Everybody Must Get a Stone

(Public Service Announcement: Even if you know all about baking stones, you may find it worthwhile to read this post through to the end.)

You can spend a fortune on bread-baking tools and gadgets if you want to (and I admit I’ve done my part to stimulate that little piece of the economy). But when you get right down to it, the most glorious loaf can be produced using only a minimum of tools: your hands, a surface or container for mixing the dough, an oven of some kind, and something to hold the bread in the oven.

If you’re after crusty artisan (or artisanal, if you’re so inclined) hearth-style breads, that thing that holds your bread in the oven should be a baking stone.

When you put a loaf into any hot oven, the bread bakes by radiation (heat coming at the loaf directly from the element and oven walls) and by convection (hot air circulating in the oven chamber).

When you put a loaf onto a hot stone within a hot oven, the bread bakes by conduction as well; heat is transferred to the dough via direct contact with the hot stone. Conduction allows heat to be quickly and efficiently transferred through the entire mass of dough, which allows the interior to rise in the oven, and water to be evaporated away, before the outer crust has a chance to set and limit its expansion. The end result is that these loaves generally have greater “oven spring” and a crisper crust than pan-baked breads.

Another advantage of a stone is that it helps to maintain the oven at a constant temperature. The stone increases the thermal mass (heat-storing capacity) of the oven, so once the oven and stone are hot, the oven has to work less hard to stay hot, and the temperature recovers more quickly after opening the oven door than it does in a stoneless oven.

A baking stone can be as simple as unglazed terra cotta tiles available inexpensively from any building supply store, and of course there are several products specifically sold as baking stones.

For the past three years this Fibrament stone has been my stone of choice (you can tell because well-stained means well-used). It is thick and heavy, and while I can honestly say that other stones I’ve used have gotten the job done, there are a number of things that make the Fibrament my favorite:

  • It doesn’t break. Every other stone I’ve used has broken within a year. (The Fibrament might break if you dropped it on the sidewalk, so don’t carry it around outside.)
  • The Fibrament’s 3/4-inch thickness gives it more thermal mass than other stones, which are typically 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. This thing retains heat like nobody’s business.
  • The stones are available in several stock sizes but can also be custom-sized. A custom size allows you take full advantage of your oven’s capacity. Fibrament advises a one-inch gap between the stone and each side of the oven. (I left a little more space on one side, so that the steam from my steam pan underneath the stone has an escape route up to the baking bread.)

So you’re still with me. As promised, there’s a payoff:

— UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. —

Mark of Fibrament has very generously agreed to send a custom-size stone to one of you, provided you live in the continental USA. Leave a comment about why you love to bake, or why you want to learn, by 11:59 PM on March 9, and if yours is the one I choose at random, I promise you will be a very happy camper.

Post a comment » 178 Comments

  1. I’d love to have a big stone like that! I’ve baked a few breads at home, but am a real novice and still learning. One of my goals for this year is to master some basic recipes for rolls, focaccia, pizza crust, etc. that I can make and freeze so that we always have some good, homebaked breads on hand! A stone like that would be ever so helpful.

  2. I love my current baking stone, but I wouldn’t mind a bigger one. I love to bake for a number of reasons. A lot of what I make tastes better than what I can buy. And I love the feeling of satisfaction I get from making something myself. And of course, the house smells great. =)

  3. I love to cook. I love fresh bread, pizza, rolls, but am a little intimidated but ready to take the plunge into the baking world. I have just purchased kitchen scales so this would definitely compliment my new endeavors.

  4. I have a circular stone, and yes, I’ve broken a few too! I don’t know how anyone can bake bread or make pizza without a stone. The best thing in the world is homemade bread with a little homemade strawberry jam. The whole house smells wonderful and there is no better comfort food! Good for the body and soul!

  5. B is for the beautiful loaves I make with my hands.

    R is for the radical idea of actually making bread from scratch.

    E is for the excellent taste and texture of homemade bread.

    A is for the advantage of knowing what is going in the bread we eat

    D is for DAMN! Homemade bread is good!!

    * I’m really in NEED of a good rectangular baking stone – mine broke and I’ve been left with a less-than-adequate-round pizza stone

    *** pick me pretty please ;)

  6. I love bake breads at home and always looking for same new recipes.Every week I try new recipe of bread.
    In my country the special attitude to bread. There is a old tradition to welcome guests with bread and salt. It is a symbol of richness,well-being and friendliness,hope and a prosperity in the house.When children marry that mum welcomes them at a threshold of the house with bread . If the American president arrive to Ukraine that directly at the airport the special delegation will welcome him with bread and salt and will sing a special greeting song for him. In my country bread is considered the main product for a life.

  7. Wow with a big stone all the baked goods I could make. I love the smell of baking bread or even cookies. That would give me a good kick to restart my starter.

  8. Ah, bread porn. I’ve had fun experimenting with using two baking stones at once (one above and one below the bread) to try and replicate actual bread oven baking. However, since I don’t actually own two baking stones this has been difficult to achieve (lots of running around and borrowing from neighbors).

  9. Oh, I’d love to have a really good baking stone. I’m in between at the moment because the pizza stone I put up with just broke a few months ago. My baguettes just aren’t the same stretched out on the bottom of a cookie pan. They weren’t all that great to begin with squished onto a pizza stone :P

  10. Hi Susan, wow, to have a baking stone! I have just recently heard from you that there is such a thing. I’m a beginner @ baking breads. Your website is so great! A thought I have, thinking about our economy, is of baking bread for those in need of food. I would put a baking stone to good use, but I’ll bake without one if needed. THanx for the offer.

  11. I’d love one of these! We have a WELL used pizza stone that we use for baking pizza dough and bread, but it’s a cheap 1/4″ thick stone.

    But really, any stone seems better then no stone. It would be great to try a good stone though! Thanks

  12. I love to bake and create delicious treats for my family. I’ve just recently admitted to myself that I’m a far better baker than cook. I’d much rather make a cake than a steak. :)

  13. My husband and I have learned to love working with yeast doughs over the past 15 months of our marriage, specifically pizza crusts, and we would love the opportunity to upgrade our stone!

