Pizza Stones – which creates the best crust?

I’ve been collecting pizza stones in order to recommend the best ones to you and because I have never met a piece of kitchen equipment I could resist. I have been surprised by some and disappointed by others. Here is my review…the stones are in random order.

1. Here is the workhorse of the group, 14-Inch by 16-Inch Baking Stone. I’ve owned it for well over 8 years and it always produces a great crust, as long as it is properly preheated. Because this stone is thicker than any of the rest it requires a 30-40 minute preheat to get a nice crisp crust on my breads and pizzas. (If I let it preheat for just 20 minutes it produces a pale and lackluster crust.) It is heavy weight so it is not prone to cracking and retains heat well and holds-up to temperatures of 550 degrees.

I also love the size since I tend to bake lots of loaves at once. I can fit about 3 boules or baguettes on here at the same time.

2. This is not a stone at all, but a disk of iron, Lodge Cast-Iron 14-Inch Pizza Pan. I was introduced to this pan by my mother, who bought it after her thin round stone cracked. She decided to try the Lodge because it was indestructible. She loved it and now that I have one I love it too.

It is thinner than my heavy duty stone (above) so it preheats in 20 minutes and still creates a very crispy, caramel colored bottom crust. Because iron conducts heat well, but doesn’t retain heat for long, it cools off quicker. You can also stick this into a super hot oven, which is a NO NO for stone and ceramic pizza pans.

The only thing I don’t like about this pan is that it has a lip on it, which makes it more challenging to clean. With all my other stones I use a bench scraper to clean off any extra cornmeal or flour (see bottom of post for more info.) With the Lodge I have to carefully take it out of the oven and use a brush to clean it, which is a pain in the butt when I want to bake multiple breads or pizzas. But, this doesn’t stop me from using it often.

3. The PizzaQue is a stone made specifically for the grill, as long as your grill is large enough to handle the stone and base. I thought it was clever to have the stone sit up above the grates so that the flames wouldn’t hit it and the toppings would have a chance to cook before the bottom crust burned. It also has a built in thermometer, which I figured would be more accurate than the one on the outside of my grill. My assumptions were mostly wrong.

The stone, which sits on a thin metal frame, is so thick that it takes 30+ minutes to preheat in my grill. The built in thermometer is attached to the thin metal frame so it reads 700 degrees after just 10 minutes, which is not long enough for the actual stone to reach that temperature. I highly doubt this stone ever got to 700 degrees or the pizza would have been baked in less than 10 minutes.

This stone is wonderful when used in my home oven, but the frame is useless since it won’t fit in my oven. Wanted to love this, but don’t!

Update: I just read the glowing reviews on Amazon and decided to give it another shot. After a 35 minute preheat…I baked a pizza and it came out much better than I remembered from the first attempt. The bottom crust was crispy and the toppings were just caramelizing after 10 minutes, this is the benefit of having it sit up higher on the metal frame. Still not in love, since my Lodge (see above) does a nicer job and takes less time to preheat.

4. For those of you who are just getting started and want to try the bread/pizzas without investing in a pizza stone, I suggest using a heavy gauge baking pan. I like the industrial strength version, 18-by-13-by-1-Inch Jelly-Roll Pan or this non-stick dark sheet 12-by-17-Inch Rectangular Nonstick Jelly Roll Pan. You will not get as crisp a crust, but it is a great way to start out. Just preheat the pan and put the bread or pizza directly on the pan, no parchment or silpat to get the crispest crust. If you want to use parchment or Silpat (11-5/8-by-16-1/2-Inch Nonstick Silicone Baking Mat) be sure to remove it for the last few minutes of baking to crisp up the bottom crust. You can even remove the pan from the oven and crisp up the crust directly on the oven rack.

5. This was the most surprising to me of the bunch. I suspected that this Emile Henry Flame Top Pizza Stone was too pretty to be useful. I stand corrected, it produced a gorgeous crust and is really easy to clean. It also comes in several colors (This one is Figue). One thing that made me nervous was that this stone was glazed, which we have always avoided because we suspected that the porosity of the stone (its ability to absorb moisture away from the dough) was a key factor in a crisp crust. It turns out the intense, even heat is what seems to drive away the moisture in the bread, producing a great crust. I tested it at both 450 and 550 degrees.

