cracked pizza stone
My pizza stone cracked in half while I was making bread today. When baking loaves I steam the oven with a pan of water on the bottom rack then I spray the oven 2X at 30sec intervals. The loaves come out beautiful. This was the first time I tried it with the stone. It was for French bread so it started at 500 and then after spraying I lowered it to 450. This process of creating a "hearth" oven at home is from numerous books I have on bread baking and they all call for steaming the oven and using a stone to bake on. Where am I going wrong?
Sometimes they just crack under normal use, but they are still totally functional if you can deal with having them in two pieces. Rapid temperature changes (including moving into or out of a hot oven) might speed the process. I am currently using a hand thrown glazed round one, and a cheap thicker one, and both are split, but work just as well for pizza as they always have.
I've done just what you describe for years with a pizza/bread stone without problems. I do let oven preheat at least 30 min, and if I wash the stone with water I air dry it or dry at low heat before hitting it with 500 degrees.
I did break a stone once into two pieces (by dropping it). I just put it back on the bottom rack, and set the new stone on top of it. The more masonry, the more stable the heat. Works great.
I dont' know if it would work but after my years of doing what you did, I'd try to return a stone that spontaneously shattered.