Today we are sharing a "top secret" two-steel method, which results in kick ass, drool worthy pizzas, fast! (FYI: this powerful and amazing idea came from this guy, Tony Gemignani. You need to read this book.) How fast do you ask....we're talking 4-minutes fast! By following these simple steps, you'll be creating homemade pizzas as good as anywhere in the world.
First things first, to make the best pizza at home, you need to make your own dough. Sounds daunting, right? Well, beyond a little time management and planning ahead, there really isn't much too it. Flour, salt, water, yeast, a 72-hr ferment and you are good to go! Get our favorite dough recipe/step by step guide here.
So, fast forward three days...your dough is made, "balled" in the fridge and you're feeling good! You are going to want to pull your dough out of the fridge at least an hour before your guests arrive. You want the dough to rest and acclimate to room temperature. It’s a lot easier to stretch when the internal temperature of the dough hits 70F.
At the same time you’re pulling out the dough, place your Baking Steels in the oven-one on the top rack and the other, on the bottom rack. Preheat your oven to 500F for at least one hour. You want the steels to absorb as much heat as possible. If you have convection, use it! The convection setting turns on that little fan in the back of your oven. This continuously circulates the hot air in your oven, so the food tends to cook more quickly. A' la 4-minute Pizza!
So the dough is resting at room temperature and your oven is hot. Time to take it up a notch! Switch the oven to broil. You want those Baking Steels scorching when you launch, and the broiler helps to get you there. Stretching and topping my pizza usually takes me 3 or 4 minutes, so, by the time I’m ready to launch, the Baking Steel will hit temps of 600 F...that is perfect for the launch!
Here comes the important part: oven is on broil, launch your pizza onto the top rack steel, then immediately set your timer for 2 minutes. Do not open your oven until that timer goes off!! You want to keep the heat inside. Each time you open and close the oven door, you lose heat. As soon as that timer goes off, open the oven, remove your pizza to the peel and relaunch onto the bottom rack Baking Steel. The reason, the second Steel is now hotter than the top Steel. Think extra crispy on the bottom. Remember, work fast! Now, switch the oven back to bake (convection if you have it), close the oven and set your timer for another 2 minutes. Be patient-wait for the timer! As soon as it goes off, open the oven, remove your pizza to the peel and drumroll....perfectly cooked pizza, bottom and top!
Side note: If you have an electric oven, the broilers tend to cycle on and off. Learn how your oven cycles and when the broiler is about to cycle on, LAUNCH! This will take some practice, but in most cases, you will be able to leave it on broiler for the entire 4 minute bake.
Double side note: Are two Baking Steels better than one? Yes. But this method also works with just one Baking Steel.