This is the only stone I wash with water (see below for washing advice).

6. Here is my traveling Pizza Stone. It was about $10 (a few years ago) and I bought it to take with me when I taught classes where there was no stone. I also used it on the grill, just in case the intense flames would crack my more expensive stone. I’ve had this stone for a few years and so far it is holding up well to all temperatures. My mother on the other hand had the same one and it cracked after 2 years. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it drove her to the Lodge (see above).

To clean the flat stones: I use a Bench Scraper and just scrape off any excess flour, cornmeal or cheese that escapes the pizza. I don’t wash them with anything, but if you have to AVOID SOAP or your stone will taste of soap, just hot water and let it dry slowly in a very cool oven to avoid cracking.

7. I didn’t review Unglazed Terra Cotta Garden Tiles because I don’t own any, but I have baked on them successfully. They are very inexpensive, but thin and small. You will want to push several together in your oven. You tend to get much more flour or cornmeal on the bottom of your oven as a result, which can mean smoke when baking pizzas. You can find these at most Garden or Hardware stores.

8. I just have to mention that the only stone we have had numerous complaints about it cracking is the one made by Pampered Chef. I have never personally tried this stone, but it seems it is a bit fragile from what I hear. Anyone have an opinion? Update: there are lots of very good reviews in the comments (below) for this stone, along with a few not so glowing ones.

Which stone do you use and do you love it?

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301 thoughts on “Pizza Stones – which creates the best crust?

  1. I am using Gold Metal both in whole wheat and unbleached white. I will try to add a few TB of vital wheat gluten to my next batch. Thank you!

    Jessica

  2. I have a FibraMent-D stone for oven and one for the grill. Use both weekly at high temps and love ‘em. Heavy, so pre-heating for pizzas is a must.

  3. Can I use tipo 00 flour for a no knead pizza recipe?
    Also, is it possible to use less yeast in some of these bread recipes?

  4. Hi Jeff and Zoe,

    Thanks for this post. I want to use my cast iron more, too.

    I just want to tell you that your “V” Bread (Vollenkort?) from HB5 is AWESOME! I wasn’t sure about it, but then I tasted it. Really hearty, would stand up to a good deli mustard and meats. Or anything!

    The leftover bread made fabulous croutons for our gazpacho. I added olive oil and spices to the bread cubes before toasting them in the oven.

    I wouldn’t have tried this recipe if it wasn’t for the HB5 group baking thru the book.

    Thanks,

    Judy

  5. Any words on converting bread machine recipes to your method? It’s dill bread time and the recipe has sour cream – fantastic bread but I want to have more loaves of various sizes to give away.

    Also, a long time ago you gave advice to a gal whose breads when cut through the middle were looking like biscotti. Now mine are doing that but I can’t find the advice. Would you point me there? They taste great and the texture’s fine, so it’s not the end of the world.

    Thanks!

    Bob C.

    • Hi Bob C.

      You would need to tell us more about the recipe so we can help you convert it. Is it whole grain or mostly white flour?

      When you say the middle is like biscotti, do you mean it is dry or crumbly? This could mean the dough is too dry or that it is being baked too long. Which recipe are you having this issue with?

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. Have been using an old 14 x 16 stone from a “Pizza Gourmet” kit, probably 20 or so years old. Looks very similar to Old Stone brand, very thick and heavy. Also, I picked up a kiln shelf from my local pottery supply store that fits in my oven’s shelf rails – it’s great for multiple loaves.

  7. I just purchased the Lodge 14″ cast iron pizza “stone” and it works great. I made pizza and boule (basic and whole wheat recipe) and they both turned out great. Great crust on the bottom. It worked better than my 1/2 in stone not sure of the brand. The stone cracked when cheese from the pizza leaked on to it as it was baking and I preheated the stone for 30 minutes.

    Thanks for your 2 great books. I have had nothing be success with all of the breads I tried. My friends thank you also, because I bring bread when invited to dinner. One of my friends that does not normally eat beard, eats the bread I prepare from your books. That is a great indication of how good the bread is. Happily baking in Wisconsin.

