Emile Henry, the homemade pizzaiola specialist
The secret to making pizzeria-style pizza at home is fairly simple. You need highgluten and high-protein flour, high heat, and the right equipment. Emile Henry pizza stones and bakers are crafted to conduct high heat evenly making them perfect for baking pizzas in a home oven.
When it comes to baking pizza dough in a home oven, nothing beats ceramic. The unique material used in our pizza stones and bakers has the same refractory properties as that used in traditional bread or pizza ovens. The ceramic allows the high temperatures to conduct evenly during the baking, which is a requirement if the pizza is to come out crispy on the edges and bottom while keeping the crust light and airy on the inside.
You don't have to be an expert
Emile Henry pizza stones and bakers make homemade pizza accessible to everyone.
The stones come with recipe ideas and tips for making the perfect pizza!
Please click here to see all Emile Henry Pizza Stones and Bakers.
Please click here to download our Pizza Baking Recipe Booklet.
1. Make sure the yeast is not expired.
2. Use the correct flour. All-Purpose flour will work well but Italian 00 highprotein flour is best.
3. Knead the dough until it has a soft, supple, elastic, and smooth consistency.
Do not rush this as you do not want to “overheat the dough.”
4. Place the dough in the refrigerator so the pizza dough can slowly ferment in the refrigerator for hours.
5. Less is more. Even on an “everything” pizza, you still only want to use the toppings sparingly to prevent the dough from sticking due to weight.
6. If you get a hole in your dough while you’re stretching it, it’s OK. Dough is pretty forgiving and you can typically pinch it back together. Once it’s sealed shut, avoid stretching that part.
7. Make it hot! The high temperature of your home oven is what’s needed to help make that pizza have that pizzeria look, feel, and taste.
8. Hand-tossed pizzas and 2 pizza stones – Start your pizza out on the bottom pizza stone and bake until almost fully baked. The last minute of baking, transfer the pizza from the bottom stone to the top stone just to add that last bit of browning to the crust.
Pan Pizza/Focaccia Tips
1. Prepare your pan for baking by coating it in unsalted butter. After 5+ bakes in it, the pan should be seasoned so you can switch to olive oil if desired.
2. After the first rise, place the pizza dough into the prepared pan and gently nudge/press it into the corners and edges. If it springs back, it means the dough is not relaxed enough. Simply cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest 15-20 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and try again. Depending on the ambient temperature in your kitchen this could take a couple attempts.
3. Be creative! Your toppings can be traditional or non-traditional.
4. Preheat the oven for at least 15-20 minutes.
5. Ensure that the pizza is done by inserting an oven-proof thermometer into the crust. When it reads 200°F, remove the pan from the oven.
6. Remove the baked pizza/focaccia from the hot pan and onto either a cooling rack or cutting board.
Tips & Tricks
5 BASIC STEPS TO MAKE YOUR HOMEMADE PIZZA A SUCCESS EVERY TIME:
1. Use high-gluten/high-protein flour. Use Italian 00 type flour if you have it or use a bread flour.
2. Prepare your dough either by hand or in a mixer, following the recipes in this booklet or using your own recipes.
3. For maximum flavor, allow your dough to cold ferment, covered for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
4. Bring your dough to room temperature, away from drafts, typically 2-4 hours prior to baking the pizza.
5. Place the stone on the lower third rack of your oven and preheat it in the oven for at least 30 minutes prior to baking.
For a crispy and chewy pizza crust, use 00 flour. This is the most refined Italian flour typically made from soft wheat or durum wheat. On average it has a higher protein count than say All Purpose flour. The higher protein count is what gives the dough it’s stretchy chew while maintaining a light, crispy tenderness.
Yeast is a living organism that feeds on flour in bread dough. As the mixture sits, it ferments, and the yeast expels carbon dioxide gas. The gas gets trapped in the dough’s elastic network and it magically rises. You can use active dry and instant yeast to make pizza dough. Both are easy to use and can be added directly to the flour. Or you can dilute the yeast in warm water before using. Fresh baker’s yeast, which is available in some markets or from a local baker, must be moistened in water before using.
Many bakers replace prepared yeast with sourdough starter or a natural leaven, but it’s a much more delicate process that you can learn about on our Bread 101 page.
Water & Hydration
Water moistens the ingredients and helps warm the yeast. The hydration of pizza dough is the amount of water in relation to the amount of flour in a given recipe, expressed as percentages. If a dough contains 1000g of flour and 600g of water, it has a hydration of 60%.
Hydration will affect dough properties such as how elastic the dough is, the stickiness, the rise (speed and height), and crust texture.
Sea salt, or a fine salt, is what’s recommended to use in pizza dough. If salt flakes or coarse salt is used it can take much longer for it to dissolve into the dough.
Salt, aside from adding flavor, plays a huge role in the fermentation process. It helps to tighten the gluten structure while the dough is proofing. This, in turn, is what helps strengthen the dough. Additionally, it also helps to regulate the yeast so it’s not over/under active.