  14. Damn “US only”rules…I’d love to get one of these stones!

  15. I’ve been baking ever since I can remember– I think my parents realized early on that if they left me with flour, water, yeast and simple instructions I’d leave them alone for a good long time… Anyway, baking bread has a sensory appeal like nothing else. These days, too, it’s gratifying for me to know that every loaf I bake has nothing I don’t want my kid to eat. And there’s nothing quite like hearing her say, in her 2 year old voice, “Bread dough! is! DELICIOUS!”

  16. What a wonderful review and a great opportunity. I had a thin round pizza stone for bread baking that I received for a wedding present almost 7 years ago. I was glad to have it at the time because it helped me jump into bread baking but it left much to be desired. I love baking because my 18 month old son runs to me when I get home from work, grabs my hand and leads me into the kitchen, points at the oven and says “Dada, cook, bread bites”. He’ll often ask for “bread bites” and if offered store bought sandwich bread will brush the offer away and point to the loaf of cooling hearth bread on the counter.

  17. This stone looks great! There is absolutely nothing like home baked bread. I quit doing it for a while but I’m back at it and love experimenting with all the recipes I can find. I have quite a stack but you can never have too many recipes.

  18. Happy camper! Good grief that would make me an ecstatic baker, not sure about camper especially since you say I shouldn’t carry it around outside ;)
    I’ve been wanting to replace my cheapie tiles – it bugs me when I get the bread over the big space that seems to move around every time I pop a loaf in.

  19. I want to go back to the stone age, oh please, me, hey Susan, over here, me!
    By the by, what do you think of the “hearth kit?” ; )

  20. Wow, imagine… I could cook all my loaves at the same time, instead of squeezing them onto my little round stone two at a time! Love your site, btw, been reading for a while. :)

  21. Oooh, that sounds wonderful! I would love to have a stone that isn’t just round but actually fits my oven. I bake because I can’t buy decent bread within about 100 miles and I am sorrowful without sourdough!
    Phoo-D

  22. I bake primarily for fun, but also to save money. Thanks for the great blog!

  23. Mmm, I love my crusty bread that’s achieved best from a stone.

    Baking is a passion. I do it for the sense of accomplishment, and try everything I can, simply because, I can. And it’s delicious. :)

  24. Very very useful info Susan. I had mine for ages, it was intended for pizza, so mine is round. I don’t what brand, it only has series of code or number. My husband bought it for me from William Sonoma. I think it’s already more then 10 yrs old. Only recently (more after I discover your blog) I use it a lot to bake my bread. I am considering to buy a new rectangle one, but not sure yet.
    Cheers,
    elra

  25. I love baking bread! I’ve never used a stone before, but this makes me very excited to try it! I’ve only ever made simple breads (white, wheat, etc) but I’d love to try to make something people would be impressed by!

  26. Why I love to bake….hmmmm….I love good whole food. There is nothing better than pulling a loaf (or four) of fresh baked bread out of the oven. All four kids come running. I can get them to eat wheat, flax, oatmeal, wheat germ. And the taste. I just can’t go back! I have never used a stone. I did receive a stone bread pan as a present and it is my favorite.

  27. I love to bake because it smells good, tastes good, and makes me feel good. I also enjoy saving money by making things from scratch. I’ve never used a baking stone before and am not a terribly experienced bread maker. I’d love to win this stone!

  28. I don’t envy you choosing. I’ve never used a baking stone. It’s been on my list for a while, but …
    I bake mostly with my kids (we loved your Taralli by the way. Made them with the kids the other day and now we have to make more. Could be a weekly thing at our house. You can see them on my blog if you are interested in how they turned out for a beginner.) My quest is to make great french bread and other hearty, crusty breads. Would love to give the stone a try.

  29. I was very excited to see the title of this post! I’ve always believed and preached the glory of baking stones! Nothing beats the smell of bread baking in the oven. Nothing bakes a pizza quite so beautifully, either! I’ve always just used a round pizza stone…which gets the job done, but sometimes takes extra finagling of the item to be bakes (so as to not fall off the edges)…so I would definitely LOVE to have a stone custom-fit to my oven! Thanks for the chance :)

  30. For me, baking is the best combination of my two greatest passions, science and food. Cooking is an art, but with all of the lovely chemical reactions that occur during baking its a science. Eating tasty experiments is always the greatest.

  31. Gosh, what a great set of info! I knew I liked my cheap yard sale stone, but not why!

    I tend to bake because it’s so much cheaper than buying bread, tastes much better, and it’s quite impressive to all the twentysomethings I work with. Baked goods have become the price of admission to any and all get-togethers for me. I’ve been making my own jams and delicious butters from scratch, and you can’t just put those on any old bread! I haven’t bought bread in months (OK, ONE loaf from the LaBrea bakery… I have to taste to compare textures!!!), and don’t plan to.

    Thanks for the wonderful post!

  32. I would love a high quality stone. I too have broken quite a few. Oh to have this one… a girl can dream.

  33. I love to bake mainly for 2 reasons:
    1. It’s definitely my relaxation tool–when I’m stressed out about something, baking almost always makes me feel better (and results in something delicious to eat afterward!)
    2. I know exactly what ingredients I’m putting into the food. Now, that may be tons of butter or sugar, but at least it’s just butter and sugar and not preservatives or other weird stuff.

  34. Having broken enough stones to pay for a Fibrament several times over, I think it’s time I traded up.
    I love to bake because I can make things that remind me of my home in Scotland, that aren’t available here. And most things I bake taste better than boughten!
    When are you going to let us see the tutorial you promised on TFL on the most beautiful SF sourdough loaf I have ever seen? ;>) Patsy

  35. I adore baking with my stone! Though, “she” just broke after taking especially good care of “her”. Yes, my stone was a vital part of our family. I checked out the cheaper stones at our local big box stores but they all seem substandard. Puny and thin. Somehow, this image doesn’t allow for hearty, rustic home-grown breads that become comfort food for the entire family. I would love to “adopt” one of your new fibrament stones. We have a “room” for her waiting!

