Author Topic: New used a pizza stone  (Read 1641 times)

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Offline CaliforniaPizzaGuy

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New used a pizza stone
« on: October 17, 2005, 09:53:55 PM »
I have never used a pizza stone, and my pizza seem to be great, what are the benefits of using a pizza stone, i use a pizza screen and no pizza stone and my pizza has a nice crust and the bottom is done and delicious


Online Pete-zza

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Re: New used a pizza stone
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2005, 10:31:15 PM »
CaliforniaPizzaGuy,

To a certain extent it is a matter of personal preference. However, an advantage of using a pizza stone, especially one made from a refractory material, is that the stone will absorb moisture from the dough and produce a crispier crust. You will also usually get a good oven spring as the dough hits a stone with its high heat capacity (which is much higher than the surrounding oven air). This makes a stone especially good for a NY or Neapolitan style crust; however, for best results the dough should not have a lot of sugar in it because the sugar will caramelize too quickly and can cause the bottom crust to brown up too quickly and excessively, often before the top of the pizza is finished baking. From my experience, this makes a screen a better choice for a high-sugar dough, such as many American style doughs. A screen is also a good choice for me here in Texas where I don't want to heat up my stone for an hour, especially in the dog days of summer. To get up to the desired ambient oven temperature, say, 500 degrees F, it only takes about 10-15 minutes. Another benefit to a screen, of course, is that you dispense with the need for a pizza peel and navigating a pizza onto a stone.

I often use a combination of both a screen and a stone, especially when I want to make a pizza that is larger than my stone. I bake the pizza on the screen until the top crust starts to turn brown and the cheeses start melting, and then transfer the pizza onto the stone (preheated) for final bottom crust browning and crisping. That works real well. 

Peter
« Last Edit: October 17, 2005, 10:52:56 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Wallman

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Re: New used a pizza stone
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2006, 08:52:09 AM »
I have a question regarding the use of a screen and a stone.  When using a screen for most of the baking and then browning a bit on the stone, do you still heat the oven for 1 hour?  I just got a 16 inch screen, I also have tiles and I'm debating whether to take the stones out or leave them in an pre-heat for an hour.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: New used a pizza stone
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2006, 10:19:19 AM »
Wally,

When I make a large NY style pizza (e.g., above 14 inches or so), I use both a screen and a stone, and I preheat the stone for an hour. When I make Randy's American style pizza, I use only the screen, as does Randy, who retired his pizza stone some time ago. It is possible, however, even in that case, to use a combo of screen and stone/tiles. After you play around with some of the different possibilities, you will learn what works best for you with your particular oven/screen/stone/tiles configuration.

Peter

Offline Wallman

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Re: New used a pizza stone
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2006, 10:52:16 AM »
Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to try using both with your Tom L. dough.  I should have thought about the experiemental opportunity and made a second dough ball, but I only made one the day before yesterday!

Offline Wallman

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Re: New used a pizza stone
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2006, 04:29:39 PM »
I tried the screen/stone method with a Tom L. NY Style pizza dough and found that it worked quite well. 

I cooked the pizza on a 16 inch screen for about 5 minutes on the top rack of my oven then on a pizza stone, really tiles, for 2-3 minutes.  I had preheated the oven for an hour or so at 550 F.  The crust got a nice char on the bottom from the brief time on the hot stone.  Two pictures follow.