My bread gets stoned every weekend!
Mar 6, 2007 (Updated Mar 10, 2010)
Review by teleplayer75
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Heavy, size selection, warranty
The Bottom Line: If you're a serious home baker or pizza maker, look here. It will last you a lifetime.
I'm an avid artisan bread baker and pizza maker. As such, I decided I needed a nice, big stone to bake may baguettes and big pies on.
Recommend this product?
Why do you want a baking stone?
Heat retention: A big, heavy stone will absorb a lot of heat and help "level out" the heat swings in your oven. This will help your food bake more evenly and consistently.
Oven spring: All of that heat retention equals a fast heat transfer to your bread/pizza when you pop it on the stone. This will wake up those little yeasties for a final oven spring before the crust becomes too hard for the dough to rise any more.
Crisp crust: Some say that the stone pulls moisture out of the dough to make the crust crisper. This cannot be true (a 550 degree stone absorbing water?), but the phenomenon is likely caused by the fast direct heat transfer from the stone to the dough.
Stop burning toppings: The fast heat transfer means your crust will be done before your toppings burn.
What are your options?
Unglazed Terra cotta floor tiles:
SUPER cheap (on the order of pennies).
Cheap and easy to replace broken tiles.
Can be made any shape you like:
They're a bit of a pain since they must be tiled in place
Too thin for good heat retention.
$10-$20 mass market stone kit with carrier and pizza wheel!
Easy to find and replace when they break.
Comes with a pizza wheel?
Seriously, what's with the carrier? I'm not bringing a 500 degree stone to my table, thank you. It lives in the oven permanently.
Too thin for good heat retention.
Not available in the sizes I wanted.
$50 Fibrament stone - 13 3/8" x 17 1/2"
A monstrous 3/4" thick for excellent heat retention.
10 year warranty! Who offers that on a pizza stone?
A bit pricey - although to be fair, the shipping is included.
Heavy if you need to remove it from the oven - my wife claims it messes with her cookie baking times.
It's available in different stock sizes, plus you can order it in any custom size/shape you want. I went with this size because it is the largest I could get and still have a comfortable airspace on all sides for good heat flow.
In my opinion, if I was going to spend money on a stone, I was going to buy the beefiest one I could find, since heat retention and transfer are the two biggest reasons for me to have one. The fact that the Fibrament has a 10 year warranty and is made of cool space-age materials sealed the deal for me.
How does it work? Exactly as advertised. I've made countless loaves of gorgeous artisan breads and baguettes on the stone. Pizza night has become a tradition when we have guests over. They love sliding the pie off the peel and onto the hot stone.
Speaking of which, what happens when 12 year old Billy dumps a whole pie's worth of cheese and sauce onto a 550 degree stone? It smells bad, for one thing. But once the stone has cooled, the gunk scrapes off and it's good as new. It never needs any sort of washing, just the occasional brush off.
Be sure to check out their site. There's plenty of good info there.
I have tons of photos online if anyone would like to see. Here's a couple that you'll need to cut n' paste into your address bar since Epinions doesn't allow external links.
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