  36. I have a cheap-o 12″ round stone, probably not even 1/4″ thick and it’s better than nothing, especially when I cover it with a heavy terracotta pot of the same diameter. But I would love a stone that fits my oven shelf, if only so that I could bake longer loaves, or more than one loaf at a time.

  37. I can’t say I love to bake, but I love what I am able to eat when I do! I also enjoy sharing my baked goods with others.

  38. Wow some people are so creative with their comments! I love the crustiness of homebaked bread. So do my two teens. It’s an easy way to make them and me happy at the same time (with teens, that is a rare treat sometimes!)

  39. Now thats a baking stone. I would love to have one of those in my oven.

  40. We have three small kids and love baking as it gives us a great oppotunity to teach math, english, love, finishing a project, rewards of hard work, consequences when instructions are not followed, and many more wonderful lessons. Besides that it builds the community of our family in loving ways. A breadstone would only enhance the experience for us.
    Cheers
    Brian

  41. This would be a wonderful prize! My baking stone just broke two weeks ago….How am I to make wonderful breads and pizza? My biggest fear and my biggest want is to learn how to make exceptional artisan bread and pastries. Especially pastries such as croissants and kringles.

  42. I love to bake because I love to bake :) I’m very excited every time with every new loaf comes from the oven – every time unpredictable new and so good…

  43. I started to bake (20 years ago) as a stress-relief while in college, and quickly learned how gratifying it is to share bread with others, so now I bake to make people happy — it works on my family and it works on my friends.

    I’ve been using tiles from the building supply since I’ve broken several baking stones — I have a set for the oven and the barbecue.

    I think I’ve baked one loaf of bread in the last five years without the stone (tile) and can’t remember a less satisfying loaf in that time.

    I even use them for bread in loaf pans — the conduction really helps.

    –Matthew

  44. Well I started baking breads about ten years ago and after I had my girls, I took a little break… followed by a big break… as in, both of my wrists! So I have just recently taken up bread making again as part of a physical therapy. The kneading is very challenging and sometimes painful but I feel my wrists responding well. Plus I don’t want my daughters (6 and 4) to think a market is where you go to buy food to eat. I am teaching them that a market is where you go to buy the staples/ingredients for what you eat.
    p.s. Love your website (just found it) and love that stone – so thick and beautiful.

  45. Wow – I’ve been wanting to buy a new stone for a while, as my pizza stone is just too darned small. I would love to have a nice big stone like that.
    I love baking because I love the smell of hot bread in the house. I love the crisp crust I can get and having the freshest loaf one can get. I love experimenting and improving upon recipes and making them my own. Above all, I love bread – it’s a perfect accompaniment to any meal, and makes a fabulous snack with one of my home made jams.

  46. Would love a stone. Fresh bread smokes any other type. Nuff said. :)

  47. Thanks for the post! I’ve been looking for a stone that will take full advantage of the size of my oven. Most of the ones I’ve seen out their are either too thin or too small for my tastes.

  48. I would love to have one of these stones. I love baking my own bread because I can provide to my son and husband healthy and nutritious breads. I hope i can get the stone because in my country ( Turkey ) there are special place which just bake these kind of breads and they are the best. Since I am not in Turkey it would be very nice for me to have it.
    Thank you…

  49. Fresh baked bread makes the world a happier place. Applied science at its most delicious!

    I used to have a stone, but left it behind in safe hands when I moved awhile ago. I kick myself a little every time I try to roll out some pizza or focaccia.

  50. I bake therefore I am.

  51. My wife always bakes bread at home. I love it. To get such big stone at home it is one more reason to make her happy other reason it to invite friends to a delicious dinner and will take pleasure in fresh, fragrant, crackling bread again and again

  52. I bake not because I love to, but because my masters, the yeasts and bacteria in my sourdough starter, force me too. As their slave, I must bake at least 4 loaves per week, or else.

    Just now they told me that they want me to get them one of those Fibrament stones, also or else.

  53. I bake because nothing in the store tastes as good a homemade and because it’s the best form of therapy!

    Oooh.. and I’m leaving this comment in the desperate hope that I’ll be randomly picked! :-)

    Grace and Peace,
    `tim

  54. I bake on a stone I found in my backyard. The exterior is craggy and makes for an amazing texture on the bottom of the bread. It is thick as all hell though so I have to preheat for at least 1.5 hours. You are right, there is nothing like a stone for baking on and you don’t even need to buy one.
    To prep my stone i first dug it out of the snow and then let it come to room temperature. Then i washed it and warmed it in the oven for about 2 hours at 200f. After that I incrementally raised the temperature up to 500f and let it bake for 2 hours (this process is to make sure that the moisture is out of it and that it wont break in the oven). At first it will smell like a rock but that smell goes away after a while.
    Thanks for the awesome site. It constantly inspires me to try new things and keep making bread.

  55. I’m just starting out baking, and I have wanted a baking stone for a while but don’t have one. This would be perfect for me, and give my breads that extra spring they don’t have now.

  56. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful giveaway! I love baking bread on a stone because the crust comes out perfect. Every stone I’ve ever owned broke within a year or two, so I would love to have one of these. Thanks for the giveaway!

  57. I’m a new reader, but I’ve been diligently working my way through the archives. I love your pictures and reading this blog has really inspired me to do more bread baking.

    I love baking because of the way anything taste rights of the oven. Even the best baked store bought bread (or cookie, or muffin) never tastes the same because you can’t eat it right from the oven.

    And in case I don’t win… have you ever used a unglazed terra cotta tiles? I know Alton Brown recommends them, but do they work as well as other baking stones?

  58. While I’ve been baking on stones for many years, they’ve always been thin ones, both circular pizza stones & quarry tiles. It would be terrific to have one large stone. It would make me feel a bit more professional & complement the wonderful antique kneading board that my Czech cabinet-maker grandfather made for my grandmother (who came to this country as a professional cook).

  59. I love the idea of a baking stone large enough for two loaves of bread! Mine is teeny tiny. I am, slowly but surely, learning the basics of breadmaking, and nothing is more satisfying to me than putting a lump of dough in the oven and seeing it come out browned, beautiful, crackly, and of course, very very tasty.

