Friday, February 26, 2010

Why bake on a Stone....

Tomato Basil Pie I made on my pizza stone (this recipe is in my archives)

-Pampered Chef Stones are superior, IMO...they are made in the USA.  To see their selection, click here. Baking Stones

Read on to learn to learn what is so great about baking stones!

Bakeries and pizzerias line their ovens with baking stones and bricks to absorb moisture and produce even heat. That's why their cookies, breads and pizzas always have that perfect golden color. YOU can enjoy the same perfect results at home with our exclusive Stoneware!
*Evenly distributes heat and draws moisture away from the surface
*Retains heat, so your just-out-of-the-oven foods stay hot longer
*No Presoaking needed before use
*Virtually nonporous, so it doesn't retain oils, odors or flavors
*Microwave-, freezer-, and conventional and convection oven-safe
For crispier pizza crusts, flakier pies, juicier roasts and tender chicken, use our Stoneware in your kitchen. Not sure which one's for you?
The Stoneware Fluted Pan will bake cakes to golden perfection but it’s also just what you need to roast a chicken in the oven. Just put the cavity of a whole chicken over the center post, rub the skin with oil, season as desired and place in the oven. The chicken will not only get golden brown on the outside, it will cook evenly from the inside. And all the fat drips away from the meat making it healthy as well!
The Stoneware Loaf Pan will make delicious banana bread but will also make the moistest meat loaf ever! And the same is true for the Mini Loaf Pan as well.
Trying to decide between Small, Medium and Large Bar Pan? The Small Bar Pan holds a Jiffy sized box of brownie mix; the Medium Bar Pan holds a regular box of brownie mix and the Large Bar Pan holds two boxes of brownie mix.
Did you know that 9” x 13” sized pans are the most purchased size pan in the United States? Remember, even if you have a glass or ceramic 9” x 13” baker everyone can use an extra Rectangular Baker because one is always in the freezer or refrigerator.
A Day in the Life of a Bar Pan
Bar Pan  talk:
This is the single most versatile piece of Stoneware that the Pampered Chef offers. Whether you love cooking or hate cooking, this stoneware is for you. To prove this point, let’s take the Bar Pan through a day in your kitchen.
Pancakes. Pour your batter into the bar pan and bake for 350º for 15-20 minutes. You will have a huge pancake that you can then cut into squares. You can even have your kids then use the Creative Cutters and make their own fun shaped pancakes. If you want to be fancy, use your Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer and lay apple slices into the batter and you will have the best Apple Pancakes.
Waffles. Easy, Easy, Easy, prepare them, lay them in the Bar Pan and bake as above.
Bacon! Lay bacon strips into the Bar Pan and slide into a 400º oven for 15-20 minutes and not only will the bacon be cooked, it wont shrivel up to nothing. No greasy stovetop!!
Toasted Cheese Sandwiches. Prepare 6 sandwiches just like you were making regular grilled cheese sandwiches. Place them in the Bar Pan and bake for 350ºfor 15-20 minutes. Whatever is happening on a Bar Pan on the top is happening on the bottom, so you don’t need to flip. By the time the Campbell’s Soup is ready to serve, the sandwiches are ready to eat.
After School Snacks~
Pizza Pull Aparts. Pour spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the bar pan, sprinkle on some mozzarella cheese and then layer on Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits and bake for 350* for 10-15 minutes. Just flip them out onto a platter and enjoy.
Mexican Pull Aparts. Pour Salsa sauce on the bottom of the bar pan, sprinkle on some cheddar cheese and then layer on Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits and bake for 350* for 10-15 minutes. Just flip them out onto a platter and enjoy.
Meats, poultry, fish, you name it. Sprinkle on any of the seasonings or rubs, and cover with foil. If you have a rectangular stone, flip it upside down and use it as a lid. In about 40 minutes, you will have the most succulent meat you could ever imagine.
Again, treat yourself to any of the recipes on the Use and Care card, they are great! If you are looking for something different, bake a cake in your Bar Pan. The surface is larger than 9x13 and it makes a perfect base if you decorate cakes. By the way, prepare a Yellow Cake mix according to the box directions and add 2 Tablespoons of the Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus and you will love the results. 2 boxes of brownie mix since there are never enough - divide into thirds and make 3 different toppings- Andres mint on top after coming out of the oven, peanut butter chips /chocolate, rocky road, marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts.- Yum!
This Bar Pan is a must have in every kitchen!

Here is a breakfast pizza we made on my pizza stone!

We make our own pizza more often than we buy it at a pizzeria!

