I’ve urged you elsewhere on this blog that you must – and I can’t stress that word enough – must – buy a pizza stone if you’re thinking of making your own pizza bases. Unless you have your own wood fire oven in the garden, then a stone is the next best thing to use for making pizzas.
I was initially turned off from buying one, as my nephew (whose Italian girlfriend’s grandmother is teaching him how to cook) had broken several stones and so he told me not to buy one. But another cookaholic in work informed me passionately that it was the only thing to use !
So, thinking about it, I decided that at just under £20 I would buy one and try it out. The one I bought is now nearly a year old and is used at least once a week. It’s now a lovely black colour and I wouldn’t exchange it for the world (well I might for an outside wood burning oven)!
When I first unwrapped it I didn’t take to it at all. All whitey-cream and new looking on its chrome stand. Ugh! And when you first start using it, it doesn’t get any better – in fact it gets worse! But I decided that I’d follow the instructions very very carefully so that I’d avoid breaking it – like my nephew broke his.
The one important instruction was that the stone must not be washed (my poor mother would have a fit if she owned one and wasn’t allowed to wash it – everything is washed to death in her house!). Any residual pizza on the stone should be gently scraped off with a paper towel and then put away. This meant that the stone looked ghastly for quite a few months until it took on its present lovely blackened colour. So stick with this first rule – do not wash your stone.
The next rule is to place the pizza stone on the top shelf of the oven at the same time as you turn the oven on. And the oven must be set at gas mark 8. This ensures that the stone doesn’t crack.
So there you have it. A pizza stone you can buy and cherish!!