I bought a pizza stone from pampered chef nearly 11 years ago. Tried it a couple of times and never was pleased with the results. I'd hear people swear buy them, but I never quite got it. Mine has had little use and has mostly sat in the cupboard for the last 10 years.
We were fortunate, as when we purchased the stone we had a couple of locally owned pizza joints that made great, fresh, no processed ingredients, pizza. Until we moved to Texas.
We live in the DFW area and let me tell you, they don't understand pizza, or Italian food for that matter. I've actually stopped eating pizza because it is so awful...that is until recently. We've been fortunate tenough to find a local place that serves amazing pizza, but its a 20 minute drive to pick it up, and another 20 minutes home. And by the time we get it home it's cold.
So, I finally had it, and started researching for some good recipes for pizza dough. Tried a couple that I just tossed in the garbage, and then I came across Alton Brown's recipe. The ingredients looked fair enough, but it includes the pizza stone. I admit I was about to toss it on that principle alone. Because truthfully, I didn't even know if I had the pizza stone anymore. I found it after a lengthy search, but I grabbed my metal pizza pan just as a precaution.
So, per Alton, the stone must be heated at 500 degrees for 30 minutes before the dough touches it. I figured I'd precook it on the pizza stone and then throw it on the metal pan to get brown.And you know what? It worked. I didn't need the metal pan. I took a spatchula to check the bottom of the crust before I put the ingredients on, and it was turning a beautiful golden brown. I have to say, I turned out an amazing pizza. It was easy, fun, and oh so delicious! The crust was crunchy, not soggy, had great texture and really stood up to the ingredients.
So, after my poor pizza stone sat lifeless and unloved for years, I can honestly say that it is about to get a serious workout. I don't know what I did with it previously, maybe I never preheated it. But I get it now. I fully understand the appreciation for the stone, and so a fan has been born!
Has anyone else had this "duh!" moment with a cooking apparatus?