A Little More About Stones

Stoneware has been used for baking for thousands of years! The Stoneware pieces offered by Pampered Chef are produced in the United States using the most advanced technology available which results in durable and dependable stones.
Our stones are hand finished and fired at 2000oF. They heat evenly, so your food will too. Stones retain heat, keeping food at serving temperature for about 30 minutes after baking. Pampered Chef stones season themselves as oils from the foods you prepare adhere to the surface. After a few uses a stone develops a natural non-stick surface and very easy to clean.
Our stoneware differs from others on the market in several ways. Red clay stoneware (known as clay bakers) is fired at lower kiln temperatures and is therefore more porous. Red clay require soaking in water before cooking. Glazed red clay doesn't require pre-soaking, but the glazing takes away some of the crisping and non-stick qualities. Other gray clay stones on the market may be manufactured differently, and may require preheating before use or be suitable only for non-fat foods such as bread and pizza crust.
A new stone is easy to season - bake something with a high fat content or spray lightly with oil the first two or three times you use it. Each use will enhance the seasoning process. Over time your stone will develop a deep brown color, usually more along the edges - the "badge of honor" for an experienced stoneware user.
Baking with a stone allows excess moisture to bake away from the food, producing crisper crusts and firmer textures. Bends and curves in metal bakeware create hot spots, which is why the edges of food tend to overbake (think brownies). The curved areas on baking stones will heat to the same temperature as the rest of the stone, eliminating this problem. Excess oil under food baked in glass or thin metal can cause "oil burns" on the bottom of the food. This is why cookies and biscuits sometimes burn on the bottom and many frozen foods come with instructions to flip halfway through baking. The even heating of stoneware prevents oil burns, so cookies will bake evenly and flipping frozen foods is not necessary.
There is no need to preheat a Pampered Chef stone. Simply preheat the oven before baking. Baking times and temperatures do not need to be adjusted for stoneware, with the exception of short baking times (less than 15 minutes). For these recipes, add 2 minutes to the time to allow the stone to reach oven temperature. (If you’re baking in batches, only the first batch will require the extra 2 minutes.)
Cleaning a stone is easy. Allow it to cool to room temperature, wash with hot water, scrape away any baked-on food and excess oil with a Nylon Pan Scraper or Kitchen Brush, rinse and towel or air dry.
The most important "caution" to remember about using a baking stone is to avoid thermal shock. Thermal shock occurs when the stone is exposed to an extreme and sudden temperature change. The stone’s Use and Care cards give you all the details.
Also remember to match the size and amount of food to the appropriate stone. Rule of thumb: two thirds of the stone surface should be covered with food.
And did you know...
Stones are freezer and refrigerator safe. A cold stone will keep food cold the same way a hot stone keeps food hot! Frozen stones should be thawed to refrigerator temperature before baking.
When baking cookies, form the second and consecutive batches on parchment paper, cut to fit the shape of the stone. Simply slide the parchment, with the cookie dough, onto the hot, empty stone and bake. (Parchment paper will not change the texture or baking time of the cookies.)
Foil may be used to cover foods while baking in stoneware. Do not line the stone with foil before adding food, however, because the foil would affect the desired properties of the stone.
Stoneware is microwave safe too. Foods will not become as crisp or brown, but it's great for hot dips and sauces.
Knives and pizza cutters may be used directly on the stone without harming the surface.
The decorative glaze on many of our Stoneware pieces does not alter the baking properties of the stones, because the inside and base are still unglazed. The glaze is easily cleaned with a paste of baking soda and water, if necessary.
If your stone is accidentally cleaned with soap, the soap may adhere to the seasoning layer. Simply bake a high fat food, such as crescent roll dough, on as much of the surface as possible, and throw away. The soap will adhere to the baked dough.
The best position for a stone in the oven is the second rack from the bottom, near the center. When using two stones in the oven at once, you may need to rotate them during baking. (If you’re baking in batches and both stones are hot, you probably won’t have to rotate them.)
Quickie Stoneware Ideas
«Reheat restaurant leftovers, such as fries (really!) and pizza at 350oF for 10-15 minutes. You won’t believe how well they turn out!
«Crispy Chicken Fillets - dip chicken breasts in egg. Coat with corn flake crumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake at 375oF for 20 minutes.
«Low Fat Fries - Toss potato wedges in 2 tsp. oil and favorite seasoning. Bake 20 - 25 minutes at 400oF.
«Quesadillas - place flour tortilla on stone. Top with cheese, veggies, meat as desired. Top with another tortilla. Bake at 400oF for 7-10 minutes.
«To warm tortillas: place stack of tortillas in Deep Dish Baker. Cover loosely with wax paper or plastic wrap. Microwave for 1 minute. Stone will keep the tortillas warm throughout the meal.
«Low-fat chips - cut pita bread in half. Slice open. Cut into wedges. Bake 8 - 10 minutes at 400oF. Serve with salsa or lowfat dip.
«Low-fat cinnamon chips - Brush flour tortilla with water, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Cut into wedges. Bake at 400oF for 5 - 7 minutes.
«Pretzel Ring Bread - Form breadstick dough into pretzel shapes. Place on flat stone. Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with salt. Bake at 350oF for 15 - 18 minutes.
«Hot Sub Sandwiches - Bake a Pillsbury French Loaf as directed on package. Slice sub-wise while still hot and fill with meat, cheese, etc. For a circular "party sub" pinch two loaves together at ends to form a circle before baking. Bread may also be topped with fresh garlic, etc. before baking.

Just toss some tortilla chips on a stone, some taco meat and top it with cheese and bake for 6-8 mins for a great tv snack.

To buy baking stones...visit my website

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