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Behind the Design: Baking Slab

Crafted just for Chef Nancy Silverton, here's what went into making this unique piece of bakeware

By Team Made In
Sep 24, 2021
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While Chef Nancy Silverton is most known for her bread baking, one of her favorite desserts to cook for guests is a Slab Pie. But the thing about Slab Pies is this: they are meant to be presented in the dish in which they are baked. This means that Slab Pies are presented in Sheet Pans—and so from a plating perspective, a glorious looking pie usually gets the short end of the stick.

Aesthetics aside, Chef Nancy just didn’t think any tools that existed were right for the job. So we designed one to her exact specifications, and worked with our French Porcelain Factory to bring her fantasy to life.

Creating the perfect Slab was a challenge our artisans were thrilled to undertake. While we had worked together on Porcelain Bakeware in the past, it was no secret that this shape was more unique and tougher to pull off. But we got it done. Here are three essential features of this unique piece of bakeware. 

Precise Dimensions

We started with the same specifications for a ¼ sheet pan, but soon realized that this wouldn’t cut it. While the depth  worked well, the length and width was lacking. After all, the best slab pies have a decent amount of filling in them. Noticing that the rest of our Bakeware was too narrow for our Baking Slab, we landed on a specific length and width—decided on by Nancy Silverton herself—that is perfect for Slab Pies and their stuffings.

Pure Porcelain

Our Baking Slab is made with French Porcelain, crafted from a 200-year old recipe, making it the highest quality ceramic out there. This material is perfect for this shape for a few reasons. Porcelain creates a natural non-stick surface, which allows your bakes to release easily, and is easy to clean. Porcelain is also thermal shock resistant—a quality Chef Nancy loves because it allows her to take her dough from the fridge to the oven.

Unique Handles

The first iteration of the Baking Slab had flared handles, like the rest of our Bakeware. But upon showing a prototype to Chef Nancy, we realized the handles wouldn’t be as effective for this piece. So instead, we designed handles that scoop under. Not only does this allow for an ergonomic hold, but it also allows for your slab pie crust to drape evenly over the handles, bolstering crust formation. Most importantly, it allows you to take the dish from oven to table, without touching the crust.

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