One of the first things you need to bake great bread and even pizza is a good stone hearth.
Begin like this: Remove one of the wire racks from your oven. Measure it, it could have a dimension of,
for example, 18 inches deep by 22 inches wide. Subtract 1 inch from each side, now you have a
dimension of: 16 by 20.
Call a few kitchen counter manufactures in your area, ask if they sell “soapstone” You are looking for 2
pieces of “scrap” soapstone, and as in the above example, you will need 2 pieces of soapstone that have a
dimension of 8 inches by 20 inches X 1 inch thick.
(Your measurements may vary but you want a minimum 1” thick).
They need not match or be pretty; they can even have chips or small holes on the surface! Thus by asking
for scrap you are not paying top dollar.
The reason you want 2 pieces is that a one-piece 16X20X1 stone is too heavy to handle.
When you have found someone that will sell you the scrap soapstone at your requested dimensions make
sure they grind off the edges as they can be rather sharp.
The reason you want such a large stone for your oven and not the round commercially sold ones is
because a large heavy stone has more thermal mass than a small thin stone, therefore a large thermal mass
will give your breads a big push when you place the dough on the stone. And they are GREAT for
When I was in Peru I went to ACE hardware and bought a concrete paving stone that was about 24” by
24” and cut it down using a hammer and a screwdriver and it worked just fine but I don’t really
Another option is to build an Allen Scott Oven as we did in Gig Harbor.