  8. Thanks for your reply re :tipo 00 flour.
    However my question about using less yeast in recipes…the link you provided above was ‘using less salt’
    Thanks

  9. my favorite dill bread recipe: you have to use 3 TBSP young (soft) dill seed and 3 TBSP fresh dill leaves, and ricotta instead of cottage cheeze (Cottage gives it a rubbery flavor) and I use more dried onion flakes than it calls for. This is a machine recipe, so it uses high gluten bread flour

    1 package Yeast

    3 1/3 cup Flour

    1/4 cup Warm water

    3/4 cup Cottage cheese

    3/4 cup Sour cream

    3 tbsp Sugar

    3 tbsp Minced onion

    1 1/2 tbsp Butter

    1 1/2 tbsp Dill seed

    1 1/2 tsp Salt

    1/4 tsp Baking powder

    1 Egg
    ———————
    As far as the biscotti, not dry but no oven spring. It’s the height of a biscotti, but no other similarities :) Taste and texture are good.

    Thanks!

    (PS – did you ever try the (boiled and cooled) chicken broth replacing 1/2 – 2/3rds of the water? What did you think?)

    Bob C.

  10. Hi,
    thanks for the stone write up! You make a great point on proper heating of the stone. I have a basic square stone I bought from Amazon (it was fairly budget), the first one arrived cracked in two, Amazon said keep it and we’ll send another. I use the cracked one one the grill, and the good one in the oven. It’s all about the heat! Thanks for the great bread book!

    • Tedd: Amazon’s a good vendor, we’ve found, and very convenient. Our Amazon store here on the site is really a pass-through— you go straight to Amazon if you click on a product. Jeff

  11. Bob: I’m not super-surprised that this loaf doesn’t work well as a free-form loaf; you’re describing sideways spread. There’s just too much heavy stuff in here that prevents perfect gluten alignment (I’m talking about the cheese, cream, and onion).

    Our approach, using stored dough, could be applied here, but I’m guessing that the sideways spread problem would be even worse (our recipes are wetter-than-typical). Loaf pan alternative?

    If you want to convert this to stored-dough, wet it down a bit by increasing the water (not sure how much). And limit your storage to five days, given the dairy in the recipe. Freeze after that, but no promises on how a dough like this would perform after freezing.

    Good luck! Jeff

  12. Ha ha! Wait – two different things. The lack of oven spring is for the basic bread – master recipe type stuff, book 1. It doesn’t spread sideways much, either. I typically let it rest 40 – 60 min. The recipe I gave is one I want to try but haven’t yet. I figured it would need more water. AP flour or bread?

  13. I’m so glad the $10 pizza stone does a good enough job, since it’s the only pizza stone I can find around here. I’ve had mine for about a year and no cracks so far.

    Wonderful reviews! Keep ‘em coming!

    Lexi

  14. I use an unglazed granite tile, about 14″ square, that I picked up for free off Freecycle. It’s about 3/8″ thick, so takes a fair bit of preheating. Works brilliantly, I’ve been using it constantly for three years with no problems. :-)

  15. Obviously, we all have our favorites! LOL.

    I don’t know if anyone likes deep dish pizza but I use a Lodge iron skillet, add several tablespoons of olive oil (quite a lot actually) and brush that around the bottom and sides of the skillet. Then having prerolled the crust (basic recipe), plop it in the pan, add cheese and then sauce/toppings and then some sprinkles of parmesan cheese (sorry,… we like the green can). I love the flavor the crust has when melded with the cheese. But you can obviously layer your toppings the regular way if you choose. I bake it in the oven (preheated) and it is completely delicious!

    I know you have been thanked many times for your research/work/recipes, but I’m here to say it again. Thank you!!!!!!!! My alarm this morning went off at 4:56 a.m. I was able to mix up the basic dough, go to the Y, run/walk 4 miles, come home, shower, get ready and at 7AM I stuck my now risen dough in the fridge for Thursday night pizza night at our house. What a great feeling to accomplish so much before leaving for work and know what’s for dinner when I get back home. Really…. I can never thank you enough for the delicious meals I am able to create and add to with your easy/awesome recipes! Thanks again!

