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When I had wanted a baking stone, and it was rather expensive, so, I thought about using red clay saucers, like red clay pots can bake bread in them, and I knew that pots and saucers can be fairly large. I was told to get red clay pots and saucers that are not painted or coated, just plain red clay.
I basically coated oil all over the saucer like I would with cast iron, and I baked them low for at least 4 hours. Whenever I saw that the saucer looked dry looking, I spread some more oil on it, until it stopped leaving dry spots. Make sure that you use a potholder when reapplying oil, the saucer is hot. I also spread the oil inside and outside, completely covered with the oil.
I really like and use it now for baking, and for many different things, they clean off easily, most of the time, with just a cloth or paper towel, or dampen anything stuck with a little water, and it quickly wipes out clean, and give it another wipe with fresh oil, and I store it in the still warm oven that is turned off.
The pizza crusts are amazingly perfect, like bought pizzas, rolls, round loaves of homemade bread, chips and cheese. I also have two smaller saucers, for personal pizzas, chips and cheese, crustless quiche pies, small pies or tarts, many things can be baked in them. For the smaller ones, they fit right on to a plate, and it keeps the food warmer longer while eating. Saucers come in many different sizes, so look for sizes that will fit anyone's needs.
Source: I believe I got the idea of Martha Stewarts clay pots for baking.
By Kathryn Visser from Rockford, MI
Do I need to preheat my baking stone before I bake pizza? Thanks!
Daphne P from Jacksonville, FL
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We have owned a Pampered Chef baking stone for years and have loved cooking with it. We have always cared for it per the instructions, but have recently noticed that food items no longer slide off like they used to. When we cook a frozen pizza, it sticks all the way around the edges and has to be loosed before it will slide off. What caused this to happen and what can we do to remedy the situation? Thanks!
By Randy from Sioux City, IA
If you have a self-cleaning oven, just put the stone in when you clean your oven and it comes out like new.
Try not to use soap on a stone, but you can use baking soda. What I do is, make a paste of baking soda and water, then I spread it on the stone and let it sit in a low heat oven setting, say 150 to 200 til the paste becomes dry, then I take it out and scrap with the scraper. If your stone has a "lip" around the sides, you can add a little more water to the mixture. Continue to do this til all the baked on oil is scraped off. To prevent access oil from building up, add a little salt to your everyday cleaning of the stone.
Do you need to heat the baking stone before baking cookies on it, or just use it like you would a normal pan?
M.D. from Bozeman, MT
I got my stone from Williams Sonoma and it said to preheat the stone, however, I never do it as it could break if a frozen pizza is placed on it. I know several girls who have had their Pampered Chefs stone break on them by doing this. As one other poster said, for cookies its usually recommended to use a cooled sheet.
Do I oil the pan before putting the dough on?
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The number one rule with stoneware baking pans is: Never wash them with soap! The stoneware is extremely porous, so if you wash it with soap, it will flavor anything you cook on it after that with soap. Just run hot water over it and scrape food residue off with a pot brush or plastic scraper. And always remember to allow the stone to cool completely before washing so it doesn't crack. You do not not necessarily need to pre heat the stone when you cook with it, in fact that would do bad things to the outcomes of some recipes. Also, the first few times you cook on it, remember to either cook things with very high fat content or grease liberally, no matter what you are cooking. This will aid the stone in becoming a non- stick surface; over time, you won't ever need to grease it. I highly recommend checking out http://www.pamperedchef.com The Pampered Chef not only makes the best stone cookware, they also sell great recipe books using the stoneware. (05/25/2005)
Actually, I put a non-preheated baking stone into a pre-heated oven and it cracked within a few minutes. I had been told to always preheat, and was negligent that time. I definitely recommend preheating the stone! (05/25/2005)
Chickpea, if the stone that cracked was Pampered Chef they will replace it.I think when my daughter cracked mine she preheated the stone and put a frozen pizza on it. I personally never preheat my stone,but I use it mostly for biscuits or a taco ring so there's no guarantee that someday it won't. If you have as much as a piece of it you've kept they will replace it.I had my two pieces and got a brand new stone.They sell little brown plastic scrapers for about $1,to get off the cheese,etc,and I just rinse it off. I really do love their products. (05/25/2005)
Actually, what I had said was that you do not (i)necessarily(/i) have to preheat a stone.
Sometimes it is necessary, most times it is not. Especially if you are going to be putting food that is cold to start with on it. Basically you want to avoid extreme temperature changes to avoid cracking, just like with glass bakeware.
Maybe when you didn't preheat your stone, it had been stored in an exceptionally cool cabinet (I know that the cupboard under my sink is almost like a fridge in the winter.)? At any rate, I almost never preheat my stoneware from The Pampered Chef and I have never had one crack on me. And Sharon is right, The Pampered Chef will replace a broken stone, even if it is your fault it broke, even if you (shudder) wash it with soap and ruin it. (Did I mention I love their products? ;) ) (05/26/2005)
I would not recommend making cookies on a stone. With cookies, you're usually cooking several batches and so you've got to pull the stone out of the oven, get the cookies off, and put it back in. The stone stays hot for a long time, so when you pull the first batch out, the cookies won't cool! You'll probably have quite a time getting the hot gooey cookies off the hot stone. Then when you start putting the next batch of dough on, you'll notice the cookies starting to melt before it's even back in the oven! That's because the stone is still so hot, and that will make your cookies flatter. I cook my cookies on an aluminum or steel cookie sheet, sometimes with parchment paper. In between batches I rinse off the sheet to cool it. See http://www.well.com/~vard/cookies.html for some good cookie tips.
And about the greasy substance, make sure you're not using soap. Read the other posts about that. (01/04/2007)
Before first using a stone, do you soak in cold water for 45 minutes? (06/19/2007)