We Tried the Made In Baking Slab
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Your kitchen is full of cookie sheets and cake pans, but do you have a baking slab in your cupboard? Find out what this new piece of bakeware is (and why you just might need it for better bakes).
When it comes to bakeware, I thought I had tried it all. I have an assortment of metal, glass and ceramic pans and a serious Bundt pan collection to prove it. But then I saw it, a brand new piece of bakeware: a ceramic baking slab.
For an avid baker like me, I knew that I had to try this porcelain baking slab the second it hit the Made In website.
What Is a Baking Slab?
While I knew I wanted to try this new item right away, I definitely found myself asking so what is a baking slab exactly? as I added it to my cart.
This Made In baking slab is essentially a 15x10x1-inch pan (that’s what many bakers call a jelly roll pan) made of porcelain. Porcelain is known for its conductivity. It gets hot and stays hot.
A pan like this can be used to make slab pies (that’s a gimme) or flatbreads like focaccia. You can also use this pan like you would any other baking tray for cookies and bars—provided the bar recipe calls for a 15×10 pan.
How I Tried the Made In Baking Slab
Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home
While I love pie, I love bread even more. That’s why I skipped the pie recipes (though I did bookmark this Cherry Plum Slab Pie for later) in favor of my go-to focaccia recipe to give this baking vessel a try.
Because the baking slab is larger than the 13×9 pan called for in the original recipe, I decided to make a batch-and-a-half of this focaccia. It requires a little math, but overall, adjusting recipes for different pan sizes isn’t too hard (especially with a calculator). I also added a handful of chives to this recipe because they are popping up like crazy in my herb garden! After snipping my herbs, this dough came together in a flash.
Now, bread baking gives you an awful lot of time to think between the kneading and the proofing. Somewhere between the first and second proof, I wondered if this porcelain dish would make a difference; after all, focaccia made on my Nordic Ware baking sheets always tastes good to me.
But I persisted and put in the bread to bake. After 22 minutes, I cracked open the oven and was delighted by the color of the focaccia. But a perfectly browned top isn’t the only signifier of a good bake. Before the olive oil drizzled on top even had time to soak in, I cut myself a generous wedge to see what was going on inside.
Pulling the piece up from the pan, I noticed that the inside was super tender and loaded with of plenty of chives. The unexpected surprise here was how perfectly golden and crispy the bottom of this loaf was. I’ve never had that with previous iterations of this bake and it was very much welcome.
While I’ve made plenty of loaves of this bread before, I can say without a doubt this was the best one.
The Details: Made In’s Porcelain Baking Slab
Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home
While you know that I loved this porcelain baking slab, there are a few things you may be curious about before adding it to your cart.
One major win for this baking slab is that it’s not only designed for bakers but by one of the country’s most acclaimed bakers: Nancy Silverton. As a chef, James Beard Award winner and cookbook author, Nancy is the authority on baking. I trust that she and Made In, a company known for high-quality cookware, knew what they were doing when they designed this slab.
The slab is made of French porcelain and is oven-safe to 650ºF. It weighs just over five pounds, but the easy-grip handles make it easy to lift out of the oven.
What I liked about the Made In Porcelain Baking Slab:
- This is a beautiful piece of kitchenware and would make a great gift for your favorite baker
- The quality of crust you can get with porcelain bakeware is unmatched
- A baking slab works so well for bread, pastry and pie; if you bake any of these regularly, you’ll enjoy this piece of bakeware
- This baking slab feels lovely to use and is surprisingly easy to clean
- You’ll never go back to a sheet pan for slab pies; this pan gives great crust and looks pretty on the table
What I think you should consider before buying:
- At $99 this is an expensive piece of bakeware
- This isn’t a great all-purpose piece; it’s phenomenal for slab pies, pastry and bread but not a great fit for casual bakers that typically stir up drop cookies and brownies
- The baking slab is large—not a good fit for folks that prefer to bake for two
The Bottom Line
In the end, I’m so happy that I took a chance on this baking slab. The porcelain surface really has done wonders for my bread and pastry game. My focaccia is better than ever and slab pies look so tempting sitting on the kitchen counter cooling.
If you’re serious about baking (pastry and bread specifically) and your kitchen is already full of the essentials, I’d say this is a worthy investment. Avid home bakers will really enjoy this piece.
However, if you don’t bake regularly or your kitchen isn’t stocked with all the basics, this slab may not be for you—though you’ll certainly appreciate it when your baking BFF makes a treat on this slab to share.
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