Dear Home-Ec 101,
I am a new reader of your site and am convinced that you may be the only ones able to help me. I am pregnant and because of morning sickness and the fact that my husband does not think vomit adds to his dinner, I’ve had to leave him to his own devices as far as his supper goes.
He’s been doing remarkably well, until last weekend. He tried to make himself a pizza and rolled out the dough on powdered sugar instead of flour. When he put it on the pizza stone it burned horribly. After an inspired stream of expletives, he decided to try again. And did the same thing.
He did save some of the pizza to show me in the morning. As amused as I am about his pizza troubles, my baking stone is covered in a stinky black burnt mess. I scraped it clear, soaked it in hot soapy water, and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. The surface was still spotted black, but there were no bits stuck to it anymore. The brochure that came with the stone
said discoloration was normal.
My mother in law was on her way over for a surprise visit so I hid the offensive stone in the oven and thought I’d tackle it again with another hot soapy bath later.
That night, my husband pre-heated the oven with the stone in it. It obviously wasn’t clean enough. In addition to spreading a horrible burnt smell around the house, it also smelled like a burning pine forest thanks to the holiday scented dish soap I had used to clean it, and it steamed up the whole oven and set off the smoke detectors. That wasn’t enough to inspire him to pull the stone from the oven, or to use the other oven, so now the baked on burnt sugar pizza mess has been soaked and baked again. Of course, another hot bath did not make any noticeable improvement.
I’m worried it is hopeless and the stone is a complete loss (aside from the entertainment value of the two sugar pizzas).
Any tips you have about getting this crud out of my baking stone would be great!
Sugar and Spice
I hope you’ll forgive me for nearly falling off my chair laughing at your husband’s misfortune. If it makes you feel any better, I would totally do something like accidentally roll pizza dough in powdered sugar. Now, I’m not going to say your stone is definitely okay, but I lean toward it being okay.
The first thing you should know about stoneware is that you cannot use soap on it. It is a porous material and the soap sinks into the stoneware, possibly making your food taste like soap. So, if you’ve been using soap on it regularly, stop. The proper way to clean stoneware is to use a nylon scrubby or a plastic scraper and rinse it with very hot water. The hot water kills all the bacteria, so there is no need to use soap.
But every once in awhile your stone will need a deep cleaning. This is one of those times, haha. To deep clean your stoneware, make a paste of baking soda, salt and hot water. It should be about the consistency of toothpaste. Spread it thickly over your stoneware, lay a hot damp washcloth over it and let it sit overnight. The next morning, take hot water and use the paste to scrub your stoneware. That should take care of any smell and should cut down on any grease.
I hope it works out for ya, I adore my stoneware!