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Pizzaguys - The definitive "Making pizza at home" thread (1 Viewer)

Brony

Footballguy
Pizza night tonight! 
Made some last night. Got the leopard crust dialed in. I think I need an infrared thermometer. First couple of pizzas took 10+ minutes: the last couple took less than 5. 

I did the canned tomatoes for the sauce for the first time. So easy, but makes so much. I put the extra in ziploc bags in freezer for next time. 

If you get a small liquid pool in the middle, is that from the cheese, or the sauce? 

 

Spike

Footballguy
@WingnutNice! I made a Varasano's dough last weekend but didn't plan out far enough to do a cold rise so went warm. Dough was tasty but waaay too wet  so was really hard to work with. I did try the San Marzano only sauce you recommended and that was a winner...you've converted me.
Cold rise?

San Marzano?

 

Wingnut

** Inactive **
Success again. Dough was cold fermented for 4 days, and this was some of my best dough yet. Stone temp was between 710° and 730° and total cook time was 3-4 minutes per pie. Ive been doing the parchment paper thing, and pulling the paper after about a minute and a half, turning, and checking it a minute later and pulling when done.

Pepperoni/green olive

Pepperoni with mozz and Gruyère

Margherita

 
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Wingnut

** Inactive **
Made some last night. Got the leopard crust dialed in. I think I need an infrared thermometer. First couple of pizzas took 10+ minutes: the last couple took less than 5. 

I did the canned tomatoes for the sauce for the first time. So easy, but makes so much. I put the extra in ziploc bags in freezer for next time. 

If you get a small liquid pool in the middle, is that from the cheese, or the sauce? 
Liquid in the middle is probably cheese. I make sure to use low moisture shredded mozz unless I'm doing margherita, in which case I use torn ball mozz...but low moisture is a must for me for regular pies.

 

Manster

Footballguy
I like to throw together a pie here and there.  My next one is going to be some venison steak, seared, and chanterelle mushrooms sauteed.  I harvested both ingredients from the woods near my home.....columbia blacktail, and chanterelles are reeeeeeally good table fare on their own.  Should make a money pizza

 

Steve Tasker

Footballguy
If you get a small liquid pool in the middle, is that from the cheese, or the sauce? 
It's probably from the cheese, because you're (presumably) not using a low moisture cheese.  

I usually use fresh cheese too, usually not a problem but occasionally it happens.

 

SFBayDuck

Footballguy
I posted this in another thread here somewhere but I have had great success with this pizza oven that sits atop my Napoleon NG grill.  Easily hits an even and consistent 700-800 degrees with the grill burners on 3/4. The turning tool is awesome.

https://shop-usa.bakerstonebox.com/Pizza-Oven-Boxes/Original-Series-Pizza-Oven-Box-Kit.html
I bought one of these and have been really disappointed so far. The instructions say to leave the top of the grill open, and this is too big for me to close the grill all the way anyway. So even with the heat diffusers removed and all 4 burners on high and the grill top resting on top (so basically the grill top is ajar), it just doesn’t get hot enough. I had much better success with just a pizza stone on the grill. 
 

Is your grill closed when you use this?  It could just also be my sub-par grill, which is an old CharBroil that I just rebuilt the insides of recently. 

 

Brony

Footballguy
I bought one of these and have been really disappointed so far. The instructions say to leave the top of the grill open, and this is too big for me to close the grill all the way anyway. So even with the heat diffusers removed and all 4 burners on high and the grill top resting on top (so basically the grill top is ajar), it just doesn’t get hot enough. I had much better success with just a pizza stone on the grill. 
 

Is your grill closed when you use this?  It could just also be my sub-par grill, which is an old CharBroil that I just rebuilt the insides of recently. 
I didn't even look at the instructions. :bag:   I've been closing my grill lid with the pizza box.  Even with 3 or 4 burners on, it takes a unnaturally long time to heat up; about 30 to 40 minutes.  But it does eventually get pretty GD hot, and I've been happy with mine. 

