Feb 19

2013

How To’sday: How to Make Crispy, Homemade Pizza Without a Pizza Stone

Delicious pizza for you!

I can’t really express in words how much I love pizza. The enormous quantities of free pizza I ate at college events (and, let’s be honest, continue to eat at college events) has never quelled my craving for crispy pizza crust topped with any manner of sauces, cheeses, meats, pineapple, spinach… gaaaah. I really love pizza.

And I really love that I can make it at home. No, I don’t have a 900°F pizza oven. And yes, I do have a pizza stone. But! I didn’t until only a couple years ago, and though I really love my pizza stone, I’m here to tell you that you can cook beautiful, crispy-bottomed, bubbly-topped pizza at home TONIGHT with no pizza stone.

Here’s how:

1. Take two large cookie sheets and nest them together. Place them on a center rack of a cold oven upside-down. Heat the oven to 475°F. Preheating the pans in this way will allow the pizza to cook from the ambient heat in the oven but will allow the crust to become crispy from contact with the hot pan, similar to using a pizza stone.

Two cookie sheets

2. Prepare your pizza dough (I have a wonderfully easy recipe here). While it rises, cut a sheet of parchment paper the size of the cookie sheet and place it on a cutting board. Sprinkle with corn meal.

Sprinkle parchment with corn meal

3. Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface and transfer it to the cornmeal-sprinkled parchment paper.

Place the rolled dough on the parchment

4. Add toppings to your pizza as desired. Leave about half an inch of space around the edges of the crust.

Add toppings

5. Open the oven and slide the rack with the trays out slightly. Gently slide the parchment and pizza off of the cutting board onto the cookie sheet bottom. Don’t worry, you can bake parchment paper!

Slide the parchment onto the hot cookie sheets

6. Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes until the edges of the crust are browning and the cheese is bubbling and developing golden-brown spots. Remove the pizza from the oven and carefully slide the pizza onto a cutting board. Slice into pieces and eat!

Nice crisp crust!

See that? That is a crisp, beautiful pizza crust. The pre-heated cookie sheets help to form this crispy treat, while the ambient heat in the oven cooks the rest of the pizza.

Now if you have the space, I do recommend buying a pizza stone. I really love mine, and it’s great to make a round pizza every once in a while. There are a whole bunch of other tips to help you work with a pizza stone, but that will make for another How To’sday!

In the meantime, even without the stone, you can still make a dang good homemade pizza.

What are your favorite pizza toppings? Do you have a favorite pizza crust recipe?

Crispy pizza crust 

9 Comments

  1. Suzy says:

    Yum! Looks and sounds great! Now I want pizza for lunch!

  2. jake says:

    pizza…one version i made at least once a week last summer during kale season. Bush crust with olive oil (no tomato sauce), toss lots of shredded shredded kale with sliced garlic, salt and a bit more oil and pile on the crust, sprinkle with a bit of either half cooked bits of bacon or sliced spicy cured sausage (i use hot cacciatore sausage), a very light touch of good mozza and parmesan. This is best on a thin, crispy/chewing crust. so good.

    cheers

  3. Jessica says:

    I like vegetables on my pizza. Spinach, onions, green peppers. Not mushrooms, though.

    And I am DYING to try the smitten kitchen recipe for shaved asparagus pizza.

  4. Arden says:

    I thought your first picture of pizza looked like Texas:)
    Hope all is well and spring is in the air.
    ox

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  6. Schira says:

    Can i use just 1 baking sheet instead of nesting them up as shown?

    1. Kristi @ 30 Pounds of Apples says:

      Yep! I like the heft of two, but you can definitely just use one.

  7. Tracie says:

    I received a pizza stone as a gift some umpteen years ago but never quite figured out how to use it, so I gave it away and never really tried to make homemade pizza again, which is odd because we eat garden to table in our own home as long as our garden is producing.

    My son was craving pizza. We recently returned from vacation where we ate some of the best NY style pizza, and I felt a little depressed about eating marginal pizza from one of our local joints. On a whim, I purchased a couple pizza dough balls from our local food coop but didn’t know how to prepare them. I searched “how to make pizza on a cookie sheet,” and came across your pizza crust baking instructions. And thank god I did! I was about to make a MESS of things.

    I prepared two pizzas and cooked them following your instructions implicitly. The pizzas were perfect! I look forward to trying your pizza dough recipe next and will possible invest in a new pizza tray. Good job.

  8. Rick says:

    Just used this recipe, absolutely fantasctic! Mom is out of town on business and made pizza with my 13-yr old son…he said, “wow, this is perfect!” Many thanks for posting this recipe!

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