I recently procured a pizza stone, a concept that I was never really sure about. I mean, its just a big stone that your pizza sits on? Whats the big deal about it anyway? I just liked whipping up the dough and being done with it! So really, what difference does a stone make?
It turns out, a fair bit. A pizza stone really does change the crust a fair bit. The dough before the stone was softer and took longer to cook. Any pineapple that we placed on it would just soak into the crust and would add to cooking time. However, after adding the rock to the oven, the crusts became firmer, the pizza became much easier to hold over a plate. I would need a fork before, or some excellent hand dexterity in order to keep the whole thing from falling apart.
Now I've only experimented with the stone once or twice, so I don't really have all the tricks down yet, but here are some basics.
- You have to buy some cornmeal to place on the bottom of the stone. It helps with peeling the pizza off the stone. I also find it adds a good bit of texture
- Let the stone preheat in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Adding it straight to the oven can cause it to crack.
- Don't wash with soap! It will soak into the stone and leave a bad taste. Just soak and wash in warm water. It might stain, but apparently that's a natural thing to happen. And it adds character!
And that's basically it! The stone helps cook the crust cook quickly and all the way through. I cant wait to try out some more things with it!