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Old 04-08-2008, 10:24 PM   #1
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Cast iron skillet in place of pizza stone?

I prepared some biga and put it in the fridge with the plan of making some "artisan" bread Friday morning. The trouble is I can't find a pizza stone anywhere (I live in Japan) and the stones they sell in the DIY stores are much to thick and heavy. To get that crust I was wondering if anyone has substituted a cast iron skillet for the pizza stone?

Any suggestions are much appreciated.



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Old 04-08-2008, 11:12 PM   #2
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not sure about the cast iron but i know i've heard you can buy a thick quarry stone for flooring at home depot (not sure what you have in japan) for about 2 dollars and use that. i need to find out what kind... saw it on good eats the other night.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.....
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:42 PM   #3
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You could use what we use. Go to the garden center/hardware store and purchase a 16-inch clay saucer that goes under flower pots. Turn it upside down and use that as your baking stone.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:18 AM   #4
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my skillet is too small for the pizzas I make but I can see where it would do a good job
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:39 AM   #5
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I would ask you to please use caution using clay tiles etc., and even some stones found at discount stores. Some of them can contain lead and there is simply no way to tell. At the very least use a piece of parchment in between the cooking surface and your food. If it is intended for cooking and was manufactured in the USA, you shouldn't have to worry about lead content (should be stamped on bottom).

As for cooking on cast iron, I am sure it will do the job, but watch your time and temperature and know that cast iron doesn't "breathe" like stoneware does, so you may notice a tougher crust. Just don't overcook it and you'll be fine. Good luck!
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Old 04-09-2008, 06:12 AM   #6
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I cant find a pizza stone either, but one thing you can do to up the heat intensity in your oven is to line the edges with some special types of brick (there are a number of different kinds you can use). If you preheat oven with these bricks in for at least a half hour (usually longer, though), they will get very hot and release this heat which keeps the temparature high.
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:28 AM   #7
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The purpose of the stone is not only that it retains heat, but that it draws away moisture which will promote a nice crust. I do not think you will get that same result from cast iron.
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:38 AM   #8
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The only suggestion I can make is take a piece of dough and try it.
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:32 AM   #9
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If you go with one of the tile suggestions, make sure it is unglazed.
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:53 AM   #10
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If you have a enameled cast iron with a lid , you could use that , it would retain steam . I use it for no-knead bread as well as the 5 min. a day artisan breads. I do have a pizza stone but I find using the enameled cast iron with the lid does a nicer job on the bread.

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