I adore my stoneware. After many termultous years using cookie sheets that eventually rusted, I’ve discovered the glory of a ceramic baking stone.
But let me back up.
My first experience with stoneware was with my clay bread pan. I obtained some sourdough starter at a workshop about canning through the Tarrant County Urban Homesteaders. I didn’t know anything about cooking with a live yeast culture until I got some and did a couple Google searches to read up about it.
My first couple attempts at sourdough bread were, eh, sub par. Everywhere I read about baking sourdough online, I was confronted with how wonderful stoneware was for baking bread. I knew I needed a loaf pan of some kind made of stone with a lid to help evenly heat/crisp the bread. Unfortunately, I was broke and could not afford even a $30 or $35 pan. So, to the thrift store I went and I found a gem — a German clay pan for about $3.
Thus began my love affair with cooking bread.
Recently, I traded a Chrismas gift I didn’t need for something I’d use all the time. I was able to pick out this ceramic pizza stone, which can be used for more than just pizza, with only a few extra bucks out of my own pocket. (I wouldn’t otherwise splurge on something this nice, at least not while the dude and I are trying to save for our wedding). I’m hoping my gifter won’t be too offended, because I adore this thing. I am getting a kitchen boner just thinking about it.
I used it to make biscuits from the last of my freshly milled whole wheat flour, which tasted amazing with fresh eggs I got from a neighbor and cooked sunny side up. He traded me a dozen eggs from his backyard chickens for a root cutting of a blackberry plant my mom has growing like crazy along her chainlink fence. Score and score. (More about my recent trading/bartering endeavors in another post, I think.)
Getting back to the point — stoneware — the only concern I have is that I’m going to break or ruin my lovelies. I read a couple of articles online about how high-fat baked goods aren’t good for the stone because the moisture/fat will be absorbed and cause smoking, burning and could lead to cracking. However, I’m not so hot about the idea of using tin foil or parchment paper to put between the cookies/biscuits/whatever and the stone.
I’d love to hear some advice about this, if anyone has any to offer.