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How to Make Homemade Pizza with a Pizza Stone

Pizza Stones Make Crispy Pizzeria-Style Pizza

If you’ve ever tried to make homemade pizza in your own oven, chances are likely if you didn’t have a pizza stone to cook it on, the pizza didn’t turn out quite as good as the pizza you’d buy from a restaurant. The brick ovens and pizza ovens that are built into pizza restaurants, along with the pizza stones the pizzas are slid unto, are what makes a pizza.

This can be recreated in your own home by using your own oven on a high setting and purchasing a pizza stone, and then using any regular pizza you choose. You can choose a pre-made freezer section pizza, a pizza kit, or be adventurous and make one from scratch with this pizza dough recipe:

Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe

  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (warm helps activate the yeast)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Dissolve the yeast into the warm water. Add all other ingredients and then mix well. Beat the mixture until it forms stiff dough. Then cover the mixture and let it sit in the kitchen at room temperature until it nearly doubles in size. Then the dough can be kneaded and rolled out, or if adventurous, tossed and spun into the pizza shape we all know and love.

How to Use a Pizza Stone to Make Homemade Pizza

Now, whether you used your own recipe, the recipe above, a pizza kit, or a pre-made store-bought pizza, it’s time to prepare the pizza for cooking. If using your own recipe or a kit, you’re going to want to add all your toppings and make the pizza whatever you want. You can use pepperoni, sausage crumbles, hamburger meat, any type of cheese you want, alfredo sauce, tomato sauce, pizza sauce, BBQ sauce—you name it, and it can go on a pizza!

While the pizza is being garnished, you can take the pizza stone and place it in a cold oven. Never place a pizza stone in a warm or already heated oven when it is cold, because the pizza stone can break or crack if you do. Turn the oven, with the pizza stone inside it, up to about 450-500 degrees, which for most ovens, will be close to the top temperature the oven will go. Remember, you’re recreating the conditions of a brick pizza oven or a restaurant pizza oven in your own home.

If you’ve only recently purchased the pizza stone (which you can find at most housewares stores or online catalogues; Bed, Bath & Beyond carries several varieties), you might need to season the stone with a very light coating of oil prior to heating it in the oven, to help prevent the dough from sticking to the stone. The coating doesn’t have to be a lot; just a very light layer of oil to soak into the earthenware top of the pizza stone.

Let the pizza stone heat for about 20-25 minutes before placing the pizza on the pizza stone.

How to Cook a Homemade Pizza

Once the pizza stone is heated, using a wooden pizza peel—a wooden spatula for pizza that is wide enough to hold a rolled pizza, and thin on the end so it’s easy to scrape under the pizza to pick it up out of the oven—slide the pizza on the pizza peel, and then with a swift movement, slide the pizza onto the heated pizza stone.

The pizza should cook for about 20-30 minutes, but watch it closely. The pizza is done when the outer crust is browned and the cheese is bubbling and golden around the edges.

Removing the Pizza from the Pizza Stone

Using the pizza peel, swiftly slide the pizza peel under the pizza, then lift up and carefully pull the pizza out of the oven. Be careful not to touch the top of the oven coils or gas, or the pizza toppings will get stuck and burn.

Removing the Pizza Stone

Once the pizza is removed, turn off the oven and enjoy your freshly homemade pizza. While eating, you can let the pizza stone cool. Never try to remove a pizza stone from the oven until it is completely cooled. It can hold heat for over an hour, especially if left in the closed oven, before it and the oven cools down. The pizza stone can be extremely hot and dangerous is not allowed to cool before removing it, and it can also damage countertops or stovetops if placed on them while hot.

Pizza stones and a pizza peel will let you make your own pizza the gourmet pizzeria style right in your very own kitchen, easily and inexpensively.

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