  60. Thanks for the explanation as to why a good stone is important. Never understood the stone thing before.
    I have tried baking bread in a cast iron covered bean pot as well as on a baking sheet in the oven. My results have varied. As of late, I have had too many turn out with gummy centers. Sounds like a stone would be the answer to this problem.

  61. I just need more thermal mass. I have enough of the other kind of mass.

  62. Baking is so much better than store bought. I can avoid all the preservatives while feeding my family with fresh, great tasting foods.

  63. I’m from the SF Bay Area and due to economic reasons I’ll probably have to move to some other part of the state or country. Learning to bake sourdough is necessary for me to not go nuts missing the bread around here.

  64. A Fibrament Stone sounds great. I would love a stone that didn’t break easily. I bought one at a home party cooking show (I won’t name the company). I preheated it in the oven until the stone was hot but when I put a pizza on it a few drops of sauce dropped and when it hit the hot stone, it shattered the stone into several pieces. When I complained to the consultant she said that you should never preheat the stone. I said “isn’t that the whole reason for having a stone is to have a hot surface for baking bread or pizza?” To which the consultant replied “Oh no, it is to keep the bread warm after you take it out of the oven.” I don’t think that she has ever baked a loaf of artisan bread.

  65. I’m new to baking and have been blissfully sidetracked by bread baking. After doing a great amount of cookbook and internet research, I realize that a proper baking stone will really help my chances to create tasty, crusty bread baked in my not-so-great apartment oven.

  66. My, that IS a big one! ;)
    I need to get an American address…. anyone looking for a part-time room-mate? :)

  67. IF I WAS THE MOST FORTUNATE GUY IN MY PART OF THE WORLD TO WIN THIS BEAUTIFUL BAKING STONE I WOULD THEN BE ABLE TO LOAN IT TO MY BEST BAKING FREIND AND SHE WOULD THEN BAKE ME THE MOST DELICIOUS,MOST BEAUTIFUL,THE MOST ARTISTICHEAVENLY SENT BREAD IN ALL OF NORTHERN MICHIGAN!!!!!!!!!!I WOULD JUST BE ONE BIG SILLY HAPPY MAN IF I COULD JUST WIN THE STONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  68. Susan, no need to enter me in the drawing. I just wanted to say that I enjoyed the Dylan reference in your post title! :)

  69. i love to bake because it’s cheaper than:
    1) therapy
    2) paying for heating during the winter
    3) buying stuff from the store that doesn’t taste half as good
    :)
    (and yes, all of this in an old, small electric oven that heats unevenly–and it’s a rental place, so replacing the oven is not an option)

  70. I love to bake because there’s nothing like baking something 10 times better than the grocery store sells you! Bread, pie, pizza, cake, lasagna, cookies and whatever else happens to sound good at the time! You can buy the ingredients and make 5 times as much bread compared to the cost of just buying bread.

  71. Great bread for a cheaper price. And just the type that you feel like. All good reasons to bake bread.

  72. I love to bake because I find it therapeutic and because for me baked goods are most emblematic of the whole Food Is Love thing I have going on. :) Cookies for the kids and homemade bread and all that good stuff.

    Also, boy would I love this because I had a nicer baking stone, 3/4 inch and large rectangle–heck for all I know it was a Fibrament–and it accidentally got left in the oven, where I stored it, when we moved from PA. :( Broke my heart. The dumb tile I have currently is way too small.

  73. Baking is my outlet for relaxation and creativity. There is something about baking bread that’s so earthy and fulfilling. I have a small round stone, and I would love this fancy baking stone!

  74. I received a no knead bread book for xmas two years ago and have been baking bread ever since. Being retired I bake bread every day so my still working wife comes home to dinner and fresh baked bread. I hope whoever wins your baking stone enjoys using it and eating the end results.

  75. and i would not be so alone…

    if i won the Fibrament stone…

  76. I love to bake because there are few things better than the smell of fresh-baked bread, it is satisfying to say “I made it myself,” and I have the security of knowing exactly what goes into my baked goods without any unpronounceable artificial stuff.

  77. Would love to have a stone like that! Home baked bread is such a wonderful art! Good luck to everyone!

  78. I just started baking bread recently and I’m totally hooked. Both the process and the results are so satisfying. And my bread would be so much better if I had one of those stones . . .

  79. I love to bake because even more than cooking it seems to me like some kind of alchemy. It’s science with suspense, and usually a tasty treat at the end of the day. Baking, despite it’s basis in chemical and physical reactions of (relatively) simple ingredients, has always had for me an air of mystery and magic. I just love seeing ( and tasting!) the transformation between dough and bread. I even enjoy the fact that today’s bread is always a little different from yesterday’s, that this methodical process is in the end not entirely predictable. Well, most of the time. ^_^

  80. Oh my, I’m drooling over a rectangular stone. I have a round one now and I use it for everything, but I love to bake artisan bread and can’t ever bake more than a couple of little loaves at the same time for fear of them falling off the edge or melding into one.
    And why I love baking? It’s one of the few things I do that feeds my mind, spirit and body (and my family’s bodies…and my farmers…and my neighbors…and anyone else in smelling range when fresh bread comes out of the oven).

  81. I’ve been reading you blog for a while and just love it. I find baking bread, or anything with yeast, facinating. The feel of it in my hands, the smell… delightful. You are right – I wouldn’t think of baking bread without a stone anymore. My daughter bought one for me as a gift about 2 years ago. Even though I use it often it is a small one. I would love to have one sized for my oven. I’ll be anxously awaiting the reveal!
    LuAnn

  82. I’m one of those who keep buying the cheap terra cotta stones from the building supply stores and ending up with several pieces in the oven I need to keep pushing together so the pizza dough doesn’t fall through : ) I’d love a new stone, but if I don’t win it, I’m heading over to Firmament to see how expensive they are, their stone sounds fantastic.

