Axel and I have been obsessing over this allegedly perfect, recycled steel, virtually indestructible 32 pound pizza stone for quite a while now. It supposedly delivers unparalleled constant heat and gets us city people as close as technically feasible to the real pizza oven taste – without the actual oven (and garden) – but still with the burned dough and bitter ash flavours we want!
Unfortunately only available in the US except for fools that are willing to spend a stupid amount of money on transatlantic deliveries. Well … here it is in my kitchen in London …
Did I mention how heavy this thing is? It’s crazy! You can’t lift it with one hand. It feels at least twice as heavy as you think it would. If you drop it on the floor you will have a crater.
For my first proper pizza test I went for my favourite wheat beer (instead of fresh yeast) sourdough recipe (lots of olive oil and of course double zero flour) and made my own tomato base. I love roasting tomatoes – you just can’t get the same flavours from a tin.
Leaving the vines in the sauce until the very end adds additional tomatoeness to the sauce – oh … and don’t forget to add plenty of sugar before you roast the tomatoes!
For toppings I went a bit mental at Borough Market. My favourite always was (and probably always will be) the “Buffalo Mozzarella, Parma Ham and Rocket with Truffle Oil” Pizza. I don’t know if it has a name, but it should.
After preheating the stone for about 45minutes at maximum temperature of around 260-270 degrees – my oven is rubbish – it was time to drop the first thinly rolled pizza onto the stone. I tried to keep the base light with little sauce and not too much mozzarella – the aim was to get a crunch and some burn on the base and edges for that distinct bitter taste that I love. It worked – straight away!
The taste was excellent and easily achieved as long as the base was thing enough. Baking times are under 5 minutes if you are patient enough for the steel to really heat up which probably takes about an hour. Thank you Baking Steel – you are excellent!