 

whoknew

Footballguy
So a few weeks ago, I pulled the trigger on the Ooni koda 16" oven. It is being delivered on Thursday. I can't wait. This weekend is going to be glorious. 

 
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whoknew

Footballguy
Ok - since I've gotten my Ooni, my pizzas have improved from complete disaster to barely edible. So any tips are greatly appreciated.

My biggest problem right now seems to be the crust. I couldn't get the crust to firm up at all. So I started putting it in the oven for 4 minutes at 400 prior to putting the toppings on. But even with that - to get the crust even remotely solid, I have to leave the pizza in the Ooni for 2 minutes. And by that time, the cheese and toppings and edges of the crust are basically burned. 

Prior to putting it in the pizza oven, I take the stone temp and its around 800 degrees. So I think its hot enough. 

It goes without saying that I am not a good cook. So like I said, any helpful tips are greatly appreciated.

 

Wingnut

** Inactive **
Ok - since I've gotten my Ooni, my pizzas have improved from complete disaster to barely edible. So any tips are greatly appreciated.

My biggest problem right now seems to be the crust. I couldn't get the crust to firm up at all. So I started putting it in the oven for 4 minutes at 400 prior to putting the toppings on. But even with that - to get the crust even remotely solid, I have to leave the pizza in the Ooni for 2 minutes. And by that time, the cheese and toppings and edges of the crust are basically burned. 

Prior to putting it in the pizza oven, I take the stone temp and its around 800 degrees. So I think its hot enough. 

It goes without saying that I am not a good cook. So like I said, any helpful tips are greatly appreciated.
What dough/recipe are you using? If making dough, what kind of flour?

 

Wingnut

** Inactive **
I've only bought dough so far. From Whole Foods mostly.
Its probably not neapolitan dough, which is what you need for the Ooni. Either get some 00 flour and make your own dough (I use THIS recipe, its awesome and easy), or find a place that specifically sells neapolitan dough which is different than other pizza dough (its meant for high temps and only takes 1-3 minutes to cook.)

 
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whoknew

Footballguy
Its probably not neapolitan dough, which is what you need for the Ooni. Either get some 00 flour and make your own dough (I use THIS recipe, its awesome and easy), or find a place that specifically sells neapolitan dough which is different than other pizza dough (its meant for high temps and only takes 1-3 minutes to cook.)
Awesome. Thank you. 

 

fred_1_15301

Footballguy
:blackdot:   for later.  We love making our own crust, sauce, etc but usually use the oven or grill.  Christmas is coming and I may just need to treat myself to a nice quality pizza oven.  Looking forward to reading through this thread.

 

Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
Here is my best advice from a guy who grew up eating pizza 24/7, my mom had the best recipe and I have never stopped eating it until more recently...but I got a new healthier way to eat it at home, kind of a garlic bread/pizza combo...

-Go find the little bakery that just sells bread...you can use any sourdough starter bread you like but the important part is the way you top it. First of all I don't spread out a whole pizza shell or dough, I simply cut off thick pieces of really good bread and then go to work...

-Get a stick of Kerrygold Garlic n Butter stick, worth it. Spread out a layer to your liking on the bread, you can toast it a little bit just to melt the butter a bit and keep spreading it in. Then I like to take a jar of Rao's Sausage n Mushroom Sauce, works very well and spread that down on top of the butter and bread. 

-Tillamook thick cut in a little bag similar to Sargento but I think much better. Remember that Mozz Cheese has almost no flavor, really. So the garlic butter n Rao's sauce really work to flavor it up. 

-Sometimes when I met the butter I melt a little of the mozz cheese on top and then put the sauce and more cheese on top, you don't want to overdo it. 

-Toast it in the toaster oven until the cheese is golden brown or to your liking, take a good little while, usually 7-10 minutes. 

Sprinkle some Parm/Romano on top, perfection. 

 
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Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
Ok - since I've gotten my Ooni, my pizzas have improved from complete disaster to barely edible. So any tips are greatly appreciated.

