The Cooking Chronicles: Pizza Stone Attempt #2

On Chris’s recommendation, our second pizza stone attempt revolved around a Peter Reinhart recipe for dough.

For starters, the recipe made enough dough for four 10 inch pizzas, which meant we had enough dough for another round of pizzas – a future dinner time saver! And though I was worried the dough wouldn’t rise (it didn’t double in size like Giada’s recipe), the bread turned out great. Mack, who was in charge of rolling out the crust, was a bit challenged at first, but with the aid of a rolling pin, was able to shape two thin crusts.

The recipe advised us to place a sheet of parchment paper underneath the dough prior to dressing the pizza, which would allow for easier transfer onto the preheated pizza stone. This was a very useful tip, as the paper also allowed for seamless transfer off of the pizza stone (we don’t have a pizza peel) – we simply pulled the paper (and pizza) onto a baking sheet.

Pizza Stone Product #2

We don’t usually marvel at how well recipes turn out, but on this occasion, we felt a small celebration was warranted. The crust was perfectly browned and crispy, and topped with tomatoes from Doef’s Greenhouse, and prosciutto and basil from the Italian Centre, it was undoubtedly one of the best pizzas we had ever made.

Thanks again Chris for the recommendation! I think we’ve found a keeper.

The Cooking Chronicles: Pizza Stone Attempt #1

Have you ever been wooed at the store by a kitchen gadget only to bring it home and allow it to gather dust? A pizza stone I had picked up at Winners last year fell into that category, even though I had the best of intentions when I bought it, with visions of crunchy, thin-crust pizzas overtaken by the reality of time and effort. Well, I hoped to reignite some of those visions and made it a point to finally make use of it.

The stone itself came with a serving rack, but Mack and I weren’t sure if the rack itself was meant to be put in the oven. We decided it would be safer to avoid potential melting and put the stone directly into the oven. The instructions directed us to preheat it for 40 minutes in a 450 degree oven.

We assembled the pizza using a tried and true recipe (Giada de Laurentiis’ dough base, though I wish I could toss dough like Chris instead). As instructed, we sprinkled some corn meal on the hot stone, lay our rolled pizza dough on top, and assembled our favourite assortment of toppings, including prosciutto, roma tomatoes, mushrooms and fresh basil. And into the oven it went, for about 15 minutes.

Out of the oven, the pizza was looking good – the crisp brown edges were just beginning to curl. When we dug in though, we found the crust to have an odd consistency. While crunchy on the bottom, the centre of the crust was chewy, almost undercooked. We weren’t sure if this was attributed to our mangling of the dough recipe, or perhaps a mistake of our first pizza stone try, but we were disappointed the pizza didn’t quite taste as good as it looked.

Pizza stone + pizza

We weren’t disheartened though – we will be making use of the stone again (with a different dough recipe), optimistic for better results!