‘Stones’ are almost indispensable when it comes to home baking, especially bread. Most home bakers have heard this but are not sure exactly why. The complete answer is twofold.
Firstly, to produce ‘naked’ bread – baked without a tin – would mean baking on a tray. The dough has the tendency to ‘flow’ and flatten when baked on a tray unless the water in the recipe is reduced. That’s fine for some bread and rolls but for many it’s a reduction in quality since the water content has an influence on the crumb texture and of course the flavour.