Make Pizzas Like the Pros! How To Make a Homemade Pizza Stone Using Quarry Tiles

Photobucket

What makes the best pizza? A good crust, right? It’s the same thing that makes French bread and other crusty breads delicious. That crispy exterior with that chewy interior. Yum. If you’ve ever tried making your own pizza at home using a regular baking sheet or even one of those metal pizza pans–you know that it’s virtually impossible to get that pizzeria crust in your home oven. Those pizzerias use wood burning, brick bread ovens and most of us obviously don’t have one of those at home. For that perfect crust at home, you can either grill your pizzas or get a pizza stone. Pizza stones are rather expensive though–even for the lesser quality ones. The good news is that you can actually make your own pizza stone using simple quarry tiles from your local home improvement store.

What you will want to ask for are unglazed quarry tiles. It is very important that you make sure that they are unglazed. Glazed tiles often have lead in them and you do not want that! If you are unsure, please check with the manufacturer. Unglazed quarry tiles cost about $1 each and you’ll only need a handful of them for a standard oven. You’ll want to measure your oven rack before heading to the home improvement store or…just take your oven rack with you. The tiles come in a couple of different sizes, but I’ve found that the 6×6 inch tiles are the most readily found. In some cases, you will need to cut or have someone cut a couple of the tiles to get the perfect fit for your oven.

We use the 6×6 tiles in 1/2 inch thickness. If you can get them thicker {up to 1 inch}, then that’s even better!

Photobucket

Using the pizza stone is simple and will produce the best pizzas! Before the first use, wash each of the tiles with soapy water and rinse thoroughly. After a few hours have passed and the tiles are completely bone dry, then they are ready to use. Put the tiles on the bottom rack of your oven and turn the oven on to 500 degrees. Let the oven and tiles preheat for 30 minutes to an hour. You want the tiles to get HOT.

Photobucket

Once the tiles are hot, you are ready to bake your pizza. You’ll need a pizza peel or a rimless cookie sheet to slide the pizza onto the hot tiles. I saw Julia Child use a simple piece of thin wood from a drawer bottom on one of her shows a while ago. The point is–you don’t need anything fancy, but it has to be rimless. To ensure that your pizza doesn’t stick to the peel, generously sprinkle the peel {or rimless cookie sheet} with coarse cornmeal or flour before placing the pizza on it. Using the pizza peel, slide your pizza onto the tiles and off of the peel. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is lightly browned {about 15 minutes}. Remove the pizza from the oven using the pizza peel or rimless cookie sheet. ENJOY!

Oh, and we don’t bother with taking the tiles out of the oven when not in use. We just leave them in the oven and bake as normal.  If you’re looking for a great pizza dough recipe, here’s our tried and true recipe–White Wheat Pizza Dough.

Comments

  1. I’ve got to try this. I am off to measure my oven right now. I like that you don’t have to remove the
    tiles – just leave them in the oven all of the time. I guess they don’t interfere with regular use of the
    oven – nice!