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The Best Secrets for Homemade Brick Oven Pizza

Who doesn’t love brick oven pizza? But do you have a stone oven? Not many avid home chefs do. Pizza stones are the best-kept secret for brick oven pizza, flatbreads, calzones and hearth breads.

A good pizza stone will create even heat to transfer to your pizza, which means no more soggy centers. The stone allows for a golden brown, crispy crust by absorbing the moisture from your dough. A good quality stone will also work in your grill. It’s all about the stone, so choose the largest pizza stone that your oven can hold. Also get a pizza peel, it’s a must-have tool to get your pizza in and out of the oven.

To start, make your pizza dough. I suggest using 00 pizza flour or bread flour. Allow it to proof until doubled in size.

Turn your oven to the highest setting, 475°F or 500°F. Place the stone in the oven on the lowest rack for about an hour. Never put a cold stone in a hot oven—it will crack the stone.

Flatten the dough to about ¼-inch or less. If the dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for 6 minutes. Sprinkle semolina flour on your pizza peel to ensure your pizza slides off the peel.

Place the stretched dough on your peel. While shaping the dough on your peel, shake the peel often just to be sure your pizza is not sticking to the peel.

The toppings are next. It’s important to add your toppings as soon as possible before cooking, so they don’t make the dough soggy.

Spoon a few tablespoons of good homemade pizza sauce into the center of the pizza and use the back of a spoon to spread it thinly out to the edges. Drizzle with a little olive oil and then add the cheese. Try fresh mozzarella over shredded and allow plenty of room between pieces of cheese—it may look sparse, but the cheese will expand as it melts. Add your other favorite pizza toppings like veggies, cured meats, fresh herbs or other cheeses just try to keep these toppings to a handful to ensure even cooking. With a quick flick of the wrist slide your pizza onto the stone and bake for 7 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Remove the pizza with your peel, let rest for 5 minutes and cut with a 4” pizza wheel. You are now a pro!

From our kitchen to yours…Cucina Felice!

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Michele at Chef's
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