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Dec 26, 2008 02:33 PM

Pizza - can it be done in an apartment kitchen?


I'm contemplating the acquisition of a pizza stone. But only on the assumption that the pitiful attempt I made at pizza a few weeks ago can be improved on with time, attention, the right ingredients, the right equipment.

Is it possible? End goal is thin-crust deliciousness. Limitations: standard apartment-dweller stuff. Electric oven. Normal kitchen accoutrements.

All suggestions gratefully received, and if you conclude I'm better off ordering in, that's fine too. There is some serious pizza talent around here!

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  1. I have a gas oven, but also have made mine in an apartment. I would highly recommend just using parchment paper rather than corn meal when you place the pizza on the stone, because you don't have the smoking problem that way. I didn't notice a big difference in the bottom of the crust, and it was well worth not setting off the smoke alarm, etc. A peel is very helpful.

    Best of luck to you!

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      Ooooo... very useful. Thanks MMRuth. Much obliged. See below for why. I really don't want to have to apologize to my neighbourhood firemen again. Or my neighbours. Most of whom have young children who would rather be in bed than standing out in the cold, waiting for the alarm to be turned off. ;-)

    2. Why or how did the last attempt fail? Thin crust pizza is the easiest to make and shouldn't fail. If you have an oven, you should never have to order in! What do you think happened?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka


        I don't know. I was with friends, and they had small children around, so flung me a bag of dough (I'm betting it came from Trader Joe's). I sort of made it up as I went along (a little smear of my own tomato sauce, little handful of prosciutto, bit of good cheese, bit of olive oil, bit of salt). I don't know where they set the oven, but I'm betting 350. I'm sure the crust wasn't as thin as it should have been. I know there wasn't a stone in there. Or a tile. Just a cookie sheet. And the crust, while brown and attractively crispy on the outside was... gummy near the center. Ugh. Really, you should assume I'm QUITE pizza-ignorant...

        1. re: linengirl

          lg, you probably just about had it! Roll out the dough evenly and thinly as you did and smear and top - maybe just let it go a bit more in the oven. Toasty along the edges and just a slight bit soft in the middle might be OK.

          Actually, I use rectangular pans for thin crust and do OK.

          1. re: linengirl

            With most pizza recipes, it will be softer in the
            center than around the outside. Nature of the beast.
            For crisper results, bake the dough a little first --
            say 10 minutes in a 300 degree oven. But unless
            you plan on using it often (or have a lot of
            sorage space), I wouldn't recommend buying a
            stone. Pizza is pizza, after all, not a $200 dish at a fancy

          1. re: grampart

            475-500ish. And the venting in this apartment is incredibly dumb. The extractor-fan in the over-range microwave sucks up only a little bit, and what it sucks up it spews out... brilliant, yes? ... just below ceiling level. I found that out the hard way. Our local firemen are very nice guys, though. :D

          2. you can buy unglazed tiles for A LOT less than a pizza stone.

            and yes it can be done.

            1. I'm no pizza expert, but for days when you're feeling lazy:

              I make pizza on a baking sheet with some cheap, flavourless, doughy naan that comes out really nicely, and thin-crusted. I used to work at a restaurant that made naan pizza, so this isn't my own quirk.

              Obviously, you don't want spiced, whole-grain or high-quality naan. The stuff I buy looks like a disk of squishy styrofoam before I cook it. Slap some pizza sauce on it, grate some cheese, add sliced tomatoes and herbs, and bake at 375 until it's browned and crispy on the bottom. The naan also keeps in the freezer - defrost in microwave for 30 seconds before turning it into pizza. We never order in anymore.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Allison_

                when i'm feeling lazy (more oft than i ought admit) i go to my local pizzeria and buy uncooked dough from them