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How to get that a crispy and authentic pizza base with a pizza stone

pizza-stone

Bakeware

How to get that a crispy and authentic pizza base with a pizza stone

best pizza stone

Pitelli pizza stone

Although slightly more expensive, this produces a nice crispy pizza base, and comes with a free wooden paddle which is useful for getting thin dough into the over.

Buy on Amazon – £34.90

Prices correct at time of Publishing

love pizza. But then who doesn’t? Plenty of cheesy goodness, the right mixture of herbs, combined with a range of toppings and deliciously crispy base. What’s not to love about that? When it comes to creating authentic pizzas at home, a decent pizza stone can really help you along. Most of the ‘proper’ italian restaurants you visit will either use a pizza stone, or have a pizza over (made out of stone).

I’ve always thought that base of the pizza is as important as your toppings. Get your base right and you only need the most basic of other ingredients to make a tasty pizza. Pizza stones are only really useful when you’re looking for a crispier base. If you prefer a thick doughy pizza base, then it’s probably not worth wasting your money on a pizza stone.

How to pizza stones actually work?

Pizza stones are usually ceramic, which means that they hold heat much more efficiently than a metallic baking tray. This means that if you place a pizza dough on a preheated stone, the initial burst of heat will allow the dough to puff up nicely. Where a pizza stone also outdoes a baking tray is in the equal spread of the heat, allowing you to cook the entire base evenly. And, another vital asset to the pizza stone is its porous surface, which allows it to draw out any unwanted moisture from your dough, ensuring it cooks it to perfection. If you want to try your hand at making pizzas at home, then you really should look into getting your hands on a pizza stone. I love mine, and it’s the only way I can get close to making pizzas that taste like the ones from the local Italian pizzeria.

A handy tip when using your pizza stone…You must make sure that you don’t ever put a cold pizza stone into a hot oven as this can cause it to crack. Always place the stone into the oven whilst it’s cool, and then switch the oven on allowing the stone to heat up at the same time as the oven. And, for the same reasons you should also ensure that your pizza dough has got to room temperature before placing it on the hot stone.

Six pizza stones that should give you a crispy base

VonShef 33cm Pizza Stone Set With Heavy Duty Chrome Stand

best pizza stone

VonShef 33cm Pizza Stone Set

This is one of the best value pizza stones on our list, and it despite the price it will do a great job of improving your pizza base.

Buy on Amazon – £5.99

Prices correct at time of Publishing

Not only did this stone come with a complimentary pizza cutter, but it also cooks a great base, so long as all of the instructions have been followed. If you use this stone properly, putting it in the oven at a low temperature and adding room temp dough to it, you should get a great, crispy pizza base. This one also cooks pizzas quicker than if the pizza stone wasn’t being used which is important if you’re cooking a number of pizzas in one go for friends. It’s also nice and easy to clean and is 33cm/13” in diameter allowing you to make a pretty sizeable pizza. And, this pizza syone will not break your bank.

Italian Collection World of Flavours Italian Pizza Stone Set

best pizza stone

World of Flavours Pizza Stone Set

Buy on Amazon – £19.99

Prices correct at time of Publishing

So long as you get the stone piping hot before adding your room temperature dough, you should be pleased with the results of this one. If you let the stone cool down too much then the dough may stick to it, which can be a pain. However, if used correctly, the Italian Collection World of Flavours Italian Pizza Stone Set, which also includes a pizza cutter, creates nice crispy bases. It comes in at 32cm/12.5” in diameter, which is slightly smaller than the one listed above, but you don’t really notice the difference too much. It’s also a little more expensive, but that shouldn’t put you off.

Pitelli pizza stone + 1 pizza paddle made of wood

best pizza stone

Pitelli pizza stone

Although slightly more expensive, this produces a nice crispy pizza base, and comes with a free wooden paddle which is useful for getting thin dough into the over.

Buy on Amazon – £34.90

Prices correct at time of Publishing

This pizza stone is slightly different to the two listed above. For starters it doesn’t come with the metal handles to help you move it to and from the oven when hot. And, it also lacks a pizza cutter..but as I cut my pizzas with big scissors anyway, I’m not too bothered. The bonus with the Pitelli pizza stone is the wooden pizza paddle. Sometimes, getting the pizza dough onto the hot stone and off again can be tricky, and if I’m honest that is something I have struggled with a bit, particularly with a softer dough. It can be frustrating when you’ve made a lovely pizza and then tear the dough putting it onto the stone, so the paddle really is helpful. It is rather heavy, which means that some people may struggle to handle it with one hand. The added weight means that it does hold it’s heat better, which is good if you’re cooking a number of pizzas. It is more expensive than the pizza stones mentioned above, but the stone itself does feel as if it is of a higher quality.

ProCook Pizza Stone 38cm / 15in with Free Pizza Cutter

best pizza stone

ProCook Pizza stone

A bigger pizza stone for larger pizza’s. Make sure your oven is big enough to fit this one in!

Buy on Amazon – £10

Prices correct at time of Publishing

This is the largest stone so far on the list, coming in at 38cm/15” in diameter, so if size is important to you then you may wish to consider this one. Again the free pizza cutter is welcome, and the product is of good quality. As with most other pizza stones, the handles are welcome and help transferring the stone to and from the oven. We were pleased with how quickly this pizza stone worked its magic. If used properly in a nice hot oven you can achieve a nice crispy pizza base within minutes. It’s also nice and easy to clean.

