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(Sort of) High volume pizza baking -- please advise

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

(Sort of) High volume pizza baking -- please advise

My in-laws' family has a tradition of doing homemade pizza for Christmas Eve dinner, and this year I volunteered to do the dough and baking, in hopes of a higher quality pizza.  I've got a plenty good crust formula, a great sauce recipe, and I'm sure my mother-in-law will have plenty of toppings.  I'm still pondering, however, how best to bake them.  I'm making 7 personal size pizzas, and I need to figure out a way to get them all baked as fast as possible and finished as close together as possible. I'm hoping some of the wise and kind folks on the forums can advise me here.

Here's the equipment I will have available: 1 full size gas oven, whose true max temperature I don't know*.  1 combination microwave/convection oven, whose max temperature I also don't know, but can probably find out.  1 round pizza stone (which does fit in the combo oven), 1 rectangular stone cookie sheet (with sides, I'm not sure if the underside is smooth enough to bake on), 1 larg-ish baking stone (15x17).

One thought I had was to bake one pizza on the round stone in the convection oven, put both rectangular stones in the full oven and either bake two pizzas, one on each, or hope that the combined stones will bake a single pizza faster and just bake one on the big stone with the cookie sheet as a "top" for the oven.   Does anyone have thoughts as to whether any of those will work, or any other ideas?


*My old oven at home went to something like 575-600 when it claimed to be at 550, and could bake a personal pizza on the stone in 4-5 minutes. My current oven at home is at maybe 500 when it claims to be at 550 and takes 7-8 minutes to bake a pizza.  I thus have no idea how my mother-in-law's oven will perform.

SylviaH's picture

find out how high her oven goes and does she have oven stones.  If the oven goes to 550 you should be able to keep the pizza coming about ever 5 to 7 minutes or so and make thin crust style pizza's..have salad for everyone to enjoy while the pizza's are baking.  I made pizza's this way and fed plenty of people without using my bottom oven.  Make sure your stones are pre-heated very nice and hot and try to set the pizza in next in line in a little different spot on the stone.  Slice up the pizza's and adjust the toppings so you can serve slices to everyone rather than each a whole pizza.  That way everyone gets hot pizza.


ehanner's picture

Sylvia had great ideas but she left off the part about getting your MIL flowers. Then it won't matter how long it takes to bake the pizza.


MommaT's picture


When I have lots of kids over and need to do the same, I double-deck my oven with stones.  On the bottom I have my normal, thick bread making stone and about 4" above, I place my tiles.  Both stones are low in the oven - the bottom one being on the lowest possible rack slot.  In my experience, the top pizza takes longer to cook because it's only getting the radiant heat from one stone, not two.

I would worry less about temperature.  Frankly, I've been unable to stretch my pizza dough so thin that it cooks fully in 3-4 minutes, so my pizzas normally take about 6-7 minutes each and temps above 475 or 500 (actual temp, not thermostat) the cheese burns or at least overcooks before the crust is as crisp as I'd like.  

And I agree with Grant - it will take longer to put the toppings on.  

Or with the more practical idea of par-baking them at home and re-warming at MILs!  Sounds like a lot of stress removed.

Best luck!