- crosby_p Jul 28, 2008 04:26 AM
I ordered a pizza stone from the local Pampered Chef lady and was excited to make one at home. I bought a ball of fresh dough from my local Italian market. The instructions I had, from a friend, said to put corn starch or flour on the stone, then roll out the dough. It took me what seemed like forever, but finally got the stuff rolled out. I was then told to prick it all over with a fork, and brush on some olive oil, and bake for 10-minutes at 450. She warned that I would probably have to prick it some more before it was finished, but I did not. At 10 minutes, it still looked kinda raw, so I added five more...I took it out, added pizza sauce, fresh thinly sliced tomatoes and onions, and an anchovy or 10. Baked it for 10-more minutes, still didn't look done. After another 10-the cheese had melted and actually browned so I grabbed it out quickly.
Although the taste was ok, the crust, at least at the edge, could have broken a tooth! I think I used too much sauce too, and maybe not enough cheese. It was my first time, and of course I will try again, but is there anything anyone sees that is a blatant error? I thought the crust should have been a little brown on the first bake, but maybe not?
There's no need to prebake the crust when you're cooking on a stone in a home oven. Just preheat the oven (and the stone) thoroughly, then slide the pizza onto the stone. One way to do that is to make the pizza on a sheet of Resist foil, which is silicon-coated, or on a piece of parchment. A more professional way is to sprinkle cornmeal or polenta on a baking peel, and slide the pizza onto the stone--but it takes practice. In any case, don't prebake the crust, just preheat the oven.
Corn starch? ?? Try cornmeal. (Must've gotten lost in the translation.) Try reading up on doing a pizza crust on a stone; before your next attempt. Make sure your stone is preheated. Properly. Try 500°. Dough was probably too thin as well. You'll get a nice oven spring on the stone too. Remember. No oil on the stone too.
Did your dough have a chance to recover from rolling out? If it was difficult to roll, it may have been too cold, and dormant. It needs 20-25 min. in a warm area to get going again, but just barely, as there will be oven spring , after you assemble it and slide it into the oven.
I like a really crisp crust and this is what I do:
1. Make sure your dough is room temperature and remember that the protein in yer dough will cause it to contract if it's overworked once yer trying to shape it. Be gentle and stretch. If it causes you grief (i.e. it's contracting), cover it with plastic and allow the dough to chill out and relax itself.
2. Preheat oven as hot as it will go for at least 30 minutes before you begin (it's best to do it 1 hr. before to make sure stone is rocket hot)
3. I place my pizza round directly on the stone (no toppings) just by pulling out the rack and draping it on the stone. It's easier than a peel, you don't need cornmeal, and it never fails
4. I bake the crust (no toppings) for about 4 minutes, or until i see some degree of browning around the thin areas of the crust. The crust bubbles up, yes, but i push them down when i sauce the crust.
5. Important info about sauce: One thing I've found is that to get the super crisp crust, the sauce must be really thick (almost pastelike)...too thin, and you get a soggy crust...
Sauce, then cheese, etc...
I don't own a peel, just wooden cutting board which i abutt to the oven rack when the pizza is brown around the crust, then using tongs, slide pizza onto board.
There's no need to parbake the crust in a home oven. You'll be fine if you just put everything on at once and pop it in the oven. As far as temperature goes, I'd put you oven on the highest setting available. You also don't want to poke it with a fork unless you're after a very dense crust, and also don't want to roll it out with a rolling pin. Doing either of these will knock the air bubbles out of the dough, and you want a nice, light, airy dough for pizza. You want to use your hands to flatten out the dough and form it.
I'm assuming you were going for a NYC pizza. One of the best places to go to learn about pizzamaking is pizzamaking.com. There are step by step instructions there, and recipes for both the dough and sauce if you're inclined to try making either yourself. There's also a very good, step by step pictorial about making a NYC style pizza.