  16. I have been enjoying making double batches of dough and keeping it in the fridge. With kids & a business to run it’s helpful to be able to make a large batch and bake off of it all week, such as you describe in the book.

    The first loaves turn out well, not too wet, easy to cloak & shape.

    My problem is when the dough has been in the covered tub in the fridge for about a week. By this time the dough has developed a skin on top, and moisture has pooled in the bottom of the container. So when I try to cut out a piece to cloak & shape, the texture of the dough is inconsistent and way too wet along the bottom to shape well. It is much too sticky.

    My question is whether you have any tips/tricks for how to keep the dough in the fridge for an extended period of time without these issues.

    Thanks! And I love the book!

    • Hi Beth,

      I have managed to keep my dough from forming this skin and the liquid that you describe by putting a small hole in the lid of my bucket. This allows the gas from the yeast to escape, but not so much air gets in to form a skin on the dough. By using the dough once every couple of days and sprinkling flour over the top as you pull some dough off you will be feeding the yeast and it will prevent it from getting that overly wet dough on the bottom. Here is a post that shows the tiny hole I poke in my bucket’s lid. (see the 7th photo in the post): http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1616

      Hope this helps! Zoë

  17. I have the large, 14×16, a good inch thick stone in description 1 above and have used for many years. It has been broken into 3 large pieces for several years. However I still piece it together in the oven when I need to bake multiple loaves at one time. As an alternative, about a year ago I purchased the cast iron Lodge pizza pan, which I like simply because I do not have to worry about breakage and produces a nice crust. The fact that it cools off quickly is a bonus on hot summer days. I dream of some day having an oven used for nothing but bread baking such that the stone never has to be hauled out to bake cake and pastry.

  18. Thanks for this info about stones and “stones”. My PC round 1/2″ stone has held up very well (I leave it in the oven all the time), but I hear the warning that stones don’t last forever. Thinking about alternatives for that day…
    I have a question about parchment paper. I use it in place of cornmeal (just can’t seem to get the dough off the peel neatly with cornmeal), so I use a national brand parchment paper. I just read the following instruction on the box: “Withstands temperatures up to 420 degrees F.” Eek-I use it at 450 degrees F. Can I bake your breads at 420? Suggestions?

    • Hi Anne,

      Yes, I have seen this over and over on commercial parchment and I ignore it! I have been testing our pizza recipes on parchment paper at 550 degrees. It turns nearly black at that temp, but never burns. At 450 the paper will turn light brown, but is absolutely fine, actually great!

      Enjoy, Zoë

  19. I asked the question on twitter :)

    Are there any sweet doughs that do not contain eggs? Or, is it possible to use powdered egg whites in the yolk free brioche from HBi5?

    • Hi StacyCat,

      Thank you for asking your question here, there is so much more room to give a satisfying answer.

      Whole Wheat Banana Bread page 200 (HBin5) – the sweetness of this bread is dependent on the ripeness of the bananas.

      Mixed Berry Bread page 197 (HBin5)

      Apple Barley Bread page 194 (HBin5)

      100% whole grain Maple Oatmeal Bread page 145 (HBin5)

      Oatmeal Pumpkin Bread page 100 (ABin5)

      Aunt Melissa’s Granola Bread page 114 (ABin5)

      Hope you enjoy these! Zoë

  20. Hi Jeff and Zoe,
    I am all having a friend over on Sunday, to show her how to bake your method. She’s Norwegian, and we will bake Limpa and Jukelage (pronounced Yooleekaka).
    She’s studying to be a doctor in rural medicine. And she doesn’t have the time to bake anymore. Sound familiar? Anyways, I am looking forward to having a real Scandinavian show me how to shape the breads. She’s bringing Norwegian flags for the pictures we will take. She is doing emergency response training videos for the area. So I am going to track down your original video to show her gluten cloak, and how to measure with a scale. Happy New Year, to those who celebrate. Judy

  21. PS–Your limpa bread recipe, which has cardamom and anise, got me wondering how those spices got to Scandinavia from India. Many people associate cardamom with Indian cooking. I knew it had to be the spice routes, so I looked that up in Wikipedia. Fascinating. The Dutch formed a shipping company and the first expedition was in 1595.

