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The Purpose Of A Baking Stone And How To Bake Good Bread Without One

You have just received a baking stone. Either you thought it looked like an interesting tool to have for your kitchen, and you want to learn more about how and why you should use it. Or you were given a baking stone as a gift from a friend or family member, and you have no idea what it is. Or you may be trying to follow a recipe that says you need to use a baking stone for baking your bread. Is a baking stone really necessary? What is the purpose of a baking stone?

Baking stones are used for cooking many different foods as well as baking bread. The purpose of a baking tone is to make the bread’s crust crispy while leaving enough moisture to make the inside springy and soft. Some alternatives to baking stones include baking trays and cast iron pans.

A baking stone is a highly portable cooking surface that is used in cooking and baking

They could be made from stone, ceramic, tiles, and a wide variety of other materials. But why do you need one to bake your bread, and do you specifically need a baking stone, or are there other alternatives?

The Purpose Of A Baking Stone

Baking stones are used in many different recipes, from meat to desserts, to loaves of bread. The baking stone can do it all. This versatility is why some professional chiefs highly recommend having a baking stone in your kitchen.

The intention of the baking stone is to pull moisture from the food that you cook on it, which allows the food to get crispier, and this helps the food to cook more evenly too. So, if you use the baking stone to make a loaf of bread, then the crust of the bread will turn out nice and crisp with a soft, springy inside. This makes for the perfect loaf of bread.

Note: To discover additional tips for achieving a great texture for your bread, take a look at my article “20 Tips to Make Sourdough Bread Less Dense and more Airy!

So now that we know what a baking stone does, what is the correct way to use one, and is it a real necessity?

How To Use A Baking Stone Correctly For Bread

How do you use your baking stone to get the best quality bread you possibly can? Using a baking stone is actually relatively easy. Baking stones will add some time to the baking process, so if you only have a small amount of time to bake your bread, then a baking stone may not be ideal for you.

To get the best results for your bread, you need to place your baking stone in the oven and turn your oven temperature to between 500 and 550 degrees Fahrenheit. If your oven can not go this high in temperature, then turn your oven up to the maximum that it can safely go. 

The reason you need to do this is that you need to get the baking stone extremely hot before you can place your bread dough onto it. If you get the stone as hot as your oven will allow you to, then the bread will come out nice and crispy, with the center of the bread being slightly springy and soft.

Your baking stone needs to heat in the oven for about an hour before you put your bread dough on top of it for the best results possible. Anything less than an hour will not allow the crust of the bread to get its desired crispiness.

Once the baking stone is scorching hot, carefully take it out of the oven and place it on a surface that is resistant to heat, such as an oven mitt. Then sprinkle some flour or cornmeal onto the surface of the baking stone. This will help the bread dough not stick to the baking stone during the baking process.

Carefully place your bread dough onto the baking stone, and place the stone in the oven. Then follow your bread recipe with regards to how long your bread should bake for.

Once your bread is done, carefully take it out of the oven. You should have a delicious loaf of crispy crusted bread. 

Turn off your oven and allow the baking stone to cool off completely inside your oven.

How To Clean Your Baking Stone

Once you have made your heavenly bread and the baking stone has cooled completely, you now need to clean your baking stone. Do not worry; baking stones are easy to clean.

Baking stones are a different clean up compared to regular baking trays. With baking stones, you do not wash them with any kind of detergent as the baking stones will absorb the detergent, and no one wants soapy bread.

To clean your baking stone, you brush it with a dry brush to get any food particles off of the baking stone, and then you rinse the stone with plain water.

Simple clean up so you can get to eating that delicious loaf of bread sooner.

Reasons To Have A Baking Stone 

Baking stones are great tools to have in your kitchen. Here are some reasons you may want to invest in a baking stone for yourself if you do not have one already.

Baking stones are incredibly versatile as you can use them for cooking many different foods, not just bread. You can cook meats such as roast chicken, you can cook vegetables, pizzas, quesadillas, cookies, and many, many more foods using a baking stone.

Baking stones are easy to clean and store as you can just keep them in your oven when your oven is not in use. 

You can not only use baking stones for cooking your food and baking your bread, but you can use them to reheat foods too. You can quickly warm up tortillas or bread on a warm baking stone.

Baking stones are a great way to keep foods warm on your kitchen counter or table; just make sure you put a heat resistant surface under the baking stone. This is handy when you need to keep foods warm while you wait for other components of the meal to cook.

2 Great Alternatives To Baking Stones

A baking tray can serve as an alternative to a baking stone

If you are planning on making bread and the recipe recommends that you use a baking stone, but you do not have a baking stone on hand, but you still want the crispiest bread you can get. Then there are a few choices you can use to get the same result.

You can use a regular baking tray for baking your bread like you would on a baking stone. For this, all you need to do is turn your baking tray upside down, then heat it in the oven for an hour. Carefully, and with oven mitts, take the hot baking tray out of the oven and sprinkle it with flour.

Then put your bread dough on the hot baking tray and bake your bread as per the recipe. This should make your bread crust crispy.

Another alternative you can use is a cast iron pan to make good bread. To preheat the cast iron pan, put it upside down in the oven for an hour. Once it is hot, carefully take the pan out and flip it right side up, sprinkle the inside with flour and then add your bread dough.

Put the bread dough in the oven and bake to the time given by the recipe. Your bead should come out just as good as if you used a baking stone.

These are a great alternative to use if you want the quality bread that you get from a baking stone but without the use of a proper baking stone.

Note: If you are considering getting a bread pan, you should check out my article “Challenger Bread Pan Review (Vs Lodge Dutch Oven): Worth Buying?”

Conclusion

Baking stones are a great cooking tool to have in the kitchen to make excellent loaves of bread. They make your bread crispy on the outside while leaving enough moisture on the inside for slightly springy and very soft bread.

Baking stones are very versatile and do not require much upkeep, and they are extremely easy to use.

There are a few alternatives to baking stones that allow you to still get the same great loaf of bread without a baking stone if you do not have one.

So, baking stone or not, you can enjoy a delicious, crispy, crusted loaf of bread that will melt your butter.

Hi, I’m Aysha

I love spending time making the most helpful content I can so you can become a better sourdough baker.

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