The contest portion of this post is over but you can still enjoy the recipes!
Though this post isn’t part of our “Back To School Series”, I can say that pizza night at our house is a pretty fun event and the perfect ending to a busy week of school, work and sports! It is also a meal that the whole family takes part in. Especially after we brought home the BakerStone Pizza Oven Box. I was first introduced to this product at the International Housewares Show in Chicago back in March. My family LOVES pizza so I was intrigued by this box that goes on my grill (works on gas or charcoal), replicates a wood fire oven and bakes a pizza in less than three minutes. BakerStone graciously sent me one to test out and told me if I liked it and wanted to feature it on the blog they would give one away to one of our readers! Talk about a WIN WIN for everyone!! And just in time for National Cheese Pizza Day!
You can read more about the PizzaStone Box on their website but I’ll share a few tips I learned along the way and then will share some of my family’s favorite pizza recipes/toppings.
I can say that first off, the BakerStone Box came beautifully packaged! I’m always worried when baking stones are shipped and wonder if everything will arrive in one piece. I can honestly say that this product is excellently packaged and everything arrived in pristine condition. Next, directions….though I pride myself on being able to follow directions, sometimes the problem with directions isn’t the “follower” but the “giver” of the directions. Here again, BakerStone did a fantastic job of describing parts and walking you through the step by step process of assembling the product. It truly only took me about 15-20 minutes tops to put everything together. I also love that it comes with its own wooden pizza peel and a long metal spatula to be able to turn the pizza once inside the box.
Once everything was together, we were ready to fire up the grill and start rolling in dough. 🙂 (Sorry, just couldn’t help myself) Our personal grill is on the larger side (5 burners), so we found that placing a bit of aluminum foil on either side of the pizza box helped keep the heat directly on the pizza box instead of it escaping around the side.
Now, because you have to let the pizza box heat up for 15-20 minutes on high, I recommend you get all of your toppings ready and begin to roll out your pizza so that once the pizza box is hot, you can start whipping out pizzas with little to no down time.
So now let’s talk about pizza crust and toppings. Everyone has their favorite pizza toppings and we’ve actually covered quite a few on past blog posts. Here are the links to a few:
Pizza Sauce (a basic sauce can be found in the Ketchup post)
Meat: We have a few to choose from.
- Basic Pork Sausage
- Buffalo Chicken (originally for burgers but just brown the ground meat to use on a pizza)
- Turkey Breakfast Sausage
And of course I couldn’t live without my Ankarsrum Vegetable Cutter attachment for grating all the cheese!
I will share some of our favorite flavor combinations below but I’d like to go over a few crust recipes with you.
My family prefers a hand tossed, pan pizza style crust. They like it to be a little on the sweeter side and they like it to be nice and fluffy. I’ve tried a few other crust recipes and though my family didn’t care for them, they still turned out great. I decided to go ahead and include all the ones I tried but I will confess that our favorite was just a slight variation of My Favorite Yeast Bread Recipe.
One note about flour. A 00 flour, high protein bread flour or even whole wheat flour can be used in any of these recipes. Use the same amount called for. If you prefer to use freshly milled flour, I recommend a Hard White variety because it has a milder flavor and won’t give a “whole wheat” flavor. If you are trying to use ancient grains like Spelt or Kamut, I recommend Kamut flour because it has a beautiful buttery flavor that melds very nicely with pizza toppings.
One last note before we move onto the recipes. I understand that not everyone will be using the Pizza Oven Box by BakerStone so here are a few baking options:
Pizza Stone in the oven: I recommend a high temperature – 450º. Most pizzas will take about 7-9 minutes to bake.
Traditional Pizza Pan in the oven: I recommend baking at a high temperature – 450º. Depending on the size of the pizza, bake time will vary but will most likely be around 15-25 minutes.
Okay, time to go over the crust recipes.
Traditional Brick Oven Crust*
Note: This is a bit more tedious of a recipe and the process to make it is stretched over several days. It involves making a Biga. Biga is a type of pre-fermentation process. It is similar to making a sourdough starter but it is much thicker in consistency than a sourdough starter and it takes only 12-16 hours to make and does not require regular feedings like a sourdough starter.
I preferred to make my Biga first thing in the morning so that 12 hours later I was able to mix up my pizza dough and put in the refrigerator before I went to bed. Then I took the dough out of the refrigerator the morning of “pizza night” to let it rest and come to room temperature in time for assembly and baking that evening.
2/3 cup bread flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. gluten (optional but recommended if using whole wheat or freshly milled flour)
Combine together in a small glass bowl. Seal with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 12 hours. This will be a soft dough consistency and after 12 hours of resting, it will have doubled in size and have a spongy texture.
1 1/4 cup water
2.5 oz. Biga (leftover biga can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. Allow to thaw and come to room temperature before next use)
1 tsp. yeast
3 cups bread flour (+ 1/2 cup as needed)
1 Tbsp. gluten (optional but recommended when using whole wheat or freshly milled flour)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Using the stainless steel bowl on the Ankarsrum, and with the roller and scraper set in place, combine water, risen biga, 3 cups of flour and yeast. Turn machine on starting on the lowest speed and mix until a soft dough is formed. Add the additional 1/2 cup of flour if the dough seems too wet. Once dough is formed, turn machine off, remove the roller and scraper, cover with the bowl lid and let rest for 20 minutes. Once the dough is done resting, remove the lid and replace the roller and scraper. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and turn machine on, adjusting the arm/roller away from the side of the bowl. Lock the roller in a place where it is gently kneading the dough as it passes between the roller and the side of the bowl. You do not want the roller to be too far away from the side that it isn’t kneading, but you do not want it so close that the dough moves the arm back and forth too harshly as the dough passes behind it. Turn the speed knob up to about 3 o’clock and knead for 12 minutes.
