As a bread baker and pizza aficionado, I've had a real problem replicating the thick chewy crusts found in the best commercially produced artisan breads. And homemade pizzas, lacked that necessary crispness. Home kitchens just don't have the capabilities commercial ovens do.
A neighbor turned me on to bread/pizza stones as a way to lift my breads from ordinary to sublime. These handy bakers tools help your breads brown evenly and turn that lovely rich shade that says this is really great bread. The Sassafras baking stone is a 13x5 inch natural stone square. It comes with a metal lifting rack, a pizza cutter and an instruction/recipe booklet.
These stones need care when washing. Because they are made of natural materials, sudden extreme changes in temperature will cause the stone to crack or craze. You shouldn't use detergents or other cleaning agents on your stones. They are porous, can absorb the soaps and ruin the stone. Simply rinse off with hot water and gently wipe dry. The stones will darken over time, which is desirable for baking.
The Sassafras baking stone is microwave and induction oven safe. It won't scratch, so you can safely cut pizzas or breads without damaging the surface. Always preheat the stone by placing it rack and all in the oven. When it's hot, simply slide your breads or pizzas onto the stone and bake. We use them for takeout, bake your own pizzas too, and the difference is surprising. The pizzas come out tasting just like the wood fired ones found in good pizzarias.
These stones can with care last a very long time, making their $29.95 price tag a bargain. If your bread baking ventures have been frustrating and disappointing because of oversoft pale crusts, you owe it to yourself to try this great little tool.