Emile Henry Pizza Stone
12/23/10 - 11:51 Filed in: Gear | Baking | Prep Tip
I never thought I’d own a pizza stone. After all I don’t make pizza in my oven, and I like making pizza on the grill without the stone. I like being able to grill both sides of the crust as opposed to baking one side like you do with a pizza stone. Until two weeks ago I had no reason to want a pizza stone. Then I started making bread from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. This book recommended using a pizza stone for the crispiest crust. Since I was really happy with the results so far on the recipes that didn’t call for a pizza stone, I figured these authors knew what they were talking about. My initial breads were made in loaf pans and a stone wasn’t required. I was going to be graduating to loaves cooked without a loaf pan. The authors said you could use a metal pizza pan, but highly recommended a pizza stone. So suddenly a pizza stone was on my radar. The author’s web site had a blog entry on pizza stones and the Emile Henry Pizza Stone was a dark horse favorite. I noticed it was sold at Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table, which meant it was a serious pizza stone. Poking around and looking at critics reviews of pizza stones on the internet, I found this topped many lists as the best pizza stone. Santa came early this year and I picked up my stone. I really like it a lot and while I may not grill with mine, I figured there are others out there with smaller or round grills who may need to use a pizza stone. That is the reason for this blog.
So what is special about this pizza stone? Many things actually. First of all it is glazed which makes cleanup an absolute breeze. From my brief experience you probably won’t need to do this, but it is the only pizza stone that is dishwasher safe. At least according to the manufacturers. The glaze not a smooth glaze, but there is a fine texture to it. This hard glaze has several other advantages. You can cut right on the pizza stone without fear of damaging it and it makes the stone look attractive enough you can serve on it too if you want. The stone can be used on any type of stovetop or oven and the grill at temperatures of up to 750 degrees (400 C). Unlike most pizza stones, this one has handles which make it easy to move around. You must wear heat proof gloves off course, and it you place it on your table you should use a trivet. But it is one of the few pizza stones attractive and versatile enough that it can go from oven to table if you wish.
As soon as I got it home yesterday, I was off to the fridge to get some dough. My end product was to be a European Peasant Boulle. I set the delayed start timer on the oven to preheat the oven for 30 minutes. When I transferred the boulle from the pizza peel to the stone a bunch of corn meal made the trip with the boulle too. I was afraid I’d have a bunch of burned crust on the stone, but at that point there was nothing I could do about it now. The bread came out great with a wonderful crust that was crisp but thin enough you could easily bite into it. It was everything I hoped for. As for the cleanup I had to wait for this morning to let the stone cool off. I was amazed how easy the clean up actually was. I took the stone out of the oven and 99 percent of the cornmeal brushed off with a dry paper towel. There was one area where the peel must have compressed the corn meal and it left a light streak on the stone. I quick pass with a wet paper towel and it was gone. The picture at the top of this page was taken just after I cleaned the stone. By the way, don’t ever use soap on a pizza stone since your next dish will taste of soap. I don’t ever see where I will have a problem cleaning this stone.
So if you want a pizza stone that works great and is versatile, can go on any stove, in any oven or on the grill. This is the one. It has handles to make it easy to move. You can also cut on it and is attractive enough it will be at home on your table. Cleanup couldn’t be easier. What more could you ask for in a pizza stone?
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