Brick Oven Style Pizza – at Home!
There is no denying it – the United States has a love affair with pizza! According to several Pizza Facts websites:
• The people of America eat around 350 slices of pizza each second
• Everyone in the United States eats about 23 pounds, or 46 slices, every year
• 94% of the population of the U.S. eats pizza
• Pizza accounts for more than 10 percent of all food service sales
• About 3 billion pizzas are sold annually in the U.S.
Just count us in the 94 percentile who eat pizza; we love it and have been making our own for years. With the addition of a salad and fresh fruit, you have a quick and nutritious dinner. Ask us what we think is "key" to the success of preparing a homemade pizza and the answer is simple – a pizza stone. We have also been using one for years.
"A pizza stone is a flat stone or piece of ceramic or earthenware used to evenly distribute oven heat to pizzas or other baked goods, more or less mimicking the effects of cooking a pizza in a masonry oven." (source: Wikipedia). Basically, the pizza stone is heated in the oven (at a high temperature), and the pizza is placed directly on it to bake. The pizza stone heats evenly, has high heat retention, and produces a crisp crust. We have been using an unglazed earthenware pizza stone; while it served the purpose, it was difficult to clean.
We had the opportunity to try the Emile Henry 14.5-inch Flame® Pizza Stone and loved it! It was easy to use, easy to clean, easy to handle and produced a crispy crust – what more can you ask for! As with all of Emile Henry products, it is made of all natural materials and manufactured in France. The glazed surface does not scratch and it has the added bonus of being dishwasher safe.
This pizza stone has the additional feature that is can be placed directly on gas, charcoal, natural wood or electric surfaces, at temperatures up to 700 degrees F. In other words, you can either use it in the oven or on the outdoor grill. We baked our pizza in the oven and are looking forward to trying it on the grill. The side handles are an important feature, as it makes it easy to remove from the oven.
It sells for approximately $50.00, which is pricey for a pizza stone, but well worth the investment. We suggest multi purposing it and using it to serve cake, fresh fruit, assorted cheeses – the uses are endless.
When you make pizza, it really doesn't matter if you prepare homemade dough, purchase fresh dough, use a ready–made crust or even heat a frozen pizza – but do bake it on an Emile Henry Flame® Pizza Stone. You will taste the difference!
The following three pizza recipes were winners in the California Ripe Olives and Emile Henry, O-live It Up Pizza-Pa-Looza contest and the Pizza Crust recipe is from the Emile Henry website. Enjoy your pizza!
The Emile Henry Flame® Pizza Stone was a 2011 Housewares Design Awards finalist.
Watch this video demonstrating how to use the Emile Henry Pizza Stone.
April 27, 2011