    I love the history and cultures of food! People get an ingredient and make it their own!

  22. I have two Pampered Chef stones, as well as 3 different stone baking pans of theirs (a square one, a loaf, and a muffin – which, by the way, makes the best consistency muffins ever). I have had the stones for at between 10 – 15 years, with no issue whatsoever. I leave them in the oven constantly (unless I need the space) to store, and they have seasoned beautifully. I have moved multiple times, and leaving the stones in the oven has enabled even the most inconsistent oven to maintain a more even, accurate heat.

    • Jeff– I was wondering whether the stones would withstand this. I can’t get the manufacturers to say that it’s safe, so this is interesting. Jeff

  23. I used to have a round Pfaltzgraff stone, probably the same as Rick S.’s. It made great pizza, as this was before I started making bread, but I threw it away about a year ago because it gave me headaches. I don’t know what seeped into the pores of the stone and I certainly didn’t know how to clean it out. It looked like your round stone looks with the black spots all over it. When I put it in the oven to preheat (an hour per the manufacturer’s instructions if I remember correctly), it would give off this odor that would make me sick. I like pizza, but not enough to suffer through a headache every time I want to enjoy a slice.

    Needless to say, I’m reluctant to buy another baking stone. I use good baking sheets or cast iron depending on what I’m trying to make. I know that I’m not getting the same crust, but my three-year-old doesn’t like hard crusts, so it’s okay with me.

    • Amy– see Commenter Jeff’s note about the Self-Cleaning cycle, sounds like you have fat or sugar seeped into the stone and it possibly could be burned off.

      Otherwise cast-iron’s great. Jeff

  24. I’ve had my original Pampered Chef round stone for over 17 years with no problems. It is completely black at this point and I use it for everything. I do think they changed how they make them though, because other stones I have bought more recently HAVE broken.

  25. I just cut my first loaf from this and it was great! Can I move the remaining 3/4 of dough over into a smaller container now and start another recipe in the large one? Also, I just used my regular old cheap pizza stone that I’ve had forever and run through the dishwasher probably five hundred times. No soap taste.

    • Hi Nina,

      Yes, you certainly can move the dough to a smaller container, just try not to deflate it too much.

      What kind of stone are you using that can be put in the dish washer? Sounds like a worth while product for me to try!

      Thanks, Zoë

  26. hi Jeff and Zoe,

    Had a lot of fun making limpa and julekage with my Norwegian friend. I am showing her how to bake the AB5 way. After making a limpa bread and muffins, we started shaping another limpa bread.

    Simultaneously, we started singing, “Lets do the gluten cloak, again!” to the tune of the “Time Warp” song of Rocky Horror. It was hilarious! (complete with the footsteps).

    Thought this might give you a laugh.

    Judy

  27. Thanks to this post, we now have another use for our expensive Lodge cast iron grill pan! It’s the kind that fits over two burners with a flat side for pancakes, etc. We’ve used it for pizza with success, and I figure it will be great for just about anything else too – bagels, baguette etc. My husband is much relieved because it was an impulse buy that got a little out of control – I still haven’t asked how much it cost :)
    My Pampered Chef stone broke the first time I used it. I don’t have a peel so I took the pan out of the oven to assemble my pizza… CRACK… not a good plan.

    • Julie: Same thing happened to me with the stone you mentioned…

      This griddle will work exactly as you say, should be great for loaf breads, especially elongated ones. Maybe long enough for a baguette?

  28. I have stopped using a pizza stone all together and I use the Silpat by Demarle Home. This thing rocks! You do not have to preheat, you don’t need a pizza peal and you don’t need corn meal. the Silpat has made this easy bread even easier I highly recommend checking it out.

