The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

PIZZA SUCCESS!

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

PIZZA SUCCESS!

I have been on a quest to make truly great pizza in my home oven. A decade ago I bought a pizza stone and my results were dramatically improved. A few years later I figured out that finishing the baking under the broiler yielded better results still. Well, I found something called a "baking steel" when I was reading posts on the "Slice" section of seriouseats.com. It has changed my life (: I put my old baking stone, inverted, one level above the shelf with the steel and heated everything to 550F for a good hour. The results speak for themselves.

wally's picture
wally

As a long suffering  practitioner of jury rigging to enable my home gas oven to produce decent hearth breads, I'm always on the lookout for fellow souls who can do things in apparatus ill suited for what they wish to produce.  That looks like a beautifully done pizza!  Probably as close to a wfo pizza as you'll ever achieve in a mere oven.

Nicely charred bottom crust and I really like the use you put your baking stone to - good radiation of heat from above to achieve the well-browned top crust I see in your photo.

Bravo! Nice baking.

Larry

 

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Thanks Larry. I agree - this is the closest to a wood fired pizza oven that I can achieve with a standard electric kitchen oven. As you observed, inverting the ceramic stone one level above the baking steel was, in fact, my attempt to mimic the roof of a real pizza oven.  It comes pretty close. My 11 year old son's friends even said this pizza was better than Domino's! Be still my heart!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

That is some awful nice pizza all the way around.  I've got a bigger sized cast iron griddle out in the garage somewhere that came with my gas grill.  Got to find it and put it to good use!  Thanks for the inspiration.

Nice baking!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Very nicely baked pizza!  Having an oven that heats to 550F makes a big difference too.    

I was reading about the use of the ' baking steel' in the home oven.  Nice to see the results.  I have also wondered how an iron fry pan bottom works for baking a pizza in a home oven.  I've read where it works nicely but, I have never tried it.

Sylvia

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Sylvia - I've read about using an inverted cast iron frying pan too. I think one of the keys to the success of the baking steel is its mass. The steel is about 1/4 inch thick and weighs 15 pounds. When it gets hot it stays hot and it transfers a good amount of that heat to whatever you place on it. With a conventional baking stone it usually takes 12-15 minutes for my pizzas to bake to my preferred doneness. They take about 7 minutes on the steel, and exhibit much better oven spring. And since the dough is in the oven for less time, the crumb stays more moist. 

 

 

Sjadad

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

 

 

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

Beautiful pizza! I've been using 20" Lodge cast iron grill for most of my baking. Last night it was
two multigrain boules (Hamelman's Bread) at 450 degrees. When it comes to pizza, I place a ceramic baking stone on the cast iron and crank up the heat.  What are the dimensions of the baking steel?

 

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

The dimensions are 16" x 14" x 1/4". 

Sjadad

odinraider's picture
odinraider

You know, what impresses me the most is the pizza stone on top. I usually click my broiler on halfway through the cooking to get the top done. I think I will be buying another stone instead...

Matt

hlieboff59's picture
hlieboff59

I wonder if I can try to make Bialys and Bagels that way. I think I'll have to try it next time. But that pizza looks great!