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Pizza / Baking Stone Vs Pizza Pan?
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Putting the issue of cost aside, would a pizza/baking stone or a pizza pan be a better tool to use for pizza? I have 4 kids ages 4 - 12, so I'd prefer to have 2 pizzas in the oven at once. I'm not sure if you can have 2 pizza stones in the oven at once??

For a pizza pan, I'd either get a Cuisinart non-stick one or a Lodge cast iron one. For a stone, I'd get a square one, so I could try it out for baking. Do you use your stone for baking as well?

Thanks!

Sharon

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you can certainly put two stones in the oven at once if there's space (different racks). stones generally do a better job at distributing heat without letting moisture build up, so I would do one of those over non-stick any day of the week. I'd go cast iron second, as it would also do a good job distributing heat.

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I think this is somethign you really have to try out before you know which you prefer. I have used stones in the past (from Pampered Chef) and I did not like the way they cooked pizza crusts. I like my crusts to be crispy and the stones seemed to make them always take longer to cook and they never got that crispness I love. I have many friends that love their pizza stones and would not dream of cooking on anything else. But in my experience the dough was always undercooked. I prefer my inexpensive, non-stick Wilton pizza pans. I always transfer my pizza from the pan to a cutting board before slicing so that I don't scratch the non-stick coating and only rinse with hot water, never scrub with antything scratchy. Do keep in mind that for gluten-free pizza crusts you will want one with edges and without holes. Unless you have a crust you already know is your favorite and is a dense dough...most gluten-free pizza doughs are more like spackle or thick batter instead of dough.

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I thought the baking stones had to be preheated before putting on the pizza crust. Don't know how that would work with a gluten-free pizza crust. I don't have one so really don't know how they work.

In Jules Shepard's Free For All Cooking, she recommends using a pizza pan with holes in it and lined with aluminum goil (lightly oiling the foil). She does have the recipe on her blog and it's the next one I'm going to try: http://blog.julesglu.../2011/02/pizza/

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I thought the baking stones had to be preheated before putting on the pizza crust. Don't know how that would work with a gluten-free pizza crust. I don't have one so really don't know how they work.

This is my experience too. I simply can't figure out how to transfer the messy gluten free crust onto a preheated pizza stone. Back when I was eating gluten I used pizza stones exclusively for my homemade pizzas, but I can't make it work. Great idea about lining the pan with aluminum foil! I have a pizza pan with holes and I just deal with the goopy mess it makes on my counter, but I will use the foil trick next time.

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Many crusts require that you prebake them before filling. You could then transfer to the stone for the toppings bake if you like the pizza stone finish to your crust, because yes, you do have to get them hot first.

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This is my experience too. I simply can't figure out how to transfer the messy gluten free crust onto a preheated pizza stone. Back when I was eating gluten I used pizza stones exclusively for my homemade pizzas, but I can't make it work. Great idea about lining the pan with aluminum foil! I have a pizza pan with holes and I just deal with the goopy mess it makes on my counter, but I will use the foil trick next time.

Now I remember...a gluteny pizza dough crust would be transferred to the hot baking stone with a pizza peel. Now try to do that with a gluten-free pizza crust! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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I love, love, love my pizza stone. But I use a hybrid technique.

First, I take a large pizza pan, cover with parchment paper, and spread the gooey dough on that. I put the whole thing (pan and all) on top of the stone, which I just leave in there to get hot. After about 5-6 minutes when the crust starts to brown on top, I take it out, peel off the parchment paper and flip it over, then go another 5 minutes or so until the other side just starts to brown.

Then I take it out and put it on the hot pizza stone and add toppings, and put both back into the oven for a final bake, and use a pizza peel to take it out.

No more doughy crusts - comes out great even when I am making a giant pizza (which I mostly do all of the time now - my son can really put it away).

Then I bought a rectangular stone which I use all of the time for cookies, breadsticks, etc. These I can just put directly on the hot stone to bake. I did get a little Pampered Chef round scoop to use for the cookie dough - helps portion it out neatly and quickly onto the hot baking stone. Cookies and breadsticks cook so much better on a stone!

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I love, love, love my pizza stone. But I use a hybrid technique.

First, I take a large pizza pan, cover with parchment paper, and spread the gooey dough on that. I put the whole thing (pan and all) on top of the stone, which I just leave in there to get hot. After about 5-6 minutes when the crust starts to brown on top, I take it out, peel off the parchment paper and flip it over, then go another 5 minutes or so until the other side just starts to brown.

Then I take it out and put it on the hot pizza stone and add toppings, and put both back into the oven for a final bake, and use a pizza peel to take it out.

No more doughy crusts - comes out great even when I am making a giant pizza (which I mostly do all of the time now - my son can really put it away).

