loaves. This 13-inch convection oven is an excellent choice for tiny kitchens with limited space. The stone also comes with a stainless steel peel, pizza spinners, and a cutter for making pizza. With its cordierite construction and included peel, this baking stone is well-suited to bread baking despite its pizza-specific advertising.
Vescoware Baking Stone
Cordierite is used to make Vescoware’s pizza stone, which is a 15″x16″ rounded rectangle. Also included is a recipe e-book. This baking stone is the heaviest, weighing in at a whopping 10 pounds and measuring just over 4.5 inches thick. This thicker baking stone will require more time to heat up, but once it does, the heat will be retained for a longer period of time. It’s the heat of the oven spring that makes it possible. Crusty bread is best made on this baking stone, but it may also be used to bake any loaf you can think of.
Rocksheat Baking Stone
The Rocksheat pizza stone is available in a variety of shapes and sizes, including square, rectangular, and circular. No racks are necessary with this elegant baking stone, which has handles cut directly into the stone. Heavy duty hotpads will be required, however, because not all hotpads can withstand temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This baking stone can be used to bake a wide variety of breads in a wide range of ovens, thanks to its wide range of possibilities.
How to Use a Baking Stone
A baking stone is simple to use.
- Make sure that the stone is on the center rack of your oven and that the oven is preheating to the proper temperature.
- Wait 20 minutes after the oven reaches temperature before placing the stone on top of it to finish heating.
- In order to bake, simply place your uncooked dough straight on the stone.
- Remove your food from the oven using a peel or broad spatula, allowing the stone to cool in the oven.
- Cool the meal on a wire rack if it needs to be refrigerated.
- Remove the stone from the oven when it is completely cooled.
Storing Your Baking Stone
When storing your baking stone, make sure it is totally dry before putting it away. In a drawer or cabinet, lay it out flat. If the surface will be in contact with other objects that could chip it, cover it with a towel or wrap it in one. Alternatively, you can keep your pizza stone in the oven and avoid having to move it. This is the safest technique to safeguard your stone unless you are regularly heating your oven to really high temperatures. On another rack, you can cook meals that don’t necessitate the use of a stone. However, if you utilize your oven’s self-cleaning mode, you should remove it.
Benefits of Using a Baking Stone
It is possible to bake more evenly thanks to the porous ceramic used in baking stones. Additionally, the stone’s porous nature allows it to pull moisture from whatever is sitting on it, resulting in a crisper crust. Crisp, chewy pizza crusts, focaccia bread, or even a chewy-crisp cookie can be made with this.
Buyer’s Guide to Bread-Baking Stones
Before you go out and buy a baking stone, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Stones used for baking can be made from a variety of materials. One of the most common uses for baking stones is in the oven. But there are also cast-iron and clay stones for baking bread.
To what extent a baking stone retains heat and moisture is determined by the material it is made from. Therefore, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the basic characteristics of each material before making a purchase.
Compared to other types of bread stones, Cordierite slabs are more expensive. This all-natural material can withstand high temperatures and has excellent thermal conductivity. One common problem with baking stones is that they crack when the oven temperature fluctuates. It’s simple to heat up cordierite slabs, thus there’s little risk of encountering such issues.
Stones made of ceramic are widely used for baking bread. Ceramic bread baking plates are recommended because they absorb excess moisture and produce the crispiest bread. However, you should exercise additional caution while working with ceramic baking stones because they shatter easily if dropped or handled roughly.
A bread baking stone made of cast iron would be the finest option if durability were your only concern. Time is also saved because it heats up rapidly. You can also confidently use your cast-iron baking stones in the oven.
Stones for baking bread can be purchased glazed or unglazed, depending on personal preference. Baking stones are often unglazed and manufactured from natural materials. For crispier baked items, use an unglazed stone, which absorbs moisture well.
Even when the tiny cracks in glazed baking stones aren’t completely sealed up, they nevertheless absorb some moisture.
Measurements and Form
When compared to its round cousins, rectangle and square stones are more adaptable in a variety of settings.
Bread baking stones come in a variety of shapes, although size is ultimately more significant. Make sure the stone will fit comfortably in your oven by first measuring its inside dimensions. If you frequently bake two loaves of bread at once, you should use a stone that is on the bigger side.
If you’re not careful, you could burn yourself removing a baking stone from the oven because it has no handles.
If you want to bake bread, you might want to research bread baking stones that also have convenient handles. You’ll need something sturdy to hold onto while handling the hot slab, and they will do the trick.
The temperature of some baking stones can reach 600 degrees without damaging them. So, if you have a gas barbecue, you may use them there as well.
Another option for serving is to use the baking stone itself. A baking stone that doubles as a serving rack is ideal for this purpose.
Simplicity in Disinfection
It is recommended that you clean the baking stones according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Of course, there are a few basic guidelines to adhere to, such as never using soap to clean bread baking stones and waiting until the stone has cooled before cleaning it.
Choose a thicker stone if you don’t want to worry about it shattering when you’re cleaning it.
If you want to save time after baking bread, using a coated baking stone is a good option. Glazed stones may be quickly and easily cleaned because of their coating.
Stones are more affordable than steels for making bread. However, baking stones can be found in a wide price range.
If you already own baking steel and only need a stone for occasional use, you may be happy with a less expensive option.
Spending a bit more on the stone for baking is appropriate if you’re looking for a tool to cover many of your baking needs, as long as you get a quality slab and take good care of it.