Remember when I posted a recipe last summer for a Leek-Goat Cheese Tart? My new favorite pizza is a take on it. I went a step further and caramelized the onions and leeks. OH MY. We’ve eaten this quite a few times over the last few weeks. I simply cannot get enough. We also grated a bit of Pecorino Romano on top for good measure.
The only thing missing was a little bacon. But really, I want it with prosciutto–but only if it’s the good stuff.
On another note….let’s talk about pizza/baking stones.
We’ve been making pizza several times a month lately. I’m getting better and better at the crust with all this practice. My one complaint has been that it doesn’t crisp up enough for me.
Typically I use a large, rectangular metal baking sheet that I’ve lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. One recipe of dough is enough for two of these full-size baking sheets.
My old pizza stone was inadvertently left behind in my apartment in NY. (I hope the new tenant is enjoying it.) I recently acquired a new pizza stone and have decided to start using it. I know that this is the only answer to a perfectly baked crust.
My first attempt at using the baking stone worked perfectly. The crust was crisp and chewy. Just like we like it. The crust keeps getting better as I use the stone more.
A lot of people own baking/pizza stones. But how many actually use them? Do you have one? Do you use it? Hate it or love it?
I admit that I didn’t use my old one very often. Mostly I just kept it in my oven to keep the temperature even. (FYI–they work great for that.)
Basic research about baking stones led me to believe that the only way to familiarize myself with how to use a baking stone is to just start using it.
Here are some tips for those of you, who like me, are just getting started or are trying to get up the courage–
*Buy a good quality stone. A good one will run between $25 and $50. The stone from King Arthur Flour received the top rating from Cooks’ Illustrated. (There are also cheaper alternatives out there, like going to the hardware store and buying large tiles. Do the research first, I’m not sure I can offer expert advice on which to buy.)
*Preheat the stone before you put the pizza on it. (Trust me on this. Seriously.)
Note: If you are baking a frozen pizza, don’t preheat the stone or it might crack.
*Use a pizza peel. I think is the ideal thing to transfer the pizza to the preheated stone.
*Cornmeal is your best friend. Dust both the peel and the baking stone with cornmeal. It helps you slide the dough easily off the peel onto the baking stone and it helps you get it back off the stone.
What can you use it for besides pizza?
*Pita bread (watch for a recipe to come soon)
*Cookies (I haven’t done it, but some people swear by it.)
*Croissants, biscuits, rolls, scones, etc.
*Chicken nuggets, fish sticks, etc. (haven’t tried it, we never buy these items)
*I even read that some people use it cook meat on. Thoughts?
Anything I’m missing? Tell me what you think about baking stones. Yay or don’t bother?