Baking Steel’s Ice-Cube Pizza Crust Secret
First things first: ice cubes and pizza—how do these come together?
Ice cubes do a couple of things. We are baking this pizza naked, which means nothing goes on the dough except the ice cubes. The cubes weigh down the dough which prevents it from puffing up. The cubes begin to melt which prevents the center of the pizza from browning and creates a beautiful landing area for all that Graza we’ll pool on top. Midway through the bake I may flip the dough to remove any excess water. Just be careful, since that steam is hot when it bounces off a Baking Steel.
How did you think of this? When did you start doing it?
I first read about this method in Food and Wine Magazine. Chef Stefano Callegari of Sbanco offered a pretty neat technique while baking the dough naked. After you stretch out the dough and launch, simply take a few ice cubes and drop them on the center of the pizza. He uses this technique with his wood fired ovens at Sbanco. This rule breaking method leaves the crust moist and slightly sticky. It prevents the center of the pizza from burning, which creates a beautiful canvas for olive oil, pesto, or even dessert pizza.
You’re not just a chef; you were a steel engineer first. What are your favorite things about using a slab of steel for baking?
I worked more on the sales and marketing side of my dad’s steel business. My dad created an awesome product for Backhoes, our customers included Deere, Caterpillar, JCB, Ford etc. He is the engineer and the entrepreneur. Creating the Baking Steel is such an awesome and simple product, but it was a culmination of my life’s work in both restaurants and Steel that made it happen. I am grateful every day when I use my slab of Steel to cook. I always admired my dad for creating something and building a team and business around his life, I am proud that I am following in his footsteps. The Steel is my daily reminder to take that leap and do something that you love.