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Re: Pizza Stones

On Sun, 28 Sep 1997 you wrote:
>I have a pizza stone and love it!  Pizza stones, like iron skillets need
>seasoning.  You can do this on several ways.  1.  Spread oil on it the
>first few times you use it  2.  Spray with a cooking spray the first 5 -
>10 times you use it.  3.  Season with oil and bake it for 30 minutes at
>350 , cool then season with oil and bake once more.  After your pizza
>stone has been seasoned, things won't stick anymore providing you don't
>wash with soap.


Beggin' your pardon, but the instructions for my pizza stone said do NOT
bake anything on the stone that contains a lot of fat and did NOT suggest
you "condition" it with oil.

I love the crispy crust you get on pizza, hearty-style breads and foccacia.
Using only cornmeal on my paddle and a little also sprinkled on the stone
directly, I have never had any sticking problems.

The following are some tips from the brochure that came with my baking stone:

-- Smooth edges with sand paper, a file, a piece of brick, etc.

-- Wash the stone, but do not use detergent (it will affect taste).

-- "It is normal for the stone to accumulate stains from dripping after
repeated use even after washing.  This will not alter the taste of your
pizza or bread or the stone's baking performance, but the cooking residue
may smoke and create odors.  A scouring pad will remove most burned bits.
However, if the accumulation is heavy, like excessive oil, then a thorough
sanding with a hard abrasive, like emery paper, may be necessary.  An
electric belt sander will work well to clean the stone."

--"Small stains can be cleaned by making a paste of baking soda and water
and using it with a toothbrush to clean the spots on the stone."

--"DO NOT BAKE, directly on the stone, any cookies, turnovers, or other
items that have a significant fat content.  The stone will absorb the fat,
and, during subsequent use, the absorbed fat will burn off causing smoke and
a noxious odor."

--"You'll find so many uses for this baking stone, you'll probably want to
leave it right in your oven."  And I do, on the bottom shelf covered loosely
with a piece of foil to collect any food that drips from what I am baking on
the shelf above.  When I want to use the stone I just move it to the middle
shelf before I turn on the oven.  If you forget to move it before you
preheat your oven -- and I *have* done this -- always use a HEAVY duty mitt
to move the hot stone.

I have never found that the stone "absorbs" a lot of oven heat and causes
any foods to need any extra baking time.

The brochure has a number of recipes on it and comes from Old Stone Oven
Div., Kitchen Supply Co., 7333 W. Harrison St., Forest Park, IL 60130.

Sandee Ritter