I'm shopping around for a good baking stone for making bread. I'v found
several types, made from ceramics, marble, limestone, granite; someone
even suggested cast iron
What's your experience from these types?
On 6 Jan 2005 15:07:13 -0800, "Peter"
The heavier the better.
Don't get one from a cooking place. Go to a brickyard or
other seller of stone. They will know, and they will be
cheap for the size you need.
"Supposed" by whom...?
At only 3/4" thick they can't possibly have sufficient mass
to really do the job.
For years, I used a piece of soapstone that fit the bottom
of my oven. The stone was 2" thick, and weighed about 80
pounds. It took more than an hour to bring it up to baking
The whole idea of a baking stone is to increase the heated
mass. Then, when the (relatively) cool dough is put in the
oven, the mass of heated material radiates its heat to the
dough. That makes for better pizza, bread crusts, etc.
Home ovens are (typically) little more than heated sheet
metal boxes. When the dough goes in, the ovens cool
That's the reason that commercial bakers' ovens are so
massive. When we designed our newly built home about five
years ago, I decided to put in a Bongard M2FE. (It's a
French deck oven.) It weighs about 1200 pounds...
To get a result with the FibraMent similar to my soapstone,
one would have to use 'em two at a time, stacked.
Of course, the manufacturers know more about this than I,
but they are constrained by the desire to market these
things. They know that if they made them heavy enough to do
the job well, customers would be complaining "that it took
over an hour to get my oven hot enough to bake."
Also, the FibraMent stones are rather costly. My slab of
soapstone cost me only a few bucks...
All the best,
I agree with Kenneth. I went to a stone supplier and bought a bunch of
firebricks (I was building a metalworking coal forge at the time).
Four of those in the oven makes a great baking stone, and you can
actually cut the firebrick pretty easily if you wanted to use half
height bricks instead. I doubt I paid more than a buck or two per
I don't think I have the FibraMent stone, but I'm using one (abt 14x14x3/4")
that I've had for probably 18 years. But I always (well - almost always!)
heat it for an hour, sometimes 45 minutes, and sometimes over and hour if
I'm late on bread rising.
"The whole idea of a baking stone is to increase the heated
Regarding the above sentence, do you think that it is a waste of electricity
to heat a stone (even a FibraMent stone) for an hour?
But there is an easy (and inexpensive) way to know.
You could use a "contact" thermometer of the sort that is
sold to measure the temperature of woodstoves. This is just
a flat disk with a bi-metallic strip coiled in the center.
I had one of those sitting on the corner of my baking stone
for years. When it came up to the desired temperature, I was
ready to bake.
Geez, Kenneth, thanks for the great, great tip. We used to have a woodstove
years ago and we did use this type of thermometer to check the outside of
our stove heat.
My husband just bought a infra-red temperature sensor at Costco $69.99 that
I will use this afternoon because I'm baking a couple of loaves today! I
was wondering what that new tool could be used for to great advantage.
So, if it says to bake my loaves at 450, I should wait until my stone gets
450, right? And of course, when the recipe says to lower the temperature of
the oven to 350 if the bread is getting too dark too quickly (Reinhart),
lowering the temperature of the oven is surely not going to lower the stone
temperature immediately. But, this is the way it would be ANYWAY cooking on
a stone. I guess you could take it off the stone, but would one want to do
Thank you. I didn't think of that, but I was thinking of pointing it at the
My sob story:
I won't be doing it this afternoon as I was wont to do. I had a bread-dough
failure. I thought I'd take a shortcut and not cut the pate fermentee into
10 pieces because the kitchenaid does such a thorough job of mixing. But to
my dismay the dough when kneaded had multitudes of pieces of
hard-flour/dough throughout. I thought I'd try to save it and knead it
awhile because the dough wasn't up to the 77 degrees, so I decided to use
my Silipat that I hadn't been using for a couple of years, actually probably
not ever, because when I brought it home from far away, I thought I saw a
puncture in it, but when I looked thoroughly it didn't; but while kneading,
I felt that I was getting a piece of fibre-glass in my hand, as someone had
suggested fibreglass is the reason not to use one with a puncture, so I
dumped the dough AND Silipat and all into the wastecan! I never trusted it
anyway, so I was glad to get rid of it. Phew! end of story!