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The Secret to Perfectly Crispy Crust: Convection Cooking for Pizza

Updated: Mar 17

Freshly baked crusted pizza with perfectly melted cheese enhanced with savory toppings is a taste sensation, but it can be challenging to perfect in a home oven. The key to success in baking the perfect crust is a consistent, powerful heat source, and your convection oven may have just the tools you need.

Using a pizza stone or baking steel can enhance the perfect oven environment, but success also depends on choosing the right convection mode.

Convection for Proofing Pizza Dough

Great pizza begins with a good crust, and pizza dough is perhaps one of the easiest to prepare. Once the dough is mixed and ready for proofing, it is set aside for the first rising, and the perfect environment for proofing the dough is your convection or steam oven.

In the Proof mode, the convection fan circulates the ambient air in the oven, keeping the temperature consistent at 100F°. Of course, the advantage of proofing in a steam oven is the added humidity, which aids in activating the yeast. The dough does not need to be covered when proofing in your oven.

Once the dough is punched down, it goes back into the oven for a second rising, and then it is time to prepare it for baking.

How to Create the Ideal Oven Environment for Baking Pizza in Convection

Whether baking pizza with dough made from scratch or using a re-bought dough, planning the timing is key. Preparing and proofing homemade dough takes approximately 2 hours, and bringing a store-bought fresh dough to the baking temperature can also take 2 hours as it is kept so cold.

Once the second rising is complete, the oven can be heated to bake the pizza. First, arrange the oven racks, placing one rack on the bottom rack position unless your oven user guide recommends a different rack position. Use an extension rack if your oven has one, and place a baking stone or steel on that rack. Never place the stone or steel on the oven floor; always use the oven rack. It can help remove the other oven racks for ease of handling the pizza.

Some ovens feature a Pizza mode, and while that mode may be suitable for baking frozen prepared pizza, choosing a mode with more intense heat will give the best results when baking fresh pizza. The Convection Roast, Convection Bake, or Turbo mode, if your oven features one, are the best choices for baking pizza. In these modes, the direct heat from the bottom heating element will thoroughly heat the stone or steel, while the circulating heat ensures even cooking. Always choose the highest oven temperature to heat the oven for baking pizza.

Gas ovens provide an ideal environment for baking pizza and loaves of bread, as the heated moving air creates a natural convection that is not as drying as an electric oven. The Bake mode in a gas oven gives great results, although if your oven has a Convection option, that would be ideal for baking thicker-crust pizza.

An electric oven with a concealed bake element can take approximately 20 minutes to come to temperature for baking the pizza, while a gas oven may come to temperature slightly faster; the hotter the oven and the baking stone or steel are, the better the result will be.

The great thing about baking pizza is, of course, that each pizza cooks so quickly—in 6 - 8 minutes—that you can enjoy a delicious, freshly baked pizza customized to your liking. Then, you can bake another one or maybe some bread or a rustic fruit tart on that nicely heated stone. Remember when it comes to cleaning your pizza stone, it should never be cleaned with water. Any baking debris can be removed with a wire grill brush.

The pork shoulder roast is a versatile cut of meat that can be braised or slowly roasted. It is also delicious when filled with savory stuffing and roasted. One of the best things about roasting a stuffed pork roast in convection is that you can simultaneously cook the side dishes. Check out my next post to learn more.

Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast

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