Baking pizza is not a very difficult task. The accurate taste might be something that you would find in an Italian restaurant, but it’s still possible to make at home.
And it will have a more authentic taste if you are able to bake the pizza the way they make it in the restaurants. A step in the right direction would be the pizza stone.
However, for a person who is just starting out on making pizza, or plans to make pizzas occasionally, the commercial pizza stones might be on the pricier side, so in that case, a do it yourself project would do the job. Especially since you are going to have to replace them after a year or two.
What You Need to Know About Pizza Stones
Pizza stones or baking stones are a sort of surface on which you are to lay down the item which you want to bake. Now, the item in hand is a pizza which is to be baked on this pizza stone. The stone is supposed to add a different flavor as well as texture to the pizza and the crust.
This works like a baking sheet. Rather, in this case, the stone is used to sort of recreate the authentic setting of making a pizza, in a masonry oven. As that is not really possible to do in modern times, the stone is what you have to use to get the job done.
The pizza stone is usually made of stones which are cut flat so that it can be used for baking. They are also made of ceramic as well as cordierite.
All of these have a certain kind of texture to them as well as pores which allow any and all moisture in the dough of the pizza to be absorbed. This leads to a nice and crispy crust. Pizza stones come in a variety of sizes, but the commercially sold ones are just the right size to fit into an average size oven.
However, this is done so that people buying it don’t have to go through the hassle of buying one that just does not fit into their oven.
These have become a very common item at most home supply stores as more and more people are buying it to bake pizzas on. Even though they do come in various sizes, but there is a standard size which fits into most ovens, and this can actually help bypass a lot of hassle.
Why Would You Make A Pizza Stone?
Even though pizza stones are of great use and are used by people all around the world, there are a few reasons why people opt for making their pizza stones rather than going out and buying them from the store.
The first reason would be the expense. Most people who cook at home find it a better option to make one themselves rather than spending a huge amount of money on it. Now, if the baker/cook does not make much use out of this, then it is a waste. So, making one of their own would be a more sensible option.
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Another reason why people would much rather make a pizza stone is that these baking stones need to be replaced every couple of years. So, it is rather better to make a cheap one at home and replace that. It would hurt the wallet much less.
Pizza stones are not as long-lasting and durable because of the material they are made with. Stones and ceramics can easily be broken if they are not handled properly. They might also be dropped by mistake, and that would lead to the item breaking or shattering very easily.
One other reason why they might be vulnerable is because of the nature of stones and ceramics. They are prone to heat shocks when the temperature of the oven is too high or if the pizza stone is put in a very hot oven right after it has been in a cold place. These situations will lead to the pizza stone to shatter.
Make It Yourself
Baking stones are expensive when bought from stores. However, that’s not the case when you make them at home. You can do it with 5 Dollars or even less. So why go through the process of spending more than 30 dollars on something when you can easily make it at a cheaper price.
Step 1: Buy Your Tile
You will see that the nearest home improvement store is a very good place you can go to find the item you would require to make something like a pizza stone. They have the best and the most affordable option of unglazed quarry tiles, something that is commonly used as a substitute for a baking stone.
Step 2: Prep
The next thing on your to-do list would be to clean up your tile. This step is obviously not something you should be skipping because the last thing you would want is an unclean surface to cook on.
While cleaning, you have to be very careful to avoid any type of detergent or soap. As the stone has many holes in it, the detergent will go right in, and then you will end up baking pizzas which smell and taste like soap. The smell might last for a long time, even after a few washes. So, it is wise to steer clear of it.
Once you have thoroughly washed the tile with cold water, it can be left on the rack to dry completely. If you don’t happen to have a drying rack or if you are unable to fit the tile into the rack you have, just make sure you let all the water run-off the tile and then dry it.
If you don’t let the tile dry all the way through and there is some water left inside, then there is a chance that you might damage it when you put it in the oven. The heat will ruin your tile.
Step 3: Seasoning
This part of the pizza stone making process is very important. Just like you must season a cast iron so that it can work properly and enable you to make good food each time, the same way it is very important to season your baking stone. Even if it is something you buy from the stone, seasoning is a must.
So, in order to start the seasoning process, the first thing you have to do this very lightly oil the stone. It is better if you use olive oil as it is not as heavy as most other. Also, keep in mind that you should have a light hand when pouring and spreading the olive oil on the stone.
The main reason behind that is the pores of the stone. The pores are one of the reasons why they work in the ways that they do. If the pores are clogged, then the stone will not be able to cook your pizza the way you desire. Read more about "How to Season a Pizza Stone?"
Step 4: Into the Oven
Now is the time when you have to pop the tile in the oven for it to bake. You have to keep in mind that the tile has to go in the oven before you turn it on. This step is important because if you put the tile in a hot oven, then it might shatter because of the heat shock it is highly prone to.
Once the tile is inside, set the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or 230 degrees Celsius for about an hour so that the time can properly take in the oil and be ready to be used. When you hear the ding of the oven, then you know your stone is ready for your pizza.
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While the tile is in the oven, you should prepare your pizza so that when you hear the oven’s sound, you can place the pizza on the pizza paddle and then slide it onto the stone. When it is ready, you will see that the pizza you baked is very similar to the one you get in restaurants, which is an amazing and crispy crust.
As you saw, the steps are actually very simple and easy to follow. You should have no problem in achieving your goal if you make sure to follow the steps properly.