Learning to cook pizza at home is very satisfying and also…it’s fun!
While it is true that there are many different “types” of pizza and they really all have a different techniques involved, we believe that there is one thing that will make all your pizzas better at home.
Cooking your pizza on a HOT stone in your oven will produce the best pizza you can make at home. It is the BEST way to cook pizza at home.
You have probably heard a pizza stone makes good pizza, but if you have tried it, you might have been using it like a pan and putting it in the oven cold with the raw pizza on top. Or, maybe you warmed it in the oven but not enough.
But a problem comes up when you start to use a pre-heated stone…
How do you get the raw pizza, loaded with toppings, onto the hot stone in the oven?
A pizza peel and some parchment paper will do the trick. Or, you can probably just use a light-weight cutting board instead of a pizza peel.
Lay out the stretched out dough on a piece of parchment, or if you roll out your dough you can roll it out right on the parchment. Then cut the excess parchment around the crust. Parchment is not supposed to catch fire, but we like to trim the edges just to be safe.
Slide your pizza peel or cutting board under the parchment and use that to transfer it to the oven.
About half-way through the cook, reach in with tongs, grab the edge of the parchment, give it a quick pull and remove the parchment.
This method requires no cornmeal or flour under the pizza. But if you like that cornmeal texture/taste, you can skip the parchment altogether.
How hot should you preheat the stone?
Remember, the stone needs to be very hot so let it warm up in a 500 degree oven (or as high temp as your oven will go) for an hour.
When buying a stone, MEASURE the inside of your oven. If you prefer to make small pizzas to suit everyone in the family, TWO of these stones should fit side by side in the oven. Get four and you can probably make four 10″ pizzas all at the same time!
How do I make sure the toppings cook as fast as the crust?
For this, you need a little bit of experimenting. And it depends on how heavily you top your pizza.
First, cook your pizza for about 7-8 minutes until you lift up the crust with tongs and it is not too floppy and is partially browned.
Did your toppings get done? If not, try a combo of baking and then turning on the broiler for the last few minutes to get the toppings done to your liking.