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The pizza thread

Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by apicius9, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. apicius9

    apicius9 Founding Member

    Hi everyone,

    rather than cluttering the long-running 'What's cooking' thread with pizza info details I thought I'd open a separate thread for everything pizza. Not competing with the pizza forums, but many here have shown pics of great pies and I assume many more are making them without showing pictures, so maybe we can exchange pics and experiences here.

    I am just getting into this, so I am in the 'reading a lot', 'trial and error' and 'reading even more' phase... Chifunda posted a great looking dough recipe in another thread, maybe we can also put that here and add others that you had good experiences with. I would also be interested in what ingredients you use, what your baking setups are etc.

    After never being happy with just baking pizza in a regular oven and not finding a convincing stone option locally, I picked up a baking steel as my Christmas present. I have just used it for the first time, and Neil asked about it in the other thread, so here is a little info about it. The 'original' goes back to the Modernist Cuisine people as far as I understand, and based on that idea Stoughton Steel in Hanover, MA, developed the ones at bakingsteel.com. But I got this one here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JXVNUI6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 - one of the copies that have popped up pretty quickly. The only real reason is that Amazon ships it to Hawaii for free and the other site charges me almost $60; I can see the point, it weighs 23 pounds, but I just refuse on principle to pay more than half of a product price for shipping cost. For people on the mainland shipping is free. Actually, I had asked a local company about making one and they quoted me a crazy Hawaiian price ($220). I will have to see how it holds up, whether it needs reseasoning etc. So far it looks good after 1 pizza and 1 bread :) - it's massive steel and weighs 23 pounds, not sure what could go wrong with it as long as you keep in mind that it can rust and needs to be treated similar to cast iron. And try not to drop it on the oven door...

    If I had more patience and more tolerance for high shipping cost, I would wait for the new one coming this quarter from the baking steel people. It will be 14" x 18" and can be reversed with a juice groove on one side. That way you can do your steaks at much higher temps than normal in the oven. For the pizza I did not wait long enough; I had it in the oven on the medium rack and still it got to 590F pretty quickly. If you have the steel directly under the broiler it is rumored to go up to 700F - not quite NY steak house temps but interesting enough to play with it. The new one is rumored to be between $180 and $150. That may be too tempting to pass in spite of the high shipping cost, we'll see...

    There are tons of info on these steels out there (check seriouseats.com for some great info and testing), they have been welcomed enthusiastically by many pizza and bread bakers, and many prefer them over stones because they can get hotter and don't break.

    So, what's your pizza story?

  2. chefcomesback

    chefcomesback Founding Member

    Thanks for this thread Stefan , I believe pizza deserves it's own thread ;)
    I must take pictures first , must take pictures first ...
    It's our pizza from the cafe , on Sunday I will post a better one from my favorite Italian ( Sardinian to be exact) restaurant , I have been eating the same pizza there every other weekend for about 2 years , its damn good
  3. Thanks for sharing that Stefan! I really appreciate you taking the time to include all the details, and I look forward to more posts as you get used to the new steel.
  4. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

    I had a pizza stone once. I'm going to have to look around.

    Pizza is another food item I can't find anything good around here.
  5. MattS

    MattS Founding Member

    While we are on the topic of pizza, anyone have good dough recipe?
  6. Lucretia

    Lucretia Founding Member

  7. chefcomesback

    chefcomesback Founding Member

    Excuse the bad picture but this is what I have been using for a while with good results
  8. bieniek

    bieniek Founding Member


    In my dough I just use plain white, 70% hydration, 1.2% fresh yeast [or .4% instant], 2% salt and a splash of olive oil.
    For me the most important is how you work the dough so it delivers the rise.

    This time I managed to make the picture first :Dave
  9. chefcomesback

    chefcomesback Founding Member

    I use high protein Italian flour , can't remember the name but it feels right , this is the pizza I was taking about : pizza sarda , with fennel sausage , sundried tomato and pecorino , that's it !! ImageUploadedByTapatalk1420970990.978187.jpg
  10. Lucretia

    Lucretia Founding Member

    This is our current pizza dough. Rather than subject you to my handwriting, I typed it up, so hoping there aren't errors. My kitchen is pretty cool (typically around 65 degrees F) so your rise times may vary. This recipe makes 3-4 medium pies. And it might kill your kitchenaid.

    Pizza Crust

    Makes 3 (thicker) or 4 (thin) pizza crusts

    2 c bread flour
    2 c water
    1/4 tsp instant yeast

    Mix together, cover, and let sit out for at least 3-4 hours, then refrigerate overnight. (If made in the evening, just let sit overnight on counter.)

    Next day, remove poolish from fridge and allow to come to room temp. Break into large pieces and add to 1 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Let sit 5 minutes to soften, then mix in 1 tsp yeast.


    1 c oatmeal
    2 c flour
    1 1/2 tsp salt

    Mix together about 2 minutes or until blended. Cover and let rest 20 minutes.

    Mix for 5 minutes, then add 3 Tbsp olive oil and gradually add 2 1/2-3 cups of flour (or until it looks right--you want it to start pulling together, but not a firm ball--this is a pretty wet dough.) Mix a few minutes more until desired texture. Let rest about 15 minutes, then turn out onto floured board and knead a little bit. Shape into 3-4 balls. Can be frozen at this point. Put ball into oiled bowl, cover, and let rest in refrigerator for 2-3 days. When ready to use, take out of the fridge and let sit on counter to let dough warm up and rise.
  11. zwiefel

    zwiefel Rest in peace brother

    What kind of oatmeal Lucretia?
  12. Lucretia

    Lucretia Founding Member

    Quick cooking oats. They aren't necessary, but I try to slip them into things because they're good for you. And I think they add a nice flavor. They disappear when you cook the pizza.
  13. zwiefel

    zwiefel Rest in peace brother

    That was my guess. Thanks!
  14. apicius9

    apicius9 Founding Member

    There is a baking steel & pizza thread on the other forum also, for convenience I am just posting the same in both, saves me annoying typing oN the phone... So, this time I used Chifunda's NY style dough. When I made it I thought it a little sticky, it was ok and workable after 24h but I may add a touch more flour the next time. Taste is great, so thanks! Stretching it was much easier this time after the dough had rested and risen 3h out of the fridge. This is still too exciting for me, though (shows you how boring my normal life is) - I had set up everything en place so I could work fast, still managed to forget the salt and the final spritz of olive oil. On the heated steel and directly under the broiler for about 4 1/2 minutes this time. It looked good but was a bit soggy in the middle - next time less tomato (Cento San Marzano with basil straight from the can, cut into chunks) and one minute longer in the oven which should also help the cheese to cook a little more. The basil leaves look kind of ugly, probably will oil them a bit next time. So many variables to juggle but a lot learned. I will keep the dough and the baking method constant for the next trials and vary the sauce and the baking time. In any case, it tasted great.


  15. Lucretia

    Lucretia Founding Member

    I'd eat that! Looks great, Stefan!

    Here is one I would NOT eat:

  16. Oh come on L, meat-zags for everyone I say.

    Stefan, that looks awesome! Keep the pictures coming. I love the steel idea.
  17. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

  18. Lucretia

    Lucretia Founding Member

    A pizza frittata is actually pretty good. In this one, caramelized sweet onions, garlic, oven roasted tomatoes, pepperoni, mushrooms, a bunch of cheese, and basil, fennel, etc in the egg mixture. Remarkably like a deep dish pie without the carbs.


  19. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

  20. apicius9

    apicius9 Founding Member


    Dang, typing on the phone and just deleted my detailed comments. So, let's just say I am moving in the right direction...


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