Once kneaded, remove the roller and scraper. You can leave the dough in the stainless steel bowl or transfer to a food safe container. Cover the stainless steel bowl with the white lid or seal the food safe container. Store the dough in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours.
Day of baking: Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Divide into dough balls and place on a slightly oiled cookie sheet and cover with an oiled towel. Let rise till doubled. About 1-2 hours. This recipe will make 2 medium (12″ – 14″) pizza crusts or about 5 individual (6″ – 8″) crusts.
Ready to bake: Dip the risen dough ball into flour and flatten on the counter or on a pizza peel. Hand stretch or roll out with a pizza roller. Top as desired and bake.
*We really liked this dough. Of all of the non-sweet pizza dough recipes that we have tried over the years, this one was the best! The texture was great and had a nice nutty flavor due to the use of the Biga.
2 cups warm water
4 cups high protein bread flour + 1/2 cup
1 Tbsp. gluten
4 tsp. instant yeast
8-10 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Combine warm water, 4 cups flour, gluten and yeast into the Stainless Steel Ankarsrum bowl. Position the scraper in place and adjust the roller so that it is all the way against the side of the bowl. Turn machine on lowest speed and mix just until combined (about 1 minute). Remove the roller and scraper, scraping any dough down into the bowl. Place white lid (dust cover) over the bowl and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Once time is up, replace the roller and scraper and add remaining ingredients including the last 1/2 cup flour. Turn mixer on, slowly increasing the speed knob to about 3 o’clock. Adjust the roller away from the side of the bowl until it is applying gentle pressure to the dough as it passes between the roller and the wall of the bowl. Lock arm in place and set timer for 5 minutes.
Once the machine turns off, allow the dough to rest about 5-10 minutes.
For immediate use: divide dough into however many pizzas you prefer. Roll out, top as desired and bake.
For later use: divide dough into individual dough balls. Place in a slightly greased plastic zippy bag and put in the freezer. Dough balls will take anywhere from 6-8 hours to thaw and be ready for use.
Yield: About 2 medium (12 inch) pizzas or 5 individual (6-8 inch) pizzas.
*Though my family wasn’t wild about this crust, it still turned out very soft with a nice chewy texture. Their chief complaint was that it didn’t really taste like anything. Like I said before, they are used to a bit of a sweeter crust so this was a little too bland for them.
Our Go To Pizza Crust
Note: For this recipe I’m going to introduce to you a sponging method for the dough. This method is amazingly helpful when using freshly milled whole wheat flour. Especially if the wheat you are using is a bit higher in moisture than you would normally like. You can use this method for your regular bread recipes. Just note, when sponging your recipe, you will most likely use up to 1/2 cup less flour than what is called for in your recipe and will knead the dough 2-3 minutes longer than normal and at a bit lower speed.
1 1/2 cup warm water
4 cups + 1/2 cup bread flour
1-2 Tbsp. gluten (I use 2 when using whole wheat or freshly milled flour)
2 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp. salt
Position the stainless steel bowl onto the Ankarsrum base and put the roller and scraper in place. Start by adding the warm water, half of the flour (about 2 cups), the gluten and the yeast. Turn the mixer on and mix on low just until combined. Remove the roller and scraper and place the white lid on the bowl. Allow to “sponge” or rest for about 10 minutes. Once sponging is complete, replace the roller and scraper. With the machine still off, add the oil, honey, salt and the remaining 2 cups of flour. Turn the machine on, slowly increasing the speed to about 3 o’clock. Adjust the arm/roller so that the roller is applying gentle pressure to the dough as it passes between it and the side of the bowl. Adjust the roller as needed and lock the arm in place. If the dough seems to be on the wet side, add the additional 1/2 cup of flour. Once the roller is locked in place, knead for about 6 minutes.
Once kneaded, allow dough to rest about 15-20 minutes. Dough is ready to be used right away or you can divide into dough balls and freeze for up to 1 month. Depending on the size of the dough ball, dough takes about 4-8 hours to thaw and come to room temperature and be ready for baking.
When ready to use, top and bake as desired.
Yield: 2 medium (12″ – 14″) pizza crusts OR 5 (6″ – 8″) individual pizza crusts
I already covered some of the optional toppings at the beginning of this post. There is one last recipe I want to share with you. This recipe has quickly become one of our favorites and it is so easy! This is a Pepperoncini Roast recipe that can be used for sandwiches or for topping your pizza.
Easy Pepperoncini Roast
3 lb. chuck roast
1 (16 oz.) bottle pepperoncini peppers, juice and all
Place chuck roast and peppers in a crock pot and cook on high for 6 hours. Remove peppers, chop and set aside. Pour off about half the liquid and shred the beef. Mix the chopped peppers back into the shredded beef.
Serve on Hamburger Buns with a bit of mayonnaise and horseradish. Or use as a topping for pizza along with onions, pepper, mushrooms and a little horseradish mixed in with the pizza sauce for a little kick!
This post is a bit picture heavy (but that is what happens when it becomes a family photo shoot and your kids are ridiculously cute! 🙂 Their topping choices are listed under each photo. We hope you’ve enjoyed this post and good luck to everyone entering our BakerStone Box contest!
Mixer Color Featured in this post: Red
Farmhouse Table provided by: Farmhouse Fireman
The contest portion of this post is over. Hope you enjoyed the recipes and product feature!