Andrew James 33cm Pizza Stone Set With Heavy Duty Chrome Stand Includes Pizza Cutter

best pizza stones on the market

Andrew James Pizza Stone Set

Buy on Amazon – £8.99

Prices correct at time of Publishing

If you want a lovely crispy base then this is most certainly a good quality pizza stone. As with most of the others, you get a pizza cutter included, which for the price is a real bonus. It’s on the cheaper end of the scale and is easy to use and clean. Make sure you use it properly, however, in order to avoid cracking and keep it nice and dry for best results. The handles are slightly on the short side, which can make lifting it out of the oven slightly tricky, but all in all we were pleased with this stone.

Savisto Pizza Stone Set Plus Heavy Duty Chrome Stand And Pizza Cutter

top pizza stones to make you're pizza crispy

Savisto Pizza Stone Set

Buy on Amazon – £14.99

Prices correct at time of Publishing

This stone comes with a stand and has a complimentary pizza cutter. It creates nice consistent pizzas too. It’s easy to use and so long as you don’t go sticking it straight into your hot oven, it should last you a long time. The pizzas you cook on this stone will be nice and evenly cooked and won’t turn out all moist and floppy like they do when you use a metallic tray.

Using your pizza stone with different bases

Neapolitan pizza base

Where else to start other than the classic Italian pizza base? No matter which is your favourite, there is no denying that the Neapolitan is the true original. And for that it’s worth trying out yourself at least once. Now before I continue, it’s worth mentioning that the only way a true Neapolitan would cook a pizza base is in a purpose built, wood fired pizza oven. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a decent go of it yourself at home in your normal oven with a good pizza stone.

The Neapolitan pizza base is characterised as thin and crispy and should be no more than 35 centimetres in diameter as well as no more than one-third of a centimetre in thickness at the centre. On top of this it is advised that you use “00” flour, or, if you don’t have access to that then a strong, finely milled white bread flour with a high gluten content will be fine. You should also advised to use fresh yeast when making a Neapolitan pizza base.

New York style pizza base

After the Neapolitan pizza, the New York has to be the most famous in the world. It’s hard to think of The City That Never Sleeps without conjuring up images of New Yorkers eating giant slices of pizza that are so large they have to fold them in half just to fit them in their mouths. It is for that reason that New York style pizza bases have to be nice and crispy on the outside, whilst still remaining rather soft in the middle. If you have to snap it to fold it in half then you have not perfected the NY pizza base. Whereas a Neapolitan pizza should utilise “00” flour, a New York pizza base must be made with high gluten flour. Some New York bases also have sugar in their dough, which is worth noting as you may want to try this yourselves.

Traditional pan pizza base

If you want to move to a thicker style of pizza base, but don’t want to go the whole hog and make a deep pan, then the more traditional pan pizza base is probably the best option. These pizzas were made famous by global chain Pizza Hut back in the day and now seem to be one of the most popular choices out there. The main ingredients in a traditional pan pizza base can vary, however they are often a little crispy on the edge but lovely and soft and chewy in the middle – the best of both worlds. They do also have a lovely buttery taste to them thanks to being pan fried.

Deep pan pizza base

Now here we are, the monstrous deep pan pizza, or the Chicago-style deep dish pizza base as it’s known in the U.S.A. Sometimes you just want a giant pizza with big fat edges that allow you to cram on as many toppings as possible. And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. The deep pan pizza base is the thickest on our list, meaning you can go up to around two inches if you like. Just make sure that your dough is smooth and springy and you will no doubt be pleased with your delicious, filling base! I actually really hate this type of Pizza base, as I feel like all I can taste is dough and no topping. Also it’s probably not worth investing in a pizza stone if you’re after this type of base.

Flatbread pizza base

The more health conscious of you may opt for a flatbread pizza base. These are great as they are less filling than the other bases mentioned above and are generally better for you thanks to the fact that there is no yeast and it is made from all natural ingredients such as flour, water and salt. It is often the pizza base of choice at health food places and its often rustic appearance certainly adds a level of authenticity to your pizza! It is usually pretty uneven you see, and that’s fine. Just make sure that you roll it nice and flat.

Focaccia

OK, so I know that focaccia isn’t quite considered to be a pizza base, but that doesn’t mean I can’t add it to our list…because I love this delicious, herby, olive oily bread. The thick dough, which is similar to a traditional bread dough, is usually brushed with a healthy (or to be more accurate unhealthy) dose of olive oil before it’s baked. You then top it with plenty of herbs and spices, and if you want, a little cheese. But when it comes to focaccia, less is more. Don’t go too crazy on your toppings in order to allow the beautiful flavour and texture of the bread to come through!

Do I need a pizza stone?

When it comes to making pizza there’s no better method than using a traditional wood-fired pizza oven. You can’t get away from the fact that the traditional method is still the best. But let’s face it, most people don’t have a full sized pizza oven at their home and have to make do with what they would usually have in their kitchen. But, there using a pizza stone can go a long way to achieving a more authentic tasting pizza.

I’ve heard many people scoff at the use of a pizza stone, saying that a regular baking tray will work just as well. And whilst they may be correct to a certain extent, I do  feel that if you want to make an authentic crispy pizza, rather than a deep pan or doughy one, then you should invest in a pizza stone.

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