Some pizza doughs call for oil and some do not. Adding oil, while not always necessary, can be seen as an essential ingredient.
It helps the dough to stretch easier by preserving the hydration. Additionally, it gives the crust added flavor. Adding fats provide tenderness to the crust and limits the seepage of moisture from the toppings into the crust during baking.
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By allowing the dough to relax and ferment in the fridge, you’re allowing the flavors to develop and slows down the yeast. You’ll not only get a better flavor but also a better texture.
SAME DAY DOUGH
There is nothing wrong with using the same day dough method. You would just place the dough in the oiled bowl, cover and set in a warm, dry area in your kitchen until doubled in size.
LESS IS MORE
The thinner you stretch your pizza dough, the fewer toppings you should put on your pizza. More toppings on a thinner pizza crust can result in the pizza sticking. Save the extra toppings for a thicker crust pizza or focaccia that can stand up to the weight of the toppings.
PIZZA STONE = PREHEATING
In order to ensure that you pizza doesn’t stick to your pizza stone you must ensure that the pizza peel is coated in a bench flour mixture AND that the pizza stone is preheated for at least 30 minutes. This will ensure that the stone is at the correct temperature not only to cook your pizza perfectly but also ensure it is easily removed.
PIZZA BAKER PAN/FOCACCIA
Grease the bottom, edges and sides of the baker with butter before adding the dough to proof in the pan. Olive oil can be used after the pan is seasoned (after the 5th bake in it using butter).
Your pizza stone works just like a pizza oven. It provides a controlled heated area within the oven allowing the pizza to cook evenly. The pizza and focaccia bakers ensure an even bake throughout the dough by evenly dispersing the heat.
The Pizza Bakers, Focaccia Baker, and Pizza Stones are designed for use in a traditional oven. Never use your pizza stone or any of our bakers on a stove top (gas, electric etc.). You can, however, use it on the barbeque grill, which diffuses heat evenly all over the surface of the dish. For best results, make sure you close the barbeque lid during cooking.
Use the oven temperatures listed with the recipes in this booklet. Because all ovens behave differently, you may want to test the temperature the first few times you use your baker or stone. Set your timer for 5 minutes less than the time indicated in the recipe. For pan doughs, check the dough by carefully inserting an instant-read thermometer into the dough/crust. If the temperature reads 200°F, the dough is done. For hand-tossed pizzas, use a pizza peel to lift up the pizza dough to see if the bottom is firm and browned. The dough should be firm/crispy to the touch and golden brown. If necessary, adjust the remaining baking time.
When removing the stone from the oven, wear mitts and place on a heat-safe surface. Immediately remove the pizza or bread from the pan to a cutting surface.
Never submerge a hot baker or stone in water. Allow the stone to cool completely and then wipe clean.
Making Pizza Dough
1. MAKING THE DOUGH
MEASURE - Follow the recipe and measure your ingredients with care. Measure all of the dough ingredients by weighing the ingredients using a scale. For flour you can also gently spoon it into a measuring cup then sweep off the excess with a table knife.
KNEADING - Kneading activates the protein in the flour and allows the gluten strands to form, ultimately allowing your dough to become springy and elastic. This gives your pizza dough a light crumb and chewy texture. You can mix pizza dough by hand or in a stand mixer. Either method achieves similar results. What is important is to end up with dough that is silky and smooth.
2. PROVING THE DOUGH
Shape the dough into a dough ball, place it in a lightly oiled bowl or container and cover it with a clean linen towel, plastic wrap or its lid. Let the dough rise at room temperature for the time specified in the recipe you are using. Make sure the dough is protected from drafts or excessive heat. If the kitchen is too cold, the yeast will go to sleep and ferment. If the kitchen is too warm, the yeast will react too quickly, and the dough will rise too much.
If you choose to let the dough rise using a cold fermenting process, place an airtight lid over the bowl and leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
You will want to remove the dough from the refrigerator 2 to 4 hours prior to baking, to allow the dough to come to room temperature so the dough easier to shape and stretch.
3. PIZZA STONE BAKING
At least 30 minutes prior to baking the pizza, place a pizza stone on the lower third rack of the oven and preheat the oven to the directions printed on the recipe.
4. STRETCHING PIZZA DOUGH
HAND-STRETCHED - Lightly coat your counter and pizza peel with “Bench Flour” or a mixture of 80% flour mixed with 20% semolina flour. If you use straight flour your dough will have a harder time sliding off of your pizza peel and you’ll also get a more burnt flour taste on the crust.
Shape the dough leaving the rim or cornicione untouched. You will start from the middle of the dough and push towards the edge, pressing down and around. By doing this you’re pushing the air to the crust but still, keep it in the pizza dough. Stretch to desired round shape and transfer to a prepared pizza peel.
PAN-PIZZA/FOCACCIA - Grease the baker with butter, coating all sides and spread out the proved dough in the pan. Gently work the dough into the edges ensuring the pan is covered. If the dough springs back, cover it with plastic wrap, allow to rest 15-20 minutes and gently stretch again. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest while the oven heats up, or roughly 60 minutes.