I will have to try that :)

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Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I didn't think about the gooeyness of the crust dough. I haven't made one from scratch yet, so no experience with it yet. I have a couple of gluten-free baking cookbooks and some flours coming my way, so probably next week. (The nerves in my legs are shot from a gluten challenge I did, so I decided to avoid baking for a few days.)

I love, love, love my pizza stone. But I use a hybrid technique.

First, I take a large pizza pan, cover with parchment paper, and spread the gooey dough on that.

This technique sounds very interesting. Do you use a pan with holes or without? I also need to make big pizzas or a whole bunch of them. The pre-packaged pizzas and crusts are so TINY! Well, except Amy's, but my kids hated their frozen pizza.

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This technique sounds very interesting. Do you use a pan with holes or without? I also need to make big pizzas or a whole bunch of them. The pre-packaged pizzas and crusts are so TINY! Well, except Amy's, but my kids hated their frozen pizza.

My pan does not have holes, but it doesn't matter because I'm only using it to hold the dough until it bakes enough to peel off the parchment paper.

My large pan and the stone are the same size - I think 16-inch diameter. I normally make a "New York" style crust, so it is fairly thick, and I always load on the toppings. This size pizza will feed 2 adults and my daughter (one half) and then 1 teenage son (the other half)!

By the way, whenever I make pizza from scratch, I always make extra crusts. I have a smaller pan (12 inch") that I do essentially the same thing - I spread the dough on parchment paper and get the crust brown, then flip. I do this in the lower rack while the "real" pizza crust is cooking on the top rack. After this smaller one is slightly brown on both sides, I take it out, cool, wrap and freeze. Then whenever I want to make that one I just take out of the freezer, thaw a bit, add toppings and cook directly on the stone.

A few years back I bought some 6 inch pans to use for personal size pizzas for lunch - my son has long outgrown them, but I do sometimes make some in my 8 inch round cake pans. For some reason, with the smaller size you can spray it real well with Pam and spread the dough in these and skip the parchment paper, and they will slide out. But with the larger crusts - no way.

I use Bette Hagman's recipe. We love it, but it is EXTREMELY sticky. The only way I have been successful handling it is to plop the dough in the middle of the pan, and get my hands very wet and lightly start spreading it around and out. I have to re-wet my hands 5-6 times at least. I have tried using olive oil and it just absorbs into the dough. I have tried every version of spatula, but to no avail.

Sorry this post is so long, but it took me a long time to work all these things out. I make pizza at least once a week and can almost do it in my sleep now!

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One other comment - with a square or rectangular stone, you could do the parchment paper over a cookie sheet for the first bake to make the pizza crust as large as possible. I have done this as well.

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Thanks so much for everyone's help! I have flours, cookbooks, and pizza pans on order and being shipped to me. I'm going to get a stone soon. I figured I can at least cook the frozen pizzas on the pans until I get a stone. (The kids' favorite frozen ones are 40% off or something at Sprouts right now!)

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My wife is a Pampered Chef consultant and I love our baking stones for pizza. But you have to precook almost every type of gluten-free crust. I prefer a coconut flour/almond meal/egg crust. It gets nice and crisp.

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My wife is a Pampered Chef consultant and I love our baking stones for pizza. But you have to precook almost every type of gluten-free crust. I prefer a coconut flour/almond meal/egg crust. It gets nice and crisp.

That sounds good - would you mind sharing the recipe?

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I have the lodge cast iron pizza pan and LOVE IT. You can certainly have 2 in the oven at the same time.

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Holes, Holes, Holes!!! We like thin and crispy here. The holes in the pizza pan really prevent the moisture build up . . . but all crusts are prebaked . . . Udi's frozen crust when we need pizza quick or prebake from gooey dough in a regular pan than transferred to the pan with holes. Likewise when we do crust from scratch, we do several and freeze the extras in the "prebaked" stage.

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Holes, Holes, Holes!!! We like thin and crispy here. The holes in the pizza pan really prevent the moisture build up . . . but all crusts are prebaked . . .

Yes, must be prebaked, otherwise Holes, Holes, Holes give tits, tits, tits on the bottom :lol:

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Yes, must be prebaked, otherwise Holes, Holes, Holes give tits, tits, tits on the bottom :lol:

LOL!! We used to have a ball that was easy to grip that looked like that. When my youngest was still nursing, he would always want to put it in his mouth! LOL!

Anyway

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I've always used Chebe pizza mix to make pizza's. Before I got a stone I used a regular cookie sheet and while it satisfied my pizza craving it wasn't crispy enough using the cookie sheet, too soft.

I got a pizza stone as a Christmas gift and haven't looked back! The Chebe crisps up very nicely you can actually hear the "crunch" as its being cut. I like to cut it in triangles like a real pizza :) My mom who is also gluten-free and people who are not gluten-free all agree it tastes like real pizza.

I roll the dough in a little bit of gluten-free bisquick as its a little more grainy than regular gluten-free flour. I think it helps it to slide off the paddle better onto the stone.

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