When it comes to homemade pizza, you should have a reliable set of baking accessories such as a pizza screen and a pizza peel. But do you have any idea how to season a pizza screen properly? A pizza pan or screen is a simple tool used to hold the pizza while cooking in the oven. However, some steps need to be taken to use it and better cook your homemade pizza properly. Considering this, here are some tips and tricks on making the best possible homemade pizza by properly using your pizza screen.
What is a Pizza Screen?
Before we even go through how to season a pizza screen properly, we first need to know what exactly is a pizza screen. As mentioned earlier, pizza screens are a simple tool in baking used to hold the pizza while cooking in the oven. Like a pizza pan or pizza stone, a pizza screen is a flat surface typically made with a kind of combination of metal to hold and facilitate the pizza cooking process. But what is the difference between a pizza pan, pizza stone, and a pizza screen?
A pizza stone is commonly made with ceramic or clay material and creates a perfectly crisp and crunchy pizza crust. Because of its naturally porous characteristic, a pizza stone is known for effectively and efficiently absorbing excess moisture in the dough that allows it to mimic a wood-fired brick oven’s cooking environment. However, it is important to note that pizza stones require proper care and maintenance and are also susceptible to cracks and damage if not handled properly.
Pizza pans are developed as a more durable alternative to a pizza stone. Typically made with aluminum material, pizza pans are highly versatile baking material that you can use to bake, slice, and serve pizza on. The solid metal material enhances the heat transfer and distribution in the dough while baking, which creates a more even and crisp pizza crust.
A pizza screen is a type of pizza pan that features a different surface style that helps improve airflow and heat distribution while cooking. Pizza screens feature a flat, perforated, and mesh-like surface rather than a solid base. Best suitable for cooking thin-crust pizzas and creating crispy crusts, the pizza screen’s perforated base provides a better airflow beneath the crust with limited yet even heat transfer that helps cook the pizza faster without having to worry about excess moisture or sogginess.
How to Make Homemade Pizza Using a Pizza Screen
Now that we’ve gone through what a pizza screen is and how it is different from a pizza pan and pizza stone, we can now move on to the actual pizza baking process itself. Aside from going through the baking process, it is also important to discuss how to properly prepare your tools and ingredients, such as making your dough and how to season a pizza screen.
How to Season a Pizza Screen
While most pizza pans nowadays come fresh out of the box already seasoned, seasoning, or re-seasoning your pizza steel is important to maintain its non-stick surface. However, you would have to re-season your pizza screen anytime soon you notice a dull gray color or when the food starts to stick onto the surface. Here’s how to season pizza screen:
- Prepare your pizza screen by washing it with hot soapy water and a stiff brush, then rinse and pat dry completely.
- With your organic oil choice, lightly dab the pizza screen with oil evenly across the surface with a paper towel. Make sure to go over both sides and to wipe off any excess oil on the pizza screen.
- Once set, heat your oven to 375˚-400˚F and place the rack on the oven to bake for about an hour. After the hour, turn off the oven and let the pizza screen cool inside.
How to Make Pizza
Keep in mind that there are several ways to make pizza that may be different from what we will do for our recipe. Now, here are the steps on how to make a homemade pizza.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, instant yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil and use a mixing paddle attachment to mix on low speed for about a minute. Then, exchange the paddle into a dough hook attachment and mix the dough for 7 to 10 minutes on low to medium speed setting.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a clean bowl brushed with a thin layer of olive oil. Lightly move the bowl around to coat it with the oil before covering it with a plastic wrap to let it ferment and rise. For a more flavorful dough, you can keep it in the fridge for 24 hours, but for quick and easy pizza dough, you can let it ferment for 1 ½ hour in a warm place.
- Once you’ve let the dough rise, you can remove the dough from the bowl and place it onto a clean surface dusted with flour. Divide the dough into two balls and let it sit for about 15 minutes up to 2 hours. You can then flatten the dough ball with a rolling pin and shape it to a 1/2 -inch thick around the crust and place it on your pizza screen.
- Once set, you can start placing your chosen toppings and prepare to put the pizza on the oven.
- When it comes to cooking your pizza, the right time to bake the pizza depends primarily on the type of oven you have. For a brick-style pizza oven, you can easily bake the pizza for as quickly as 2 to 3 minutes. However, you can bake the pizza at 475O F for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden for conventional home ovens.
Making homemade pizza is relatively easy, and it is a much flexible option than simply having delivery. However, to further improve the taste and overall quality of your homemade pizza, it is important to consider details such as how to season a pizza screen and how to create quality dough for your crust. Once you learn and perfect these, you can confidently create homemade pizza anytime you want. Find out more about pizza recipes.