  83. Sorry, that should be Fibrament!

  84. I love to bake bread because even failed experiments are usually edible. Six months ago, I started baking bread after a night out–alcohol seems to have made me fearless of yeast. I stopped at a Whole Foods on the way home, bought 3 different kinds of flour and some yeast and began Bittman’s Whole Wheat No Knead. Unfortunately I did not have instant yeast and the resulting bread was a delicious brick. The next time I was at Whole Foods I bought a one pound bag of instant yeast and I’ve been using it up teaspoon by teaspoon since then!

  85. I have just begun baking bread and I love the fact that a few ingredients can come together to create such wonderful things. So many emotions! The anticipation – did I do in right? Will it rise? Yes! That almost instinctive feel of the dough when forming the loaf. The aroma of baking bread, that just says home. The satisfaction of a beautiful presentation from the oven. The crackle of the crust as you cut into a new loaf. Ahhhh, what could be more fulfilling than to create lovely loaves for your family? Oh, yeah, and this stone in my oven would be great too!

  86. Wow! 85, and the week isn’t even over! Thats a pretty good response.

    Not to put my name in twice (unless it counts!! hint, hint!) but, I was thinking about stones as my morning muffins cooked. Would quick breads like scones and muffins cook better on a stone????? I’d like to test it. I’ve one pan that cooks muffins different than the rest (not counting cast iron pans which are in their own special category.)

    Still don’t envy you the choice, but pulling for the stay at home dad who bakes with his kids and blogs about it. Hint, Hint!

  87. Bread rules! Bake it right.

  88. Baking gives us a high and we feel more relaxed as the smell of bread fills the air. And we always bake together. Dunno why. But I hate baking alone. I’ve never asked him if he minds baking alone though :)

    I’d love that stone too!

  89. I think it’s genetic, I love to bake because my great-grandfather was a baker in Italy. I love it, I bake almost every day.

  90. I’m relearning to bake in an 1897 woodstove. It would be great ot even out the heat.

  91. I’ve been using unglazed quarry tiles for about six years and like the results. However, I’m ready to LOVE the results with a Fibrament. I’m baking about 25 loaves a week out of my home oven and my colleagues at work are ecstatic!

  92. I love to bake bread because it tastes so great and I can control the ingredients. I know it won’t be too salty or sweet.

  93. Bread baking is an elemental joy in the kitchen. It’s hard to beat the aroma, flavor, and texture of homemade bread. And there’s love in every bite! ~~Rhonda :)

  94. Bread baking has been my quest ever since I was 8 years old and my mother took a class from the local park and recreation department. She only made “straight” dough white bread, but I thought it was the best I ever tasted. Sadly, she only made bread once or twice a year.
    Since then, Ive been in a quest to find the perfect loaf. I’ve been through fast rises, slow rises, and even wrangling my own yeast (thanks to your blog). Every single loaf has been been a wonder of discovery and experimentation. Plus you get to eat the results. What’s not to love?

    I am on my second stone. Neither of which seems to be as wonderful as yours. I’d love one that was “right sized” for my oven.

  95. I live to bake — to take many individual items and work with thej to make something wonderful,

  96. I don’t bake, but my boyfriend does. Lately he’s been in a bit of a slump (fluctuating job hours, exhaustion) and has been really sad that he hasn’t been baking as often. A new stone could be just the boost he needs!

  97. For me it’s the smell, the sight and the taste of freshly baked bread.

    Coming back from a hard day at the office – especially during these turbulent times – alone the smell of fresh bread in the house and I can relax and forget everything around me for a few moments.

  98. this is one great looking stone. I have one that is thinner and have been thinking about getting a thicker one.
    One of the reasons i like to bake is… well, i am German and i like my bread with crust. If that is not reason enough (grin) than another is that i also like to know what is in my bread and the ingredients list of store bought bread is quite scarry. The third reason is that i also want to instill in my two boys that much of what we eat can be made at home (or grown) and does not have to be purchased. to many kids have no idea how to make real mashed potatoes or how t bake bread. If we don’t teach them than who will and what will happen to the generations to come when that bread baking skill might would ones again come in handy?

  99. I have been baking since my mom started me 50 yrs ago. Still love to try new things in the oven.

  100. I know the Fibrament stones are 3/4″ thick – most other baking stones for the home baker are at most 1/2″ thick. So…I have a QUESTION for you…

    ? how long does it take the Fibrament stone to heat (plus, how large is your oven shelf) ?

    (Ooops, guess that was 2 questions. Hope you have time to answer at some point. Thanks)

  101. I’ve been using a circular Pampered Chef stone for over 10 years but would love to have a larger stone so that I can bake more than 1 loaf of bread. Bread baking is one of my favorite hobbies. It makes the house smell absolutely wonderful & the taste is pretty good too. Thanks for giving us this opportunity to win a stone & thanks for your great website!

  102. I would love one of those stones! I’m a beginner baker and I’m learning to bake so I can put yummier and healthier food on the table for my family to eat. I’m enjoying the process and have become addicted to baking, it’s become my happy place. I find it relaxing and always feel better after a beautiful loaf comes out of the oven. I love your blog!

  103. I’m currently using unglazed 4X8 quarry tiles. However, they’re very thin in comparison to this wonderful stone. We’re about to move to Toronto and would love to start my bread life there with a new stone! Thanks, Susan, for all that you have done to enhance my addicti…er, hobby.

  104. . First adventure in baking bread: 30 years ago, Tasajara Bread Book, with designated dish pans for prep!, serious bread baking!
    . Next: children, less time, less bread baking!
    . Next: employment, less time, no bread baking!
    . Now: retirement, craving connections with the ‘too far away’ children and their requests for “a good crusty bread and soup” on their visits home. The stone would be a great fulfillment toward their request. From their memories, “home is the aroma of freshly baked bread!”

  105. As I’ve mentioned before, you have inspired me to do more bread baking this year. I am baking a new bread every week (and enjoying the results)!

  106. For me, baking is something I do to center myself — when I am mixing and measuring, working to create something that can be enjoyed by others, I feel peaceful — and a bit excited in anticipation of the outcome. I bake to create.

    Jane

  107. I’m an addicted sourdough baker, had a small oven with a 12 inch paving stone (from Home Depot), just moved and have a regular size over, so it would be great to have a bigger stone to keep my addiction going – my coworkers will be happy too!
    Love the blog, love the bread, love the photos, love the advice and techniques!

