Project Pizza Stone

I'm lucky enough to cook in a fantastic kitchen with granite work counters (which often mirror the flash when I take pictures but are otherwise awesome). Since a piece of the granite was cut out for the stove, we had a rather big and heavy block of granite sitting around, which lead to the idea of having it cut in shape to use as a pizza stone. Most pizza stones are made from chamotte (grog), but there are also some granite ones, only marble is chalkstone and therefore not suited for the heat differences, according to my research. You place the pizza stone on the grill rack of the oven (preferably with a margin of 1 cm all around to avoid areas of trapped heat), heat up the oven and bake the pizza or bread on the stone, which provides for the crisp pizza base by gradually suppliying the heat. You can use a wooden bread paddle to get the pizza into the oven, but since that seems to require some practice (and a wooden paddle), we used a wooden cutting board with a baking sheet on top. Sometimes you read that the pizza stone must have a porous surface in order to "absorb the humidity from the air", for which baking sheets pose a small problem. Since our stone has a smooth surface anyway (which is very helpful for cheese rests which tend to stink and burn in on chamotte stones), I guess the baking paper didn't matter. You could also remove it from under the pizza after 2 minutes of baking...but it worked very nicely like this, too!
Ingredients for a rectangular pizza:

300 g flour
1 P. dry yeast (14 g)
 150 ml water
1 TSP sugar
1/2 TSP salt
2 TBSP olive oil

100 m Pizzaiola
150 g mozzarella
Toppings after your own herats desire, here: 
100 g ham 
50 g corn
50 g asparagus 
50 g prawns

Energy: 202 kcal per piece with 8 pieces and this topping

Knead the ingredients for the pizza dough except for the oil with the dough hook of the kitchen machine or by hand in a bowl. Proceed to knead in the olive oil afterwards, otherwise the dough cannot absorb the water well. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let it rise for 2-3 hours. After about 2 hours, set the oven with the pizza stone in it on maximum temperature, in my case 300°C. 
The thicker the stone, the more heat it can absorb and the longer it takes for it to be heated up, for mine sized 38 x 36 x 3,8 cm it took nearly an hour to reach 300°C.

In the meantime, cut up the toppings and roll out the pizza dough, then spread the Pizzaiola thinly on the dough and top it with mozzarella and the other toppings. 
The baking time is about 5-8 minutes at a steady 300°C, possibly longer at a lower  temperature.

Hints: for a particularly opulent or moist topping, you could pre-bake the pizza dough with the pizzaiola! 
Fresh mozzarella is more moist than the ground one you can buy in bags, we usually use the fresh one but this time it was the ground mozzarella.
I'll do some more comparison studies as time goes by, such as remove the baking sheet vs. leaving it in, fresh vs. ground mozzarella, smooth vs. porouse side of the pizza stone facing up, thinner dough, pre-baking the dough...but first we enjoy this delicious, crunchy pizza! Buon Appetito!

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