The Ultimate Pizza Setup: Baking Stone Plus Baking Steel

We’re big fans of baking stones and steels for cooking pizza and bread, but this combo technique takes it to the next level.

Baking steels make excellent pizza and bread, but because they transfer heat very rapidly, you have to watch food more closely than you might with a baking stone made of ceramic. Ceramic can hold more heat, and transfers it to the dough more slowly than steel. If you are a serious pizza maker, a baking steel is great to have. A steel can cook a pizza up to 30 percent faster than a baking stone, and the faster a pizza cooks, the crispier its crust will be, while its interior crumb stays moist and tender, not dried-out or tough. But we’ve learned that the best results don’t stop with a steel. For the ultimate setup, place your baking steel on top of a baking stone, and then preheat your oven (the temperature will depend on the recipe). The stone acts as a heat sink, keeping the steel hotter for longer, which allows you to bake multiple pizzas in a row without having to wait for the steel to heat back up. Just be sure to preheat the stone/steel combination for at least an hour to give it time to absorb enough heat.

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