Pizza is probably one of the most sought-after food in the world. Not only is it delicious, but it can also be made to fit anyone’s diet. From meat lovers to vegans, pizza can be made in a myriad of ways.
Of course, there's more to pizza than just the ingredients being used. That's why we wrote this quick read on pizza stones. Which is a critical component of pizza making, but not many people know about them.
What is a pizza stone?
A pizza stone is a baking stone designed for pizzas. It comes in varying sizes and shapes. It is made from natural materials which are typically unglazed. Unglazed materials are ideally chosen as they can absorb moisture.
We don’t want a pizza with a soggy base and having an unglazed natural material helps to ensure moisture is sipped from the dough. A pizza stone is typically half an inch to an inch thick. The most common materials used to create a pizza stone are clay, tile, firebrick, and marble.
It's effortless to use though it does take some time to prepare it first before using it for the pizza(you can find a full guide on pizza stones here). A pizza stone still needs to be preheated for at least 30 minutes before it can be used. It’s an extra step but the nature of the pizza stone makes up for it, and you'll know why in a bit.
Why Replicate A Brick Oven?
There are different methods in creating a pizza. However, why do people make use of a pizza stone to try still and duplicate the effect of a brick oven?
Firstly, there’s nothing wrong with using a metal baking pan. It’s just that a brick oven does a better job when it comes to making a delicious pizza. This is because of the very nature of the brick oven.
The brick oven has a higher cooking temperature, and this allows the pizza to have a better crust. The extreme heat radiates all around the stove allowing the pizza to cook evenly.
With the high temperature, pizzas are also cooked faster. After just 2 to 3 minutes in the brick oven, a pizza can be served. Wood-fired brick ovens give a unique smoky flavor to the pizza.
This just can’t be done in the kitchen. However, one downfall with this is that the flavor of the olive oil will be eliminated. Instead, olive oil is only drizzled over the pizza right after its cooked and before it is served.
The bottom line is, with a brick oven, you get a delicious pizza with a crust that’s soft, chewy and flavorful — none of that soggy crust that usually happens with a baking pan.
Benefits of Using Pizza Stone
The benefits of using a pizza stone is to replicate the effect of a brick oven.
While pizza stones do need to be preheated, it retains the heat. As it absorbs heat, the temperature of the pizza stone rises evenly.
This means that you get a tool that can stay hot for a long time while having that temperature evenly spread. As heat is uniformly spread across the stone, it causes the pizza to be cooked evenly.
As a natural material, a pizza stone is porous. This is the reason why a pie made with a pizza stone has a better crust compared to one made with a metal pan. Being porous, pizza stones absorb moisture thus creating a nicely browned and crispy crust.
Metal pans are not porous, and since moisture is trapped with the dough, it tends to create a soggy crust.
How to Use a Pizza Stone
Again, before ever laying the pizza dough on top of the pizza stone, preheat it for at least 30 minutes. Depending on the thickness of the stone, you might have to preheat your pizza stone for 45-60 minutes.
Additionally, pizza stones can break due to sudden temperature change so don’t place it inside a hot oven. Instead, place it inside the oven while it’s still cold so the stone can adequately adjust to the rising temperature.
Furthermore, to avoid the dough from sticking unto the stone, rub the stone with olive oil regularly. To do this, rub the olive oil to the stone until the sheen is gone. You can also use bread crumbs, cornmeal or rice flour instead of using olive oil.
Try Using a Pizza Stone Next Time You Make Your Pizza
The next time your craving for pizza and want to make a homemade one, go ahead and try making one with a pizza stone. See if it makes any real difference compared to that of a metal baking pan.
We hope you learned something new about improving upon your favourite pizza and good luck creating your homemade pizza using a pizza stone.
Written byAbel Ramirez