Let’s be honest, is there anyone out there who doesn’t love pizza? Pizza has become a favorite comfort food among Americans, and we can’t blame people for loving this delicious cuisine so much. There’s something so beautiful and satisfying about digging into a pizza pie. The bubbly raised crust, crushed tomatoes, and melted cheese have a way of making us smile.
At Bellatrino Neapolitan Pizzeria & Cucina in Dallas, we’re passionate about making the most scrumptious neapolitan-style pizzas for our customers. We use only the most authentic ingredients, and with the help of our 5,000 pound wood-burning oven, we’re confident you’ll love the amazing pizzas we create. Check out our pizza menu online to see what we have to offer or stop by our pizzeria for dinner to try some of our unique delicacies. We also offer catering for events, birthday parties, and celebrations.
In this blog, we’re going to discuss how you can make delicious pizza at home without having to travel to your local pizzeria or pizza parlor.
The Pizza Stone: What Is It?
In the layman’s terms, a pizza stone is a slab of ceramic or stone that can serve as an oven-and-grill-safe baking surface. These stones are mostly known for their ability to mimic the bottom of a delicious wood-burning oven by helping to disperse heat evenly. This is great for minimizing hot spots and wicking moisture away from the pizza dough. The result is a crisp, bubbly, and perfectly charred crust that you can find in most pizza parlors and restaurants.
Preheating Your Pizza Stone
According to an article from CooksIllustrated.com, it’s very important to preheat your pizza stone before you start cooking your pizza. To ensure that your pizza stone is hot enough, we recommend putting it in the oven and setting the dial to about 500 degrees Fahrenheit for about thirty minutes to an hour.
Cooking Your Pizza
Before you throw your pizza in the oven, decide whether you want to bake or grill your pizza. If you plan on baking your pie, place pizza stone in the oven and move it to the lowest rack. Let it heat up for about an hour. After that time has passed, sprinkle a little pizza peel with cornmeal on the stone to prevent your pizza from sticking to it. From there, slide your rolled dough onto the peel and add any toppings you desire. You can then slide the pizza stone back into the oven for the allotted amount of time recommended.
If you plan on grilling your pizza, you’ll still want to preheat your pizza stone before throwing it on the grill. If you intend to use charcoal, you can get a delicious and smoky flavor from your pizza. Once the stone has been heated, place the pizza on the stone and put it on the grill and close the top. Leave your pizza on the grill for thirty minutes to an hour and enjoy!
Tips for Extending The Life of Your Pizza Stone
While a pizza stone can withstand a range of extreme conditions, there are some important things to remember in order to extend its lifespan. If you’re looking for ways to keep your pizza stone around for years to come, consider the tips below:
- Don’t use soap to clean your pizza stone. Your pizza stone should not be cleaned like other kitchen appliances and utensils. When cleaning your stone, avoid using any kind of soap. While this may sound counter-intuitive, it’s important to remember that pizza stones are extremely porous. This means that they have a ton of tiny holes on their surface, which can absorb a variety of chemicals and hazardous materials if you’re not careful. If you wash your stone with soap, there’s a good chance your next pizza will taste like it, too.
- Use a stone brush and hot water. Cleaning your pizza stone only requires two things: a stone brush and hot water. We recommend avoiding submerging your pizza stone underwater. Instead, use a small stream of water to wet the surface of the stone. Once it is damp, you can start scrubbing with a stone brush. We also recommend air drying your pizza stone instead of baking it to dry. This is because if you stick a wet or damp pizza stone in the oven, the absorbed water will be forced out of the stone, which can cause it to crack.
- Use sandpaper if your stone is really dirty. If you’re having trouble brushing the pizza remains off your pizza stone, you can use a medium-grit sandpaper to help remove any raised leftovers.
Steps for Cooking Pizza
Now that you have an understanding of how to use a pizza stone, let’s look at the basic steps for cooking a pizza at home.
- Preheat your pizza stone in the oven. Whether you want to grill or bake your pizza, this is an essential first step in ensuring your pizza comes out perfect. Leave your pizza stone in the oven at a high temperature for thirty minutes to an hour.
- Prepare the pizza ingredients. As your pizza stone is being heated in the oven, you can start to prepare all of your ingredients. If you plan on adding meat to your pizza, you may need to pre-cook some raw ingredients like chicken, sausage, and shrimp.
- Put your pizza together. Once you have all of the meats and vegetables ready, shape your pizza dough and place it on the pizza stone with a little flour underneath to keep it from sticking. Top your pie with sauce, meat, veggies, and of course, cheese.
- Pop that pizza in the oven or on the grill. Transfer your uncooked pizza on the pizza stone to the oven or grill. Depending on your setup, you may want to rotate your pizza halfway through its cooking time to make sure it cooks evenly.
If you don’t feel like making a pizza at home, be sure to stop by Bellatrino Neapolitan PIzzeria & Cucina in Dallas. We follow the same process that has been used for over 200 years in the pizzerias of Naples, Italy, using a simple, authentic process and a wood burning oven.