  108. I love my pizza stone, but it’s thin and only big enough for a medium-size pizza. Bread-baking is the one thing I’d like to excel in, in the kitchen — all the rest is extra.

  109. I was getting set to buy a baking stone I will wait a few more days for this outcome. Thanks!

  110. I love using a baking stone and I too have gone through a few. I have had several that were too thin and cracked on my grill (we also use them on the grill for pizzas). I currently have a decent sized one, but I wish it were bigger so I could fit a few more loaves on it.

    I love to bake bread because it’s makes the people in my home happy. There’s just something about homemade bread that says, “I love you”.

  111. Thanks for the link! I’ve been looking for a baking stone for a while, but my local baking supply store doesn’t carry them. I can’t wait to check out the one you have! Thanks.

  112. I just made my very first loaf of bread a few days ago. I think I’m addicted. This sounds like an awesome baking stone. Thanks

  113. I am already a happy camper….I get that way each time I read your latest post. BUT…Oh, how I would love to win this beauty!

    Thanks so much for posting your video, Susan. A year ago I would have just rolled my eyes and taken out the back door if someone had told me a wet dough could be ‘man-handled…er..lady-wrangled’. But today I am living proof that folding and resting are the keys to success when playing with my food..er..dough.

    As always…I LOVE your work. :)

  114. I love to bake because it relaxes me. And not only that but it saves me money and my bread is totally heallthy because I know what goes into it.

  115. I love the idea of a custom fit stone! I love to bake because the smells of baking make a house into a home.

  116. Your blog is such an inspiration! I love baking and trying new recipes and techniques. I have been wanting a baking stone for years, but haven’t had the funds to purchse one. It’s definitely on my Christmas list this year.

  117. Oh My! What an incredible opportunity, one I certainly can’t pass up. I have only recently gotten wrapped up in this blog. I am a baker at Great Harvest Bread in Iowa, and as we have experimented with a new sour dough, have been disappointed with our results. I began reading your blog and gained so many tips and pointers on how we could improve our bread. Today I am making my first sour dough at home following many of your suggestions. I don’t yet have a stone, but that will be next on the kitchen must-have list! Thanks for all the knowledge you have given to the home baker!

  118. I love almost everything about baking bread, from the tactile feel of various textures that different doughs take on when kneaded, to the smell of a nicely browning loaf in the oven, even the bread soup that I end up making with the inevitable stale ends of loaves. I like that it’s less expensive than purchased artisan bread, and much higher quality than standard grocery store bread (at least where I live). Mostly though, I think I just like doing it for myself, and getting to eat the results.

  119. Thanks for the post about the baking stone. I’m going to have to look into getting one of those. As for my response to why I bake or like to bake . . . it’s cheaper than buying things already made, the results are fresher and contain natural ingredients. I’m mainly a self-taught baker. My mom didn’t bake, but I’ve been experimenting with many different things. Since we got a KitchenAid for our wedding, I’m more apt to making homemade bread. The KitchenAid does all the work! Next purchase for this endeavor will be the baking stone.

  120. Oh awesome – I’ve been wanting to get a baking stone for a while now, I was considering the terra cotta tiles but I didn’t know much else about the actual process once they go into the oven, so thanks for this post ;) it was really helpful!

    I love to bake because bread is the best thing ever invented by man, ever. Ever. I have intermediate experience when it comes to the art of baking bread, I’ve moved from simple straight doughs to three-day preps and hearth methods (though for these I’ve been whipping up some ghetto-tastic contraptions because I lack both a baking peel and a stone.) The baking stone looks awesssooome – pick me pick me!

  121. Great giveaway! I would LOVE to have a baking stone. I’ve been baking bread for almost one year now, but I’m still not quite able to get the oven steamy enough for that perfect crust, and oven spring can be inconsistent. At least the stone would help with ONE of my problems. :)

  122. I love baking because it makes the whole house smell so yummy. And when you walk in the door and there is something baking it make you so happy to be home.

  123. I’ve been a baker since I was about 11 years old. It’s one of my creative outlets, and it’s something that brings me back to memories of my mother’s kitchen. She was also a baker, and my inspiration, and I feel closer to her when I’m baking.

  124. I love to bake and give my family wholesome bread without breaking the bank. My current stone just broke. I’m crossing my fingers. Pick me! Choose me! Seriously;)

  125. Oh how I miss my baking stone… We moved ourselves half way across the country a year and a half ago and left the stone in the oven of the house. I keep meaning to get a new one, but other things keep getting prioritized before baking stones. I really miss having one. I haven’t tried baking with steam yet and I’m waiting to do so until I have a baking stone.

  126. I love to bake bread because I like to beat the heck out of the dough. I can channel all my frustrations into a productive task and make something comforting and beautiful.

    And I’m a glutton for bread.

  127. We have been bakers on-and-off again for the twenty years we have been together. About a year ago we heard a guest of The Splendid Table public radio show describe an artisan bread recipe that takes only minutes to prepare. Since failing at low-carb diets, we have a heightened appreciation for bread. Not just any bread, but that with really crusty exteriors and flavorful, chewy, moist and bubbly interiors. We gave the “five minute artisanal bread” a try and have since rarely been without a loaf in the house. The dough makes incredible pizza, too. We have learned that home baking doesn’t have to be a time-intensive task and that there is no store-bought substitute for the flavor, aroma, and texture of home baked bread.

    As for the stone, it is essential for a good crusty loaf. I had a stone that I foolishly wiped off with a damp sponge when it was still warm to the touch. POP! It shattered. I shop second hand stores for most houseware items and did not find a replacement until we were visiting friends in Seattle, WA. There, I found a stone with Mickey Mouse embossed on one side. I lugged that stone in my luggage from Seattle back to our home in Wichita, KS. The size is small and I don’t understand the mouse thing, but it works.

  128. I just retired and want to get back into baking bread. I would love the to have a stone to bake on.

  129. I love fresh homemade bread.
    I’ d love to have a really good baking stone in my oven.
    LET IT BE!!! LET IT BE!!!

