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March 26, 2014

Breville Crispy Crust Pizza Maker

by Anne Paddock

Talk to any professional pizza maker and he will tell you there are two secrets to making a great pizza:  the crust and the right oven. Crust is subjective with most people preferring one made of white flour although whole wheat and whole grain doughs are gaining in popularity. And, then there is the type of crust: thin, Neapolitan, Pan, New York Style, Sicilian, and more to consider. But, no matter what kind or type of crust is preferred, the pizza can never be cooked properly unless the right oven is used which makes pizza making quite difficult at home….until now.

BPZ600XL_PizzaPizza ovens have to be hot (as in at least 650 degrees) with the pizza preferably baked on a stone. Most home ovens max out at 500 degrees so it’s hard to make a pizza as good as the pies baked in a commercial oven at the local pizza place. Breville – the small kitchen appliance company – recently introduced a pizza maker that really, truly makes pizzeria pizza.  A skeptic at first, I read the reviews – most of which were good – and ordered the machine from Williams Sonoma for $129 with free shipping last November. After 5 months of using this magnificent machine, I still think it’s one of the best appliance purchases I’ve made.breville-crispy-crust-pizza-maker-3

The Breville Crispy Crust Pizza Maker has the following attributes:

  • The oven is a countertop appliance that gives you brick oven results meaning a perfectly cooked crust.
  • The oven has dual heating elements above and below the pizza stone. Pre-heat the oven on high for about 20 minutes before use (the light will go off indicating the oven is ready to use). The oven heats up to 660 degrees.
  • The baking stone is 12 inches in diameter making a medium-sized pizza.
  • The oven has settings for thin, medium, and thick crust pizza to ensure a uniformly baked pizza.
  • The instructions state the pizza dough should be rolled out and made on a large pizza spatula and then gently nudged onto the pizza stone but after dozens and dozens of uses, I have found that it infinitely easier to roll out the crust on parchment paper or a pie crust mat, gently lifting the crust up with my hands, and placing the crust directly on the preheated stone. To minimize the time the oven is open, have the olive oil, sauce, and toppings all ready to place on the pizza dough working quickly (a little practice and this can be done in less than a minute).Close the oven. Adjust the dial to a dough thickness setting. It’s that easy.
  • Your pizza stone will look beautiful only before the first use. Thereafter, the stone will darken which is normal. After I am done making pizzas, I use a spatula to gently scrape off any toppings or sauce left on the stone and allow the machine to cool before I wipe the interior and exterior of the machine with a slightly damp cloth. I don’t wipe the stone with a wet cloth because I don’t want the stone to absorb moisture.
  • The pizzas bake in 4-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the crust. I generally make a medium thickness crust which takes 5-7 minutes. Other family members and friends have made thin crust pizza which cooks up in about 4 minutes.
  • The oven has a small window to monitor the pizza.
  • If I don’t have time to make my own crust, I buy the 16 ounce bag of whole wheat crust in the refrigerated section of Whole Foods. This dough ball makes two medium pizzas or three thin crust pizzas.
  • The only con of this machine is that it makes one 12 inch pizza at a time but because the pizza cooks so quickly, it’s easy to remove one pizza and immediately put another pizza on.
  • Invest in a big, wide pizza peel or spatula. I purchased a 6 inch by 8 inch pizza spatula from Amazon called the Outset QZ10 Stainless Steel Pizza Peel with Rosewood Handle for 19.99. This tool will allow you to remove the cooked pizza easily.img75o

Williams-Sonoma (www.williams-sonoma.com) seems to have an exclusive arrangement with Breville to sell this appliance. Currently priced at $149 with free shipping, the Breville Pizza Maker will make you the star pizza maker in your home.

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