Using the BakePlate and PizzaPlate
Every oven and pizza are different. You'll need to experiment a bit to find what works best with your oven, dough and toppings. After a few bakes, you'll find the hydration, temperature and times that work for you.
ITALIAN AND ARTISAN STYLE PIZZA
Italian and Artisan style pizza dough hydrated at 60% is a good starting point with the BakePlate or PizzaPlate. Check out our recipe for Italian Style pizza.
To cook Italian or Artisan style pizza on the BakePlate, set the oven rack 6-7 inches below the broiler. The PizzaPlate should be placed on an oven rack 5-6 inches below the broiler. Place the Plate on the rack and preheat the oven to 25°F below the maximum oven temperature. The broiler is controlled by the same thermostat as the oven, so if the oven is pre-heated to the maximum temperature the broiler won’t ignite until the temperature drops. Wait at least 75 minutes before cooking pizza. Your oven may indicate it's preheated but the Plate needs more time to heat up. When you're ready to cook the pizza, turn the oven off and turn the broiler on (High if it's an option). Place the pizza on the Plate and close the oven. After 1½ minutes, using a pizza peel, take the pizza out, rotate it 1/4 turn and place it back on the BakePlate. Check the pizza again after another minute; it may need a little more time.
AMERICAN STYLE PIZZA
American style pizza, made with stronger flour, needs more water. Start at 68% hydration.
To cook American style pizza, set the oven rack in the center of the oven. Place the Plate on the rack and pre-heat the oven to 500°F for at least 90 minutes. Place your pizza on the Plate, close the oven door. Wait 4 minutes, then use your pizza peel to rotate the pizza 1/2 turn then close the door. Check the pizza after 3 minutes, it may need a little more time.
Both the BakePlate and PizzaPlate hold more heat than a baking stone, and put that heat into dough faster than a baking stone. Reduce your baking temperature by 25°F and bake hearth breads on parchment paper for the first 15 minutes. See Letting Off Some Steam to learn how to steam hearth bread in your home oven.