a peek inside the fishbowl

22 Jan, 2016

Pizza stones and a small pizza-related revelation

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

As some of you already know, I’m a big fan of making my own pizza dough. I use this recipe. It can easily be made by hand but it’s suuuuper quick with the help of a stand mixer. I usually make two batches and freeze the extra one (sometimes I cut it in two to make two thin crust pizzas) and it always works out well.

Last night I made a fresh batch of dough. I wanted to use up the last of some pulled pork – a heavier topping that isn’t the best for a thin crust pizza – so I didn’t divide the dough this time around. I did, however, shave off a smallish corner of it, roll it in a bit of extra flour, put it in a plastic baggie and pop it in the fridge for lunch the next day. That was today. I took the dough out of the fridge in the morning so it would warm up a bit. When I was ready to go I rolled the dough into a paddle shape, brushed it with a bit of olive oil and BBQ sauce and topped it with diced/cooked bacon and some grated mozzarella.

While I was prepping the toppings I preheated the oven and the pizza stone. Do you use a pizza stone? I’ve had ours for years and I will never make a pizza without it. It makes an excellent crust and as a bonus, it keeps pizza warm long after you take it out of the oven. Pizza stones aren’t very expensive and you can find them almost any store that carries kitchen supplies. If you decide to take the plunge and buy one (although it’s not that much of a plunge, really) there are a few things you might want to keep in mind.

  • When I first got out the pizza stone I was enthralled with how nice and white it was. Well, don’t get too attached. It’s made out of a material that will darken as it bakes. Which reminds me…
  • Never wash your pizza stone in soapy water or use any cleaners or detergent on it. The material is very porous and it will absorb it. All you need to do is give it a good scrub under hot running water.
  • I bake my pizza at 475F and I pop the stone in the oven as soon as I turn it on (so it heats up along with the oven). The hotter the stone gets, the better the crust. If you can leave it in there an extra 20 minutes while you prepare your toppings, do it.
  • In terms of process, you make the dough first (let it rise etc.) and roll it out on the counter. Preheat the stone. Then transfer your dough over to the hot stone. THEN quickly add your toppings. You can’t transfer a fully loaded pizza to a pizza stone.

So today I made my lunch using the pizza stone and the leftover dough. I wanted to add some diced tomato and avocado but didn’t want to eat hot tomatoes (I don’t like hot cooked tomatoes, go figure) so I added them after I pulled my pizza out of the oven. And you know what? A pizza with both hot and cold toppings is totally delish. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before.

Pizza stone lunch

January 22 #dailylunches - pizza

I also drizzled it with spicy honey. Which is something I am now going to pour over all of my food. I got the idea from here but would love to buy it locally.

It’s funny how much pizza toppings have evolved over time, isn’t it? When I was a kid, the only pizza toppings were pepperoni, green peppers, and mushrooms. I remember the first time someone suggested I try a pizza with pineapple on it. It seemed like such a bizarre thing to do but now it’s actually one of my favourite toppings for pizza (as long as it’s accompanied with bacon, of course). What do you put on your pizza?


6 Responses to "Pizza stones and a small pizza-related revelation"

1 | Meaghan

January 23rd, 2016 at 2:08 pm

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We have broken a few stones over the years, but replace them quickly because we too love it! We grill pizza a lot in the summer. I have always loved lots of mushrooms & roasted garlic, but you are right, cold ingredients go well too. I love proscuitto & arugula cold. I don’t like my proscuitto cooked so I top it (or if we buy pizza even) top it after it is cooked.

2 | Lisa from Iroquois

January 24th, 2016 at 8:44 am

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Try pineapple with pepperoni. The contrast of sweet and spicy is absolutely delish.

3 | Claudette

January 25th, 2016 at 10:12 am

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mmmm.

I am on the fence about a stand mixer but a pizza stone…gonna but it on my list right now. :)

Thanks for the tips!

4 | andrea tomkins

January 25th, 2016 at 11:04 am

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The dough recipe is easy enough about it. The pizza stone is a fab tool! It’s not a new invention either. People have been baking this way for centuries… Which leads me to believe they knew what they were doing. :)

5 | andrea tomkins

January 25th, 2016 at 11:06 am

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The dough recipe is easy enough without it. The pizza stone is a fab tool! It’s not a new invention either. People have been baking this way for centuries… Which leads me to believe they knew what they were doing. :)

6 | Laurel

February 3rd, 2016 at 10:36 am

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I always transfer my loaded pizza to my stone:) I have the wood pizza slider and I roll on there on top of cornmeal and slide in-tricky sometimes but it works:) Now I want pizza!

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (18) and Sarah (16). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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