When it comes to baking, there is a lot that you will have to remember. Unlike most other forms of cooking, baking is incredibly precise with its measurements and the methods that you use to bake.
More often than not, if you miss your measurements even slightly, your recipe will not turn out nearly as good as it should.
For beginner bakers, this can be quite intimidating at first. However, once you get the hang of baking, you will get a good feel for when you can relax your measurements and when you can’t.
With that being said, when you are working with something new or unfamiliar, you may not know what direction to take or how you should handle things.
For example, you may not know what to do with your baking stone when you are working with pizzas. Some people recommend seasoning a baking stone to help give your pizza more flavor. Many people don’t season the stone at all, leaving it just the way it is when they cook their pizzas.
If you are new to the realm of baking pizza and you want to play things on the safe side, you may not be too sure which direction to take. One thing to keep in mind is that whether you choose to season your baking stone or not, you are eventually going to need to clean it off, unless you want the charred bits of flour to be the seasoning for your pizza.
Another thing that you should always pay attention to is the instructions and care manuals for the stone when you first buy it. You should always follow the guides offered by the sellers of the stone, as this will help you take good care of it.
Otherwise, it may be helpful to do some research on ways that you can keep your baking stone working for as long as possible.
What Is Seasoning a Baking Stone?
Seasoning a baking stone may not be what you think it is. Seasoning a baking stone is much the same process as you would go about seasoning a cast iron. The idea of it is that using the baking stone will make it much easier to use when you are baking the pizza.
Generally, a seasoned baking stone will be much more non-stick than it would be without the seasoning. The more that you use the baking stone, the more seasoned it will become.
Because of this, some people prefer to pre-season their baking stones before starting to cook their best dishes. This is not usually recommended, as your baking stone will get the best seasoning from being used for real cooking.
Using the baking stone will mean that bits of what you are baking will stick to the stone, covering it and turning it a darker color. You can also pre-season the baking stone to speed up the natural process of it, if you want to break in the baking stone as soon as possible.
The pre-seasoning process is incredibly easy and you won’t need much to get it done.
How Do You Pre-Season a Baking Stone?
To pre-season a baking stone, you will need an old (clean) towel, neutral vegetable oil, and an oven large enough to hold the baking stone. You will first want to wipe down the pan with a wet cloth, with no soap, just to make sure that there is nothing attached to it that would get in the way of the seasoning process.
From here, you will dry it off in the oven on a low heat so that you have a clean, warm slate to work with. You will then want to apply a very light coating of the neutral vegetable oil.
You can do this by using an old towel to rub the oil into the pan. Most people agree that towels will snag less on a new stone than paper does.
Once you have applied the oil, you will want to bake the stone at a medium-high setting so that the oil cooks into the stone, just as it would if you were cooking a pizza.
The idea behind this is that the thin layer of oil will make sure that the pizza won’t stick to the pan at all when it comes time to cook.
How Do You Season a Baking Stone?
The seasoning process is, quite literally, making use out of the stone. If you are particularly worried about the pizza sticking to the baking stone, then you can consider the pre-seasoning process.
Aside from that, all you will want to do is make sure that you properly care for the baking stone afterward so that unnecessary grime doesn’t build up.
There is a difference between the seasoning process and there being build-up from the pizza on the stone. Whenever you cook with the baking stone, you will want to take a light utensil to the build-up and scrape the parts off that stick out the most.
This will ensure that what remains is simply the seasoned part of the baking stone, and not residual food.
How Do You Clean a Baking Stone?
There are a few things to remember about using baking stones. For one, there are very specific rules about cleaning the stones, as using soaps can destroy the stone and make it unsuitable for cooking pizza.
The naturally porous nature of these stones will absorb the soap, leaving a residual soapy flavor that will never quite go away.
Rather than using soap to clean off your baking stone, you will want to use plain warm water. Warm water will remove any residue that is not a part of the seasoning process, ensuring that your baking stone remains clean and functional, but still receives the benefit of being seasoned.
If you want to take things a step further, then you can consider using a scrub sponge.
Once you do this, you will need to make sure that it dries thoroughly before you put it back anywhere near an oven or heat it up again. Heating up a wet baking stone can cause it to crack, rendering it unusable for cooking.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.