Pizza Stone: Pizza Stone Directions And Use
If you make pizza at home there are many ways to make them. The medium that you choose to bake your pizza on will make or break the quality of your finished product, your pizza! You know the deal: The secret of the pizza is in the crust! There are many ways to bake a pizza at home. There are aluminum pizza pans, there are multiple types of air bake pans and there are cast iron pizza pans for baking pizza at home. In my humble opinion the absolute best way to bake a pizza at home is buy using a pizza stone. This is the closest way to cook a pizza at home that will come out like the stone oven pizza at your favorite pizza joint! The pizza stone is your quintescential piece of baking equipment for making a pizza at home.
There are many kinds of pizza stones on the market today made by just about any manufacturer you can think of. So when it comes to wanting to get a pizza stone to bake pizza at home what kind of pizza stone should you go after? Naturally, I suggest that you don't skimp on quality. I mean if it's a difference of ten bucks between a run of the mill stone versus a stone with a long history of manufacture and quality I say don't squibble over ten measly bucks! I like my pizza stones to be on the thick side as the thicker the stone the longer it will hold heat. I also happen to think it's the best idea to buy the largest pizza stone that you can buy and I say this because if you are only making 10 inch pizzas and then the day comes when you want to make 14 or 16 inch pizzas you will need to buy another stone. Besides the larger stone are good for so many other things like calzones, stromboli's and other hot foods that cook great on hot stones. On the other hand when you are using the larger sized pizza stones you will have an easier time putting your foods on them as you have more real estate to work with! Just make sure that you measure you ovens interior to make sure the stone you buy will fit comfortably in it!
Pizza stones come in different sizes and shapes. The most common shapes are round and rectangular. I have one of each in my kitchen arsenal because I am just OCD like that! I use the round one most of the time to make my pizza's and believe me I make a lot of pizza's! I use the rectangular one for making a style of pizza called Sicilian style which is a square pizza I grew up eating in New York. The rectangular pizza stone has it's advantages over round pizza stones in that they are more versatile as they can be used for baking breads and of course different sized pies as well! The rectangular stone I have does not come with a serving rack as some of the rectangular pizza stones on the market do come with serving racks. I am not big on serving racks myself. I mean pizza stones get REALLY hot and if you decide to serve your pizza pie on the stone you can run the risk of getting burned and besides that, if you serve your pizza on the stone remember that it is still cooking while on the stone and you can run the risk of overcooking your pizza while it's on the rack! Yuck! Burnt pizza!
I stowe my pizza stones in my oven and that is were I suggest that you stowe yours! Storing your pizza stone in the oven will allow your pizza stone to have a long and useful life! You need to be careful with pizza stones because they are stoneware and they can be made to crack from improper use like taking it out of the oven and putting it in the sink with cold water will cause it to crack. Or taking it from the oven when it's really hot and putting it on the cold surface of your kitchen counter will cause it to crack as well. Dropping it will totally make it crack! Your best bet is to ALWAYS allow the pizza stone to heat up and cool down on it's own in your oven. Don't worry you can stowe pans and trays on top of your pizza stone if you need to these items will not affect your pizza stone.
Out of the two pizza stones that I own I use my round one most of the time to make round pizza's. I bought a 16 inch stone like the one above because it was just the right size to stowe in my oven at home comfortably. It's in the oven 24/7 and it is very well seasoned and has darkened with time. It works great! My pizza stones are some of my favorite things to use in my kitchen!
When you decide to make a pizza there is a method to the madness of using your pizza stone. The first thing that you will need to do is to heat up your oven as hot as you can. I think most ovens will heat upwards of 500 to 550 degrees. Make sure that you heat up your pizza stone for at least thirty minutes before sliding your pizza pie onto it. Now this assumes that your stone is seasoned. If your pizza stone is not seasoned then get it seasoned. The best way to season your pizza stone is to put a light layer of cornmeal or flour on the stone before your put your pizza pie on it. After a certainn amount of seasoning you will find that you won't have to season your stone for each baking of a pizza you do!
So go ahead and put your pizza together on your pizza peel or even a pizza paddle if you have one. In my humble opinion the better part of valor is to have a pizza peel because it will help you from burning your fingers and will help with keeping the mess down on your ovens floor when you use your stone. When you are done constucting your pizza masterpiece then go ahead and slide it onto your heated stone using your pizza peel and depending on your oven and the stone you use your pizza masterpiece will cook in about ten or so minutes! The amount of time that it will take for your pizza to cook will be in direct correlation to what your pizza stone is made of so it will be necessary to read the instructions that came with your pizza stone and follow them!
Now when it comes to the care and maintenance of your pizza stone in most cases washing your pizza stone with soap and water is not recommended. Most pizza stones being made of some kind of stoneware can merely be brushed off with a brush made with steel bristles. Over time your pizza stone will get darker and look like it is stained. This is normal and will not affect the performance of the stone. Now when it does get to be time to clean your pizza stone you might find that there is hard baked on junk from past bakings. This can be hard to bristle off even with a steel bristled brush. So what you need to do is use the heat of your oven to bake the baked on junk off! Get the oven hot and the stone hot and then be very carful and scrape off the baked on junk and you will be good to go! I hope you enjoyed this article! If you like to cook and I know you do then please visit my blog at http://www.richardblainesezcooking.com/ today for great recipes and information!
Image Credit- napoleangrills