Homemade Crispy Pizza Using a Pizza Stone


The secret to making the perfect crispy pizza at home lies in a pizza stone

If you want to make the perfect crispy pizza at home, you’ll want to add this tool to your kitchen oven: a pizza stone. A pizza stone is a must-have tool for anyone who wants to make restaurant-style pizza at home. This simple and inexpensive addition helps transform your oven to mimic the conditions of a brick oven.

But first, what is a pizza stone?

A pizza stone is a flat slab, typically made from ceramic or cordierite, designed to fit in regular kitchen ovens. Pizza stones absorb heat easily and retain heat for a long time. The stone slab then transfers the heat directly to the bottom of your pizza base, resulting in a crispier pizza crust similar to how a brick oven cooks pizza. Pizza stones are also known as baking stones. The only difference is not all baking stones are pizza stones.

How to use a pizza stone

Generally, pizza stones transmit heat to the dough from underneath, which then produces a crispy bottom due to its porous surface. The tiny cracks and crevices from stoneware allow evaporating steam to escape and aerate the dough better compared to a metal pan. Smooth metal surfaces often trap moisture which leads to a denser and softer crust rather than one that is crispy and puffy.

Using a pizza stone correctly is easy but requires practice. Here are some of the best tips to ensure you always get the best performance and achieve a perfectly crusted pizza:

  1. Always preheat your pizza stone: The longer you preheat your pizza stone, the better it will perform. Preheating your stone properly will help to mirror the high-heat conditions of a brick oven. To preheat, place your pizza stone in a cold oven and turn the temperature up high or according to the instructions stated. The same concept goes when using the barbecue—be sure that it is cold when the stone slab is placed inside before preheating. A general rule of thumb is to preheat your pizza stone for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Use a pizza peel: A decent pizza peel lets you easily transfer your pizza dough onto your pizza stone. Sprinkle some cornmeal or flour on the pizza peel to create an instant non-stick surface so you can easily slide your pizza dough right off the pizza peel. If you don’t have a pizza peel, a wooden cutting board or a large rimless plate will do the trick.
  3. Pay attention as your pizza cooks: Pizzas cook faster on the stone than on regular pizza steel pans. The baking time varies for different pizza sizes and thickness. It usually takes about six to ten minutes to cook on a pizza stone. Another way to tell when your pizza is done is that the cheese would have been lightly browned, and the crust will be golden brown.
  4. Don’t forget flatbreads: You can bake more than just pizzas. Bake a variety of flatbreads, calzones, baked potato chips, naan bread, pretzels and more.

How to clean a pizza stone

As pizza stones are porous, avoid washing them with detergent or soaking them in water. Different manufacturers may offer specific guidelines. But, if your pizza stone is particularly filthy, there are a few ways to properly clean your pizza stone:

  1. Scrape stubborn burnt bits away with a brush: Once your pizza stone has cooled off, give it a brush with a pizza oven stone brush or a stone-safe or pan-safe scouring pad to clean the remaining bits off the surface. Clean it using circular motions to gently remove the burnt food.
  2. Wipe with a damp cloth: Using a gentle cotton cloth with a little hot water allows you to remove any remaining debris from the stone after scraping burnt remnants of food off it.
  3. Make a baking soda paste: If your pizza stone is still carrying a funky odour, clean it using a baking soda paste. You can make this paste on your own. Simply mix it with 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of warm water until it forms a paste. Then, apply to the affected area and scrub with a dish brush. Wipe down the stone again with a damp cloth.


Homemade Pizza Recipe

This homemade pizza recipe is perfect for all pizza lovers who enjoy a delicious and crunchy thin-crusted pizza. The recipe includes well-balanced ingredients that are full of fresh and tangy flavours combined.

To achieve a crustier pizza, we used a high-quality pizza stone from Emile Henry. The unique raised ridges allow you to make a golden, crispy crust and also prevent the pizza from easily sliding off the stone when placing or removing it from the pizza steel. The large handles make it easy to transfer your pizza from the oven/barbeque and serve it straight to the table. Plus, it also keeps your pizza hot throughout the time.

Cooking this pizza in the barbeque will give you that burst of smokey flavour. It’s the perfect recipe to whip up for a fun outdoor dinner party or just a casual get-together with friends.

Prep Time: 50min | Cooking Time: 10min

Ingredients:

The dough:

  • 170g / 1 cup type 55 wheat flour
  • 30g fine durum wheat flour
  • 4g / 1 tsp fine salt
  • 5g / 1 ½ tsp dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100ml / half a cup warm water

Topping:

  • 200ml tomato sauce
  • 5 slices of prosciutto ham (thinly sliced Italian ham)
  • 100g Mozzarella
  • 1 aubergine/eggplant
  • 10 black olives
  • Fine salt and ground pepper

Green Pesto:

  • A pinch of coarse salt
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 20g / 1 ½ tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 100ml / 3 ½ fl oz oil

Method:

  1. Heat the water in the pan until it reaches about 40°C / 100°F.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, durum wheat flour, and dry yeast in a mixing bowl.
  3. Pour in the warm water and olive oil and work the dough into an even, elastic consistency. Shape the dough into a ball and leave it to rest for 30 minutes under a cloth.
  4. Preheat the Pizza Stone on the barbecue for 10 minutes with the lid closed.
  5. Sprinkle flour and durum wheat flour on your work surface and roll out the dough.
  6. Pour the tomato sauce on top, spread it all over the pizza, and add salt and pepper.
  7. Cut the aubergine/eggplant into thin slices and grill lightly on each side on the barbeque.
  8. Arrange the slices of aubergine/eggplant, mozzarella, prosciutto, and olives on top.
  9. Make the pesto by placing the pine nuts in a blender with parmesan, garlic, basil leaves, olive oil, and coarse salt. Blend until smooth and drizzle over the pizza.
  10. Pick up the pizza with the pizza peel and slide it onto the hot pizza stone on the barbeque. Close the lid and cook for around 10 minutes. The crust should be crisp and golden.
  11. Remove the pizza from the pizza stone with the pizza peel. You can leave the dish on the barbeque if you want to cook another pizza straight away!

A good tip: You can replace the Prosciutto with king prawn tails.


Next Read: One-Pan Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Spinach Orzo


 





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