So I gave in and bought myself a shiny new baking steel. I’ve been using the pizza stone we got as an engagement gift for, well, since we got engaged. Sort of off and on, but I’ve tried to stick to a schedule of making pizza every two weeks lately so it’s gotten more use. Seeing all the raves about baking steel vs. stone I went ahead and treated myself to one from http://www.bakingsteel.com/. Soon enough a nice shiny slab of heavy metal was at my door (sorry, delivery guy).
Last Sunday was its test run…in it went.The recommendation is to heat at 500 for 45-60 minutes. Around 45 minutes I checked the surface and it was right about 500, so I figured that was good. Pizza was readied:
I basically use America’s Test Kitchen’s pizza dough recipe. It makes two good sized pizzas. I do add this little secret for a bit of extra zing: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/pizza-dough-flavor-4-oz. Then I generally slow rise in the fridge for about 3 days (I make dough on Thursday night for Sunday baking). It makes for a tasty, workable dough. So let’s dress it up:This is the go-to for my wife – mushroom. In this case, leftover fresh white mushrooms sauteed in a little oil and salt first. No pictures of my pie, I’m afraid, it wasn’t as photogenic as this one. Sausage and peppers (see below). Anyway, let’s see the after:Not bad, eh? This was probably 8 minutes of baking then a minute or two of broil. I don’t generally use the top rack position anymore, the baking goes faster that way, but I find I have less control over the way the top cooks. Once I’m happy with the bake I turn to broil until the cheese bubbles and the crust starts to char a bit (you know…done). But we’re talking baking steel…how did the bottom look?Well, not bad. You can see towards the front it’s a little more done, that’s why I pulled it. But after getting it out, you can see it needed a tad longer. Live and learn. In future I’ll crank up the temp another 25 degrees or so. Overall the performance wasn’t significantly different from my cheapo Bed, Bath, & Beyond pizza stone, but I don’t have to worry about it breaking, either. And this is larger, so launching is less stressful, since it’s hard to see the edges of the stone sometimes (I bake on parchment). The steel cooled quickly enough, it was ready to come out of the oven in about an hour.
And if you want to make sausage pizza you can do a LOT worse than mixing in some of these chopped up:They really work well on pizza. A little sweet, a nice little pop of heat. I cut them into little fingernail sized pieces.