  29. I use a 16″ x 16″ 3/4 in thick piece of unglazed stone from the local stone mason. I picked through his scrap, all it cost me was a large loaf of bread baked on my new stone :)

    Tim

  30. I can’t believe nobody has mentioned how to really clean baking stones (or I missed it in the comments). I just leave both of mine in my oven when it’s time to clean it (the oven) and run them both through a self cleaning. When you open the oven you’ll be shocked that the pizza stone looks like it just came out of the box from the store. A friend had one that was completely black with no visible spots of stone left and I brought it back good as new. She was amazed and looked all over the stone for scrape marks because she thought I’d scraped the crust off. I didn’t even get my hands dirty.

    I now use unglazed red tiles because they’re square and fit my oven better and can be stacked at the back when not in use.

  31. I’m not having luck baking on the pizza stone I bought. The crust of the boule doesn’t not brown, stays pale and does not get crisp. I heat for 30 minutes at 500 degrees. I have a thermometer in the oven so know it was 500 degrees. Are some of the cheaper stones, I only paid $20, a waste of money? I can’t afford to buy an expensive stone. Would a cast iron skillet work if I heated it for 30 minutes? ty

    • Hi Wende,

      The oven may be 500 degrees before the stone gets to the full temperature, you can try preheating the stone for a bit longer and see if that helps? The iron pizza pan does heat quickly and because of its dark color it will conduct heat well to the bread and give you a darker crust.

      Thanks, Zoë

  32. Others might want to know about my experiment with a small enamel turkey roaster: the bread baked crisp and had great oven spring, best loaf yet. I used an oblong, dollar store basket lined with parchment for the rise and put a double layer of foil in the roaster while it heated and lifted the parchment on top of the foil. Baked 30 minutes at 450 covered, 15 minutes uncovered.

  33. No Jeff, it is not made of thick metal. If you want to see a photo of the roaster, go to Target.com and enter Graniteware roaster. It’s 18″ and sells for $11.39. I don’t work for Target or Graniteware. I got the idea to use the roaster from another bread baking website. My roaster has been in the family for decades. I also have a much larger roaster I use for my 25 pound Thanksgiving turkey and I am going to try making baguettes in it.
    PS All my friends and family thank you and Zoe for the delicous bread I have been baking.

  34. After my cheep-o stone cracked I bought an “old stone oven” stone from Amazon…..it does take at least 40-45 min. To heat…and don’t even think of doing a second pizza right after you take your first one out of the oven. I also have an Emile Henry…it is thiner and heats quicker in the oven….bon on the grill…OMG it’s a work horse. Last Sunday I made three pizzas in a row and they were all perfectly browned on the bottoms and the toppings were bubbly and perfect. Absolutely the best pizza I’ve ever made. I also have two pieces of artisan made flameware. This is fantastic to cook anything in..I recommend it if you are serious about cooking really good food!

  35. The pizza stone that you refer to as the workhorse is the one I have used for over 10 years. I love it. It is always in my oven and ready to go. I clean it gently when it just needs a sprucing up, but when it gets really gunky, I run it through the self cleaning cycle of my oven. Comes out like a brand new stone with no cracks or changes. No soap taste either.

  36. Like so many I’m unemployed right now. I was attracted to the idea of baking at home to reduce food costs/ avoid the pitfalls of ‘cheap’ fast food. I picked up ‘HB in 5′ at the local library, and thought it sounded very approachable. Not wanting to risk my girlfriends very fragile looking Pamperedchef stoneware ‘bar pan’ I’ve experimented with using my trusty old cast iron pan upside down with parchment. I’ve got to say the results have been great. I will probably pick up a cheap Lodge griddle to save Ol’ Reliable’s seasoning from such wear and tear, but I think cast iron may well be the answer if you are anxious (like me) about going through stones too often.

  37. I have been using a Wearever AirBake Nonstick 15 3/4″ large pizza pan (it is perforated) ever since I started making ABin5 bread – about 2 years now. I make several loaves a week on it. I really like that I can make 4 boule type loaves at a time on one pan. I also make great pizzas on it. I only preheat the oven, not the pan, and don’t have to move dough from one place to another (I am not at all coordinated). It makes a nice crispy bottom crust – much better than a cookie sheet. But, so much easier than a stone. It may not produce the perfect results of a stone, but it does produce great results and I love it. I highly recommend this pan for anyone who finds stones difficult or intimidating.

