You can make amazing stone baked pizza in your home oven.
Traditionally, pizza is baked in a wood-fired oven at extremely high temperatures, which are difficult to replicate in a standard kitchen oven. However, it is still possible to make a delicious stone baked pizza in a kitchen oven using some adjustments.
While it may not achieve the exact characteristics of a traditional Neapolitan pizza, you’re stone baked pizza will still be really good. Following is my advice on how to make stone baked pizza indoors.
Pre-heating your oven
Set your oven to its highest temperature setting. Most kitchen ovens can reach temperatures between 450-500°F (230-260°C). Preheating is crucial to ensure a hot cooking environment and a crisp crust.
You don’t want to stick that pizza in an oven that isn’t up to heat or it just won’t work! Believe me, I know from a few novice mistakes I made.
Using a pizza stone
For best results, invest in a pizza stone if you don’t already have one. Place your pizza stone in the oven during the preheating process. This helps mimic the radiant heat of a pizza oven, aiding in achieving a crispy crust.
If time permits, (make sure it does), let your pizza stone roast in the hot oven for at least 40 minutes before cooking your first stone baked pizza.
Do you have to use a pizza stone?
For best results yes. If you don’t have one, you could also use a baking tray. Be sure to heat it up just like you would a pizza stone.
There is a reason why stone baked pizza is so popular though. The hot heat you can get off your pizza stone far exceeds what is possible with a baking tray and your crust will be much crispier if you use a stone!
Rolling out your dough
This should be done just as you would if you were cooking in a pizza oven or ceramic barbecue. I’ve never been a big fan of deep pan or fluffy pizzas so I might be a bit bias, but you will get the best results if you roll it out thin.
Stone baked pizza is crispier, cooks faster and just plain better that way.
Adding your stone baked pizza toppings
The original Neapolitan pizzas usually have minimal toppings. Use simple and fresh ingredients and avoid overloading your stone baked pizza to prevent a soggy crust.
Transferring your pizza to the oven
Carefully transfer the assembled pizza onto the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet using a pizza peel or a flat baking tray.
I find it easiest to help it out a bit. Dust your pizza peel with course cornmeal lift one of the sides of the pizza with your hand. Then pull it onto the pizza peel while sliding your peel under the pizza at the same time.
Move it around on the peel. It should slide some when you do this. If not, add a little more cornmeal where the pizza is sticking. Then simply slide it onto a preheated pizza stone.
Baking your pizza
Place the pizza in the oven on the stone and monitor it closely. Cooking times may vary, but it generally takes around 10-15 minutes. Yes, the cooking time is longer because you are cooking at a lower heat than you would if you were using a pizza oven or barbecue.
The crust should turn golden brown, and the cheese should be melted and slightly bubbly.
Enjoy your homemade stone baked pizza!
Remember, your goal is to achieve a delicious pizza within the limitations of a kitchen oven.
While it may not have the exact characteristics of an authentic Neapolitan pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven, it can still be enjoyable and satisfying. Experiment with different techniques and ingredients to find your preferred approach.