  130. Bread baking does not require much equipment.
    It is both relaxing and therapeutic working the dough.
    Dough is alive, bread is the result of baking it.
    The fragrance while baking will make you hungry.
    It’s color is warm and inviting.
    It can not be any fresher than when you remove it from your own the oven.
    Feeds you and your family, while you strive for the perfict loaf.
    It will make you many friends.
    And yields great satisfaction.

    There are many worthy entries posted,
    maybe more than one will be given out.

    Carl

  131. I don’t know how I’d manage without my baking stone now, it’s so very well used and so useful. I have however just invested in a perforated stainless baking tray from a professional bakery and it’s supposed to be great for bread rolls and baguettes – we will see.

  132. I love to bake because it calms me and homemade bread tastes good.

  133. For months, I have been talking about getting a baking stone. With my current budget, it would have to be one of the cheap kind, but I would love to have a real one for my really lousy oven.

  134. I love to bake, and want to start baking bread regularly. A landlady of mine used to bake wonderful bread for the whole house in an old-fashioned gas oven, and she used a stone. I’ve always wanted one! Thanks for the give-away!

  135. I come from a long line of bread bakers. I know my great grandmother, mother (Yes, it skipped a generation), brothers and sisters and, now, neices and nephews all bake. While my mother never dreamed of using a baking stone, I used mine all the time. I usually left it in my oven just to smooth out the temperature fluctuations. Then mine broke. While I still use it occasionally by putting the pieces (2) together, I would love a new (and improved) one.

    BTW, your blog is now one I check almost every day. I’ve just got my starter going good and am have made the English Muffins. So Good!

  136. Just added you to my reader – I am going to be spending a lot of time here, I know!

    I just got a new double oven and a new baking stone would make me *very* happy. :-)

  137. I started baking sourdough this summer and I’ve been wanting a stone ever since. My roommates go crazy on the nights when I bake bread. It’s been a few weeks, I hope I have time this weekend. :)

  138. I love to bake because it is a creative outlet for me. I do knit but then there is the need to eat and I like to eat good tasting food. I had to learn to bake also because I was the oldest of 7 sibling (the youngest was just 10 1/2 yrs younger). We had to make some things and this was a way of entertaining ourselves as we were gowning up.
    I have begun to bake with my little nieces and nephews who love being in the kitchen with me making things.

  139. I love to grind my own wheat, and make fresh bread because it’s healthier, and tastes awesome!
    It’s one way I like to make my family feel special.

    I’m sure it would taste even better baked on that wonderful stone!

    Sharri

  140. Wow . . . I hadn’t heard of this. I use two standard 1/2″ stones (well marked from years of use) and would love to give the Fibrament a try. If nothing else, I’ll try stacking my stones and see what happens. Thanks, Susan! I’m always inspired by your site.

  141. That baking stone sounds wonderful! I’ve never baked with one, but I enjoy making breads and cakes at home for my friends and family. It also sounds perfect for pizza crust.

  142. Oh dear. I think it’s gotten to the point where I’ve been obsessing with bread for more than a year and a half, and still no stone! (Or a starter, for that matter!)
    I’m a geeky grad student through and through, but who cares about research lab experiments when you can whip up baking experiments at home and EAT THEM afterwards?

  143. I love baking because it saves me money! I recently lost my job and every little bit helps :)

  144. Is there anything better than the smell of bread baking – well maybe cutting a piece of it when it is still warm and putting orange marmalade on it for a snack – heaven is nice warm bread with a good crust and marmalade ;)

    And not only is homemade pizza baked on a stone better than any you can buy but it has just what you want on it and costs a lot less than pizza from a pizza place.

    oh and calzone, and pita bread, and english muffins – the things you can do with one nice baking stone.

  145. I love baking because, firstly, it gives me something to do. I feel accomplished when I finish, and when somebody I care about LIKES what I’ve made. It’s also great to see what my mother (A woman with a culinary degree.) and grandmother (Who’s been cooking for over 40 years.) think of the things I can make, as well. To be honest, I sort of like the chemistry nerdy part of it, too and to just test my limits and learn something new. :D

  146. Oh I am so jealous of your baking stone. I can only find glazed tiles in the store and any baking stones sold are way too expensive and way too small for the breads I bake. My favorite is a smoked gouda and guiness bread. I would love to have a baking stone of my own for making naan, pizza, focaccia, and my current goal – ciabatta!

  147. I love making pizza doughs, ever since I discovered overnight rising about 4 years ago I’ve been on a bonafide pizza making tear.

    It’s tons of fun hunting down different sourdough strains and reconstituting them, playing with different salts and sweeteners, and seeing what flavors I can add to the dough that compliment the toppings. I’ve hunted down a dozen different clones, studied stretching and shaping techniques on youtube, and read just about everything Tom Lehmann has ever posted on the internet.

    Even when I screw up the pizza is edible, it’s such a great, forgiving way to ease into baking… and when I eased in I loved the results so much that I kind of got stuck.

  148. A custom size stone would be great, apparently from the information I have read here, my oven is medium at best. Darn! The folks that owned the house before must not of cooked very much, can’t wait for it to wear out/break down/or disapear!!!!!

  149. My mom loves to cook, and baked homemade bread for myself and my little brothers all through our childhood. Now, as a young adult, I’m in the process of establishing my own home. I’ve kept the eating habits Mom instilled in me (healthy, homegrown, homemade is best!) but on a fledgling budget in the current economy, my cooking and baking is often of the “best I can with what I’ve got in the cabinet” style. Still…I try to make at least a loaf of bread weekly, it’s better tasting, more healthy, and I can make at home breads I can’t afford to “splurge” on at the grocery store. A stone like the one you’re describing would be a much welcome addition to my kitchen!

  150. I am currently reviewing my recipes in order to make cookbooks for my three granddaughters, ages 13, 11, and 9 to eventually have. Many changes have occurred in 51 years of cooking and baking, and I consistently run into recipes I want to use again now! I had looked for potato bread and found one in Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book I had used 30 years ago; then I found one for potato rolls in my mother’s box of recipes just sent me by my brother. Then, of course, I start reading the blogs and wow!!

