Friday, February 14, 2014

Pizza Steeling, First Try

You may remember that I mentioned wanting to try the Baking Steel in my most recent pizza baking post.  Well, last week, I was honored and blessed to receive it as a "because-I-want-to" gift from a friend!

She'd told me it was coming, and the whole family was intrigued and excited.  I got a text from Princess Sassy while visiting my dad:  "Something came for you today.  It's not very big, but it's HEAVY.  Maybe your pizza steel?!  :-)"

Yep!  So, last Friday was its maiden voyage.

It didn't arrive looking like this... It was beautiful and clean.
I just forgot to take its picture!

I'd read and received a few tips about using the steel, but figured I'd start with the directions that came in the box:  Preheat the oven and steel to 500 degrees for at least 45 minutes, placing the steel on a rack in the 2nd from the top position in the oven.

Since the blogs I'd read, praising the stone, mentioned baking times like 5 minutes to a slightly charred pizza and a very noticeable "Pop" or quick rise of the dough, I was disappointed that our first pizza took over 12 minutes, and was still looking pretty white, and not at all puffy.  

The crust was very delicately crispy on the outside, though, and the family was declaring the Baking Steel a winner.

For pizza #2 I tried one of the tips I'd read most often... Turn the oven to broil for a few minutes, then back to bake, just before putting the pizza on the stone.  That, however, also didn't seem to improve browning, rising, or timing.

My crust was just not browning, especially evident around the edges on top.  I wondered if it may be the recipe.  Sugar in the dough might help it brown, but I haven't had to do that before.  Even though the dough rises nicely in the bucket through the week, boosting the dough with a bit of yeast might help?  Or maybe making sure to bring the dough to room temperature before baking?  I'm not sure.  

More testing to be done!!

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