My biggest problem right now seems to be the crust. I couldn't get the crust to firm up at all. So I started putting it in the oven for 4 minutes at 400 prior to putting the toppings on. But even with that - to get the crust even remotely solid, I have to leave the pizza in the Ooni for 2 minutes. And by that time, the cheese and toppings and edges of the crust are basically burned. 

Prior to putting it in the pizza oven, I take the stone temp and its around 800 degrees. So I think its hot enough. 

It goes without saying that I am not a good cook. So like I said, any helpful tips are greatly appreciated.
Most pizza shops will sell you the dough by itself, with food costs as high as they are, you're doing them a favor not ordering it with all the toppings anyways, just buy the dough from a place you like and stop messing around at home with it. 

Find a local break baker, odds are high they make a pizza dough. 

I know it's fun to make your own and pull out the mixer but it sounds like you aren't enjoying the whole process. Do you not let the dough rise long enough in a bowl with a little towel covering it and sitting in that hot laundry room off from the garage? 60 Minutes in that environment and it should rise and be firm enough to work with. 

You guys suck, you are making me want pizza. 

 

fred_1_15301

Footballguy
Ok - since I've gotten my Ooni, my pizzas have improved from complete disaster to barely edible. So any tips are greatly appreciated.

My biggest problem right now seems to be the crust. I couldn't get the crust to firm up at all. So I started putting it in the oven for 4 minutes at 400 prior to putting the toppings on. But even with that - to get the crust even remotely solid, I have to leave the pizza in the Ooni for 2 minutes. And by that time, the cheese and toppings and edges of the crust are basically burned. 

Prior to putting it in the pizza oven, I take the stone temp and its around 800 degrees. So I think its hot enough. 

It goes without saying that I am not a good cook. So like I said, any helpful tips are greatly appreciated.
How is the Ooni working out for you?  I'm thinking of buying one but I've read some mixed reviews.  Which model do you have any tricks I should be aware of?  Any accessories that I should purchase with it (e.g. thermometer)?

 

Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
Most really great authentic pizza shops cook their pizzas in an 800 degree oven or close to it for like 4 minutes and the pizza is done. 

Don't know what 4 minutes at 400 degrees will do but I think the oven needs cranked up to a higher temp...just my guess. 

 

fred_1_15301

Footballguy
Most really great authentic pizza shops cook their pizzas in an 800 degree oven or close to it for like 4 minutes and the pizza is done. 

Don't know what 4 minutes at 400 degrees will do but I think the oven needs cranked up to a higher temp...just my guess. 
The pizza ovens that I'm researching can get it up to 800 but the reviews I'm reading say that the crust gets burnt before the top of the pizza is fully cooked.  Not sure - it feels like one of those situations where I buy it and then just practice until I figure out what works.  

 

whoknew

Footballguy
How is the Ooni working out for you?  I'm thinking of buying one but I've read some mixed reviews.  Which model do you have any tricks I should be aware of?  Any accessories that I should purchase with it (e.g. thermometer)?
I put a post up above. I've been unsuccessful so far with making it - but more to my failures than the oven. Wingnut gave me a couple of good suggestions last week so I'm going to give that a try. 

As for accessories, I bought a laser temperature gauge and a pizza peel. They are both pretty inexpensive. 

Anyway, assuming I can master it, I'll be a big fan. I'm just not good at it yet.

 

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
fred_1_15301 said:
The pizza ovens that I'm researching can get it up to 800 but the reviews I'm reading say that the crust gets burnt before the top of the pizza is fully cooked.  Not sure - it feels like one of those situations where I buy it and then just practice until I figure out what works.  
I run my oven in the 800+ degree range.  The only time I have had the problem with the bottom burning (other than some desired char) I was using dough from Publix. I also thought that dough was sweet so I'm suspecting they add sugar to it and the sugar was burning. Never had the problem with dough from a local pizzeria or homemade. But, you do have to know your oven and its hotspots and use the turner to keep the pizza moving. You can't just plop it in for 3-4 minutes and then pull it out.

 

parasaurolophus

Footballguy
Made a couple crusts using homemade ritz cracker recipes. Not something i would make every time, but a very nice change of pace when just wanting to use just a plain old oven at 400.