  151. I am a foods and nutrition teacher who used to have a stone (it broke) and loved to make homemade pizza and breads for my family, just not the same on a metal sheet. I have been researching more about bread making for my students and realize the critical importance of a quality baking stone to a really great bread or dough. I would love to teach more about the money saving, health benefits, and pure joy of home baked bread to a new generation. Unfortunately, the income of a public school teacher leaves little room for expensive luxuries such as $80-100 stones. Thanks for considering my plea.

  152. Love to bake bread – love the smell, the taste, the control over ingredients, the experimentation, and the product!

  153. Yes I would love a stone! What a great giveaway. I just found this blog from 2 silos farm.

    Thanks!
    Donna

  154. I’ve baked since I was a little girl. Which means that I’ve been baking for 40 years. It’s been one of the ways that I’ve kept my brood well fed economically. Since the kids are launching out on their own now, it’s really nice to have homebaked bread when they come home for meals. I’ve not cooked less, I’ve simply shared more, with friends and family and folks who need it more than we do. I’ve never had a stone like that before… I can see it’s merits.

  155. Oh man count me in. I have learned so much from your blog. I love that title to the post, had me singing.

    You know Susan you are my new go to blog for bread. Between you and all the lovely Yeast spottings, I have one heck of a resource in you!

  156. I love baking hearth breads and have been using a thiner stone than this but would love to have a nice thick stone. I love your blog, thanks for all your hard work on it

  157. I was raised on homemade bread. Very fortunate childhood. My cousins would stop by on baking day and some would eat a whole loaf- it was only two slices the way they cut it. Yes, Mom was a very patient woman.

    I have tried to extend this to my kids. They are all grown, but what smells like home like fresh bread? And I can tell their friends think so, too.

  158. Ooh! I would love a stone but not actually for myself. I have a friend whom I’m slowly introducing to bread baking, and this would be the perfect treat to get her baking!!

  159. I learned to bake when I was in grad school, as it was a fantastic distraction from writing my thesis. Now, I still bake whenever I can, in particular bread, because it’s a very simple, satisfying pastime…and you can eat the results.

  160. I’ve seen those stones, but haven’t been able to afford them.

    I’d like to get my gear in bake more so that I control what chemicals and preservatives are getting into my food and body. Really need to cook from scratch much more in general, really.

  161. I love to bake because it gives me time to spend with my daughter. We both like to bake, so it is a love with both share.

    yzgirl4[at]verizon[dot]net

  162. Mmmm, your breads always look so fabulous! I am still in the process of perfecting a hearty, thick crusted bread and your blog always inspires. This is the first I’ve heard of baking stones but hopefully we’ll be able to budget some money for one soon.

  163. I just tried your melon pan recipe… it is great… then I stumbled unto this blog about the baking stone. I have been baking with baking sheets only up till now and I have to say I am most of the time somewhat dissapointed with the rise I get… I would love to try a stone…

  164. As a displaced New Yorker, I can’t get a decent enough bagel or pizza. Baking at home is cheaper than flying back.

  165. I love baking bread because I love eating bread and you just can’t get anything like a loaf of homemade bread in the store. If I had to give up either chocolate or bread forever, I’d give up chocolate in a second.

  166. The heavy weight, unglazed quarry tiles have worked well – recently have a begun to place tiles on a rack higher in the oven above the breads. Getting good results!

  167. I bake because I like creating, but basicly because I love eating. However bread it is a challenge because my bread never looks as profesional as yours. Maybe I need the Stone!

  168. I haven’t used one of these, but a good friend of mine raves about his all the time. I suppose I’ll have to cave and get one of these….

  169. I’m new to the baking world and primarily want to bake my own bread and pizza so I can stop wasting the plastic and packaging required from store bought foods. The mad scientist in me also wants to try many different types of breads to eat and share with my family.

  170. Why do I love to bake? It’s the best stress relief I’ve EVER found — especially kneading dough! and then you get tasty baked goods at the end of it. And there’s so much to learn and try out, I don’t think it’ll ever get old…

  171. Hi Susan, I love the title of your post. I like using a stone too, only I don’t bake with it, I SMOKE IT!!

  172. I haven’t received an email, but you haven’t announced a winner – so, can I still live in hope? ;}

  173. Hello Susan!

    I have to say – you’re a bad influence! I bought the scale you recommended (and love it) and I just purchased the Fibrament – can’t wait to receive it! I love that its so thick! Thank you for the recommendation!

    I should be in San Fran in the near future – I’d love to meet up! I’ll email you when I know more!

    ~Melissa

  174. Baking is such a completely soul-satisfying experience! Watching the dough transform into pillowy shapes, the smell of the product as it bakes, and taste is the ultimate reward. What more do you “knead”?

  175. Hi,
    I am planning to try out your Rustic Flax Seed-Currant Bread soon… and I was looking for your steam method recommendations when I saw this post. I have pretty much the same stone you have you but I was wondering what you have in the bottom of the oven… are those lava rocks on a sheet pan? for extra heat? are they on the lowest shelf? where do you get them? very interested. Thanks Julie

  176. Hello,
    Many years ago I use to bake bread but it was very time consuming. Had to go back to work outside of the home and found out about the 5 minute no knead breads. I know you have already given the free stone away, but I thought I would take a chance to see if you were giving another one away in 2010.
    Thank you for your time.
    Janet

  177. Hi I just wandering wear I can get good baking stone for my bakery oven in Melbourne ??? If any can helpe me please .

  178. I baked my first loaf of bread today. It was edible but not remarkable? I wanted to start with a simple recipe for my first try. Now that I’ve taken the first step, I’m ready tog begin my journey. A few years ago, I gave up wheat by choice as part of my personal experiment to reduce inflammation in my body and carbohydrates. I missed the smell and taste of sourdough and artisan bread. Recently, I discovered einkorn, the ancient wheat our ancestors used before wheat became hybridized in its current form. I’m hoping to make bread using einkorn. I hope you will consider me for the baking stone.

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