What is a pizza stone?
A pizza stone is a method of cooking pizza which has been used for hundreds of years and certainly gives you the best pizza results. This is because it can hold more heat than a regular oven tray. It also distributes that heat more evenly, leading to a better, crispier pizza base and more even cooking.
What is a pizza stone made of?
A pizza stone can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as being made from a number of different materials. They are usually made from natural materials including:
How to cook with a pizza stone
When it comes to using a pizza stone, and getting the best results, follow these quick dos and don'ts:
- DO allow it to heat up before use.
- DO NOT preheat the oven when doing so. Your pizza stone should start in a cold oven as a hot oven may cause the stone to crack.
- DO set the over to a high heat of between 225°C and 240°C once the pizza stone is inside.
- DO use a paddle to place your raw pizza on the stone.
- DO NOT touch a hot pizza stone without safety equipment.
How to use a pizza stone in the oven to make a pizza at home
Making pizza at home using a pizza stone is really easy with these steps:
- 350ml of warm water
- 600g of plain flour
- 1tsp of salt
- 7g packet of dried yeast
- 50-60ml olive oil
- Combine your ingredients to create a dough.
- Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
- Cover a bowl in oil and leave your dough inside until it doubles in size.
- Make a tomato sauce by mixing together tomato puree, canned tomatoes and flavours such as onions, garlic, basil, and oregano. Alternatively, cheat with a pre-made sauce.
- Gather up some toppings. There are so many favourites to choose from like mozzarella, pepperoni, mushrooms and (controversially) pineapple!
- Once your dough doubles in size, roll it out.
- Add the sauce and your chosen toppings.
- Slide the raw pizza onto your preheated pizza stone in the oven.
- Cook for around 10 minutes or until crisp.
How to clean a pizza stone
To make sure your pizza stone continues working its best it’s important to keep it clean after every use.
- DO wait for it to cool before handling it.
- DO scrape off as much food debris as you can to prevent it from becoming baked on. A plastic or wooden utensil is best for this.
- DO NOT clean it when the stone is hot - not only might this cause burns or injuries but it may also crack the pizza stone.
- DO rinse a cool pizza stone with warm water.
- DO NOT use soap. Pizza stones are porous which means they will absorb the soap which could affect the taste of your next pizza.
- DO use a cleaning solution of equal parts warm water and baking soda to gently scrub burnt pizza dough and sauce from your pizza stone if needed.
- DO wipe your pizza stone with a clean, dry cloth once washed.
With this guide to hot stone cooking and cleaning you now have everything you need to start cooking pizza on a pizza stone with ease (and clean up afterwards).