Saturday, November 20, 2010

I ♥ my pizza stone!

A friend gave me my first baking stone...A gift she'd tucked away and never used.  It was destined to the same fate at our house, but about that time a thread started on the GW Kitchen Forum in which members shared the specifics of how to use one. It was too simple not to try. The keys to making it work are a hot, well-preheated stone and oven, and, for me, parchment paper .

Place the stone on the rack in the bottom position in your oven and preheat both the stone and oven for an hour at 475 - 525 degrees.  (You will have to adjust according to your oven and your personal taste...start with 500.) I start my dough and toppings after turning on the oven (Recipes coming soon).  About the time the pizzas are ready to bake, the hour has been used.

Some make the pizzas by placing the dough right on the peel, on top of a layer of cornmeal.  This wouldn't allow me to have several pizzas ready to go, and we usually make at least 5. (The kids like to make sure there'll be leftovers for Saturday's lunch.)  With the parchment, I can make the pizzas all at once, and they slide on and off the peel and stone so easily.  Parchment is meant to be used in oven temps up to 450 degrees, but if trimmed pretty close to the edge of the pizza, it will be fine for the limited baking time.

This brings me to advantage #1 of using the stone: Baking time.  We used to bake pizzas on cookie sheets or pizza pans at 425 degrees, for 20 minutes or more.  On the stone, a pizza is done in 6 - 9 minutes!  This fast turn-around time is popular with the kids...No waiting!

Advantage #2 is the great crust.  Crispy and brown, just a little chewy -  Like the best restaurant pies.  We used to give in and buy frozen and 'we-make-it-you-bake-it' pizzas all too often.  I can honestly say we haven't bought either in 3 years.  Our pizzas are too easy to make and so much better tasting.  We have become pizza snobs!  Pizzas baked at home this way are just better.


  1. I will use the tip about the parchment. My attempts transfer to pizza stone have been disasterous. I tried parchment before, but I didn't CUT it to fit. Great secret!

  2. I think that without parchment, I would've given up on pizza making after the first try, so I admire you for hanging in there! I owe the Kitchen Forum ladies for that tip. Once you tried the parchment without trimming and saw the charred and smoking corners, you probably would've decided to trim it, too. But I'm glad to share my trial and error discoveries.

  3. Today I bought parchment paper. I figured it was a good first step to pizza bliss.

  4. Especially if you already have a stone...Best wishes on blissful pizza!


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