When it comes to pizza, given the choice, many people prefer the taste and “tooth” of a stone-baked pie. Subtly smoky in flavour, with crispier toppings and a signature fluffy—yet crispy—crust are the key reasons stone-baked pizza has an edge over conventionally baked pizza. This difference is evident upon the first bite—but what is it, exactly, that imparts such a distinctive taste and texture to a stone baked pizza? We find out from Leicester based pizza catering company Hot Stones Pizzas who every weekend prepare freshly made pizzas for weddings and special occasions with their mobile stone baked pizza ovens.
How it Works
A solid, quality pizza stone or brick oven can hold a significant amount of heat energy which radiates from the heat source and rapidly releases into each pizza as it bakes, delivering a crispier crust and more “oven springiness” to the dough—the characteristic “tooth quality” or “bite” of a stone-baked pizza. Baking pizza on a pizza stone or in a brick oven allows for both a higher cooking temperature and a rapid cook time—both of which ensure that many pizzas can be baked in a short amount of time, and also that the pizza never becomes soggy.
High Heats = Better Crust
Most conventional ovens top out at 260 degrees Celsius, while a pizza stone or brick oven can maintain temperatures of 300 to 350 degree Celsius, which is the ideal heat for pizza crusts that are fluffy, crispy, and ever-so-slightly smoky. At that heat, pizzas take less than 5 minutes to cook fully, so this is a fantastic option for making lots of “personal size” pizzas and still having everyone sit down to eat together.
Better Crust, Better Pizza
The biggest reason that many people prefer stone baked pizza is quite simply, the taste of it. Higher cooking temperatures crisp the pizza exterior quickly, sealing in any residual moisture in the dough—voilà! —no more soggy crust! The result is the unique taste of stone-baked pizza crust: crispy, slightly puffy, and soft and chewy once you bite through the crisp. Stone baked pies also impart the slightly smoky flavour to the crust, a taste that conventional ovens can’t replicate. Because high heat destroys the flavour of olive oil, in general, stone baked pies don’t have olive oil in either the dough or the sauce, but instead, a drizzle of high-quality olive oil finishes the pizza, so that the flavours can commingle immediately before serving.
Top Things Off
Crispier toppings are also the hallmark of a stone baked pizza—intense heat and the constant airflow generated by stone baking cooks and seals the toppings evenly and quickly. Vegetable toppings remain crispy, instead of releasing water which seeps into the crust, creating “the soggies.” This “flash cooking” of the toppings also allows veggie toppings t retain more of their vitamins and nutrients, so not only do they taste better, they’re better for you. Stone baked pizza cheese doesn’t burn, but instead achieves the sought-after colour, smoky flavour, and springiness that pizza lovers adore.
Taste The Difference For Yourself!
When it comes to gourmet pizza made conveniently and easily with a pizza stone, there’s really no comparison. Higher heats make for a better crust—crispy on the outside while retaining the interior fluffiness. Never settle for a soggy crust again! Crispier toppings and that one-of-a-kind smoky flavour make the difference between conventional pizza and stone-baked pizza unmistakable. This is definitely a kitchen trick that you’ll be glad you picked up.