Saturday

Pizza Stones

If you are very serious about your homemade pizza, eventually you will look into buying a pizza stone. A pizza stone is a large, flat, unglazed stone that will help you make the tastiest home-baked pizza you ever ate.



Pizza stones must be cared for properly and used properly in order for them to give you years of service. The stone will "season" with use or you can rub a little oil on a clean stone now and then to help keep it seasoned and clean.

A pizza stone is porous, therefore it will absorb excess moisture from your pizza as it bakes, making the crust crispier. The stone also stays quite hot for some time after it is removed from the oven, which keeps the food warm.

A pizza stone must never be placed into a hot oven. Rather, place your pizza stone into a cold oven and then heat to the required temperature for what you are baking. Pizza stones are often used for other foods, like bread and cookies, they are very versatile.

Cleaning your pizza stone takes a little extra care. You must let it cool down and then you can use clean water or oil to clean off any remnants of food that may be encrusted. Never use soap. As mentioned previously, a pizza stone is highly porous, and will absorb the soap. You don't want soap-flavored pizzas in the future!

If you have a self-cleaning oven, some recommend leaving the pizza stone in the oven during the cleaning cycle. Then you have simply to brush away the ashes and it is clean without any effort.

Caution! Your pizza stone will be far too hot to handle with regular potholders, so its advisable to buy a set of wire brackets to hold it. You may be able to get a set of very heavy potholders, but most potholders won't withstand the heat of a pizza stone and you may get burned. Another option is to buy a wooden pizza paddle, which will slide under the stone and keep your hands far from it during removal.

Once you start using a pizza stone, you will never go back to ordinary pizza pans.