    (BTW – I once gave a PC stone for a gift. It broke almost immediately, and I could not get a refund since I had no receipt – even tho the PC rep remembered selling it to me shortly before)

  38. I am about to bake my first healthy seeded bread using your recipe. Can I put my boule on a silicone baking mat and transfer the bread and mat onto the oven baking stone using my peel? How would I remove the mat and bread from the hot stone when the bread is finished? Could the bread remain of the silicone mat for the entire baking time or do I need to remove the mat 10 min. before the bread is done to insure a good bottom crust? Is it better to use parchment paper rather than cornmeal on the peel to transfer the dough to the baking stone? If using parchment paper how do you get the parchment paper and bread off the hot stone using the peel? I would appreciate any advice you can give me.

    • Vicky: Don’t think this will work, the silicone’s too sticky to slide with a peel. Just drop the mat onto the stone. I’d do the strategy you suggest to get a nice bottom crust. I prefer cornmeal to any of these but it’s messy and to many people, not worth it (I think the crust is better and I like the crunchy corn effect).

      Just get under the parchment with a peel or a spatula to get it out, shouldn’t be difficult.

  39. I use a large Pampered Chef stone cookie sheet after picking it up for a mere $12 as a special hostess deal- couldn’t resist. I also used Mexican floor tiles (unglazed) until I can’t find them anymore. I love they were $1.09 at Home Depot, but nobody seems to carry them any longer. I beg for another *real* pizza stone at some point, but until then, I will be happy with my PC pan.

  40. I just read your Artisan Bread in Five Minutes books, and I’m confused about what type of storage container to use. You repeated say: cover with a lid (not airtight), and that confuses me. Do you mean that I should just lay the lid on top of the container and not seal it? Or do you mean something else?

    Thank you for replying. I plan to start making these recipes as soon as I can find a food-grade container large enough whose lid fits the description that I hope your reply explains to me so I understand ;-p

    Thank you very much.

  41. LOVE your bread method! I have been baking everyday since 1/1/10, and have won over many converts among my family and friends by demonstrating the technique and feeding the observers.

    Now here’s my question: What would happen if you neglected to add the water while baking? My college-age son is conducting an Artisan Bread in 5 demo for 60 kids in his dorm, and they don’t have room in the oven for a water pan.
    Thanks a bunch, Gloria

    • Hi Gloria,

      The bread will still be very tasty, but the crust will seem a bit dull and not be as crisp as it is with the water.

      Bravo to your son, tell him we want to hear how his baking extravaganza goes!

      Thanks, Zoë

  42. Jane: Afraid I don’t know what Benefiber is, or whether it can be heated (best to ask the manufacturer). But… our recipes, with the exception of the Wheat Bran dough in our 1st book, don’t call for any added fiber, so don’t know what you’d swap. Jeff

  43. newcomer to the 5 minute bread books but made my first batch 2 days ago and baked my first loaf yesterday….WOW!!! My daughter gave a a broken PC stone a few years ago when it arrived broken and PC replaced it. I’d only used it once before but had no problem yesterday with my first attempt…..it worked just fine…..so far. *fingers crossed* that it works again tomorrow!!

  44. Is there any chart giving the volume substitution for gluten free flowers? I’ve got a number of flours that aren’t mentioned in the recipe’s in your book, but I’d like to try them. One is something called Kyrol, others are nut flours.
    Thanks.

    • Hi Susan,

      There is no chart for flours that are not in the book. I’ve not used Kyrol, so I’m not quite sure how it will do in our recipes. If you give it a try please report back and let us know. I’d start with a half batch while you are experimenting.

      Thanks, Zoë

  45. I used terra cotta tiles for several years and they worked fine. I also have a pampered chef stone that is now turned “black” as it has been in use over 10 years. I do pamper it I guess – I let it cool completely, use a bench scraper and wash it off with water. Treat it like cast iron – never use soap. It may break one day but it’s over 10 years old – I have had fantastic luck with my PC cookware and all of it is over 10 years old and I use it all the time.

  46. I have a baking stone like the one zoe mention in the article 14×16 and love it. The crispy crust is delicious on my pizzas.

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