The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

flower pot pizza

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

flower pot pizza

I've been making pizza about once a week for about six months now, basically refining my sourdough pizza crust, and I think that I've finally gotten my recipe where I want it.  However, this post isn't actually directly about my recipe.  It's more about a very practical method that can work for pretty much any dough.  A few months ago I bought a 12 3/4" terra cotta planter dish at Lowes that I have been using as a pizza stone and it has been great!  I'm sure that I'm not the first person to do this but if you haven't tried it and you like homemade pizza, here are some pictures to get you started:



"clean" dish, already well used from previous bakes.



Preheat in oven at 500 for 30 min. on the bottom rack


Meanwhile....



Stretch out dough on semolina floured baking cloth so it can rest during preheating.  I stretch it a little every ten minutes or so until it is the size of the dish.



Remove hot dish from oven.



Warning!  This is the hardest part.  Slide dough into the hot dish and return it to the oven for 12 minutes.



During this time get out the sauce and toppings.



Remove the partially cooked crust from the oven.



Top it quickly.



Bake for another 12 min. or until it looks done according to your taste.



Enjoy!


Personally I like a hearty, chewy flavorful sourdough crust (put together the night before) that is a little more substantial than one that is commercially yeasted, but yet not so doughy that it seems undercooked.  Like I said though, you could probably use any recipe.


Thanks for reading,


Summer

Marni's picture
Marni

You might want to line the clay with parchment or something, is it safe to put and cook food directly on the clay.  It wasn't intended for food.


Fun and clever idea.  Has anyone else tried this?


Marni

flournwater's picture
flournwater

I'm kinda in line with Marni on this one.  Until I had run a chemical test on the clay product to ensure that it didn't include lead in the mix (some clay products do) I wouldn't use it for a pizza stone.  That said, as long as the dish was food safe it looks like a cute idea.  Kits for testing lead content in various materials are really quite inexpensive and worth the time and trouble.

bakermomof4's picture
bakermomof4

I am by no means an expert, but what I have been told is that the lead is in the glaze on the clay pots that are glazed. I did some checking into this because a few years ago when I visited family in the Azores Islands, Portugal, many of the dishes are cooked in clay pots and I bought a few of these and brought them back and use them to make the traditional dishes. These are unglazed.


When using an unglazed clay dish or pot you should first soak if for about 15 minutes in water and when putting in oven, it is a cold oven. These two things are so that the clay pot doesn't crack as it is just clay with no protective glazing. Also soap is not supposed to be used.


I found this link http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/CLPPB/Pages/TalkPts-ltw.aspx


I am curious to what others have found out about this.


 

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

I really appreciate the link.  I hadn't seen that one.


Summer

cgmeyer2's picture
cgmeyer2

i bake my bread in an unglazed claypot. it's a romertopf.


http://www.romertopfonline.com/


i always soak the baker for ~ 15 min prior to use. i've had great results.


mini oven has several great recipes for cooking bread in claypots. use the search section on this site to access her recipes.


claudia

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

Thanks Marni and flournwater for the words of caution.  I probably should have mentioned that I hadn't actually researched my particular dishes.  I did do some web searching though, back when I bought them and it seems that like bakermomof4 mentioned, if they are unglazed terra cotta then they are okay.  However, I would like to clear it up once and for all so I intend to ask Lowes which company manufactured my dishes and hopefully go from there.  I'll try to get back with an answer. 


Meanwhile, I'm going to continue to risk it since I actually recently had my blood lead levels tested and they are well below the standard.  I live in a house that was built in 1928 and had been doing a lot of scraping and sanding over the past year of old paint when it occured to DH that it maybe I (the primary handywoman) should get tested.  I've been using the terra cotta dishes once a week for about three months which probably isn't long enough for me to have turned myself into a self contained human experiment, but so far so good.


Summer

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Summer, you are obviously a person with wisdom.  I am relieved to know that your test reports were favorable.  I intend to try your idea, I really like it, but you can be sure I'll test whatever vessel I purchase to be safe.


Whenever these kinds of discussions surface they tend to invite contraversy.  I believe that happens because some people tend to generalize a theory and apply it to all aspects of the subject; one size fits all.


Generally speaking, I have been lead to believe (no pun intended) that lead is a greater hazard in glazed pottery than it might be in unglazed pottery.  That makes sense.  But because health is a larger issue and  because I know that unglazed pottery is manufactured in the same work space as glazed pottery and that lead is a transient substance that could contaminate other items in the same working environment I will always check to make sure my family is safe from the lead contamination hazard.  Your DH must be one terrific guy, he certainly does care about your health and I applaud him for that.


Thanks for sharing you novel idea.  It'll add to the topic(s) of conversation at our next pizza party  -  I'm thinking individual pizza made to order on serving size clay pottery.  Kinda fun ....

Sandra_Desmond's picture
Sandra_Desmond

Have you ever had brownies cooked in clay flower pots? Using flower pots for other purposes once the flowers are tossed is a popular pastime for people with an imagination and a willingness to try non-traditional cooking methods. If you stop and think about it though, cooking food in clay pots is not a new idea. Ancient peoples have used them for thousands of years though probably not for brownies. The clay makes crisp outsides in baked goods or wonderful decorative serving pieces at parties. My last order of florist Melbourne friends sent me was in a big clay pot. I decided to try one of the clay pot dessert recipes. Of course the family was a bit surprised when I set a flower pot in front of them, but once they got a taste of the bread pudding inside of it they were sold. We all agreed that the chefs of a thousand years ago knew exactly what they were doing.

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

Thanks for the idea - bread pudding is one of my husband's favorite desserts.  By the way, I just had my yearly physical and again, my blood lead levels were just as low as last time I'm planning on continuing to use the flower pots.


Summer