Williams Sonoma Baking StoneMy baking stone is quickly turning into a Rorschach test, with blips and blobs that resemble all sorts of things.

When I bought it, it was a beautiful warm beige, a span of pristine ceramic that almost seemed too pretty to use. Fast forward to a few weeks later, after baking several loaves of bread and one or two less-than-successful pizzas on it, and it’s turning darker, thanks to some cheese drips, stuck-on bread loaves and other mishaps—and I’m learning the ins and outs of how to use it.

The blackness is a badge of honor of sorts—apparently many cooks aspire to owning black baking stones, which are virtually nonstick thanks to a dark patina of stains. As it is, it’s getting somewhat nonstick and easier to clean; after it cools, we scrape off anything baked on, wipe with a damp cloth, then back into the oven it goes for another baking session. In fact, I’m already resting the dough for a loaf of super easy wheat bread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and pizza’s on the menu for tomorrow night (come back soon for a recipe and photos!).

Do you have a baking stone? What’s your favorite thing to bake on it?

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