 

whoknew

Footballguy
Its probably not neapolitan dough, which is what you need for the Ooni. Either get some 00 flour and make your own dough (I use THIS recipe, its awesome and easy), or find a place that specifically sells neapolitan dough which is different than other pizza dough (its meant for high temps and only takes 1-3 minutes to cook.)
Just made my first pizza with 00 flour dough. Thank you very much for the suggestion. It was a huge improvement. Easily the best pizza I've made so far. 

It was still a little undercooked - I left it in for 1:45. Next time I'll probably do about 2:15.

But the dough was much, much better.

 

fred_1_15301

Footballguy
Bought the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza oven for Christmas.  I'll try the recipe and 00 flour that Wingnut suggested.  I know it will take some time to master it but I'm so excited.  One question - is there a specific type of pizza stone that you guys use with your pizza oven?  We have a huge steel oven but I suspect that may be too large for the pizza oven.  We also have a wooden peel.  Also, I believe my new oven will only fit around a 10-12 inch pizza max.  When I make the dough, do I just cut it in half to make smaller pizzas?  I know - stupid question but I'm a beginner.  

 

Wingnut

** Inactive **
Bought the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza oven for Christmas.  I'll try the recipe and 00 flour that Wingnut suggested.  I know it will take some time to master it but I'm so excited.  One question - is there a specific type of pizza stone that you guys use with your pizza oven?  We have a huge steel oven but I suspect that may be too large for the pizza oven.  We also have a wooden peel.  Also, I believe my new oven will only fit around a 10-12 inch pizza max.  When I make the dough, do I just cut it in half to make smaller pizzas?  I know - stupid question but I'm a beginner.  
The dough recipe I linked is very simple, no mastery needed...just follow along with the steps and it'll turn out great. The stretching of the dough when you make the pizza is really the only part that takes practice.

I have the 16 inch version of This stone and it works great, but I cook my pizzas on a good sized grill.

As for the dough, I have a digital scale, and when the dough is fermented and Im ready to portion it up into smaller balls, I cut it into 3 or 4 pieces and weigh them, making sure they are all close to the same weight, then I ball them up and let them rise for 60-90 minutes before stretching and making pizzas. I pretty much always make 12 inch pies.

** I scaled the dough recipe down a bit and only use 400grams of flour, which makes 3 perfect 12 inch pies. The scaled recipe:

400g 00 flour

12g salt

teaspoon yeast

240g water

Made a couple of pies last night, this time I didnt stretch the dough quite as thin as I usually do...the thicker crust was a little easier to pick up and eat than the usual way I make them...I think I prefer the thinner crust though.

https://i.imgur.com/L59OjWO.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/mEunTp5.jpg

 
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Binky The Doormat

Footballguy
@Wingnut do you try and do any of the thinner crusts?  maybe with a stone or metal on the grill?

would love to be able to get that crispy yet chewy thin crust with the super tiny bubble on the bottom ...

 

fred_1_15301

Footballguy
Newb question - what do you guys put on the baking steel/pizza stone when you set it in the oven to get hot?  Do you put corn meal or flour on it before placing the pizza on?

 

Tick

Footballguy
The dough recipe I linked is very simple, no mastery needed...just follow along with the steps and it'll turn out great. The stretching of the dough when you make the pizza is really the only part that takes practice.

I have the 16 inch version of This stone and it works great, but I cook my pizzas on a good sized grill.

As for the dough, I have a digital scale, and when the dough is fermented and Im ready to portion it up into smaller balls, I cut it into 3 or 4 pieces and weigh them, making sure they are all close to the same weight, then I ball them up and let them rise for 60-90 minutes before stretching and making pizzas. I pretty much always make 12 inch pies.

** I scaled the dough recipe down a bit and only use 400grams of flour, which makes 3 perfect 12 inch pies. The scaled recipe:

400g 00 flour

12g salt

teaspoon yeast

240g water

Made a couple of pies last night, this time I didnt stretch the dough quite as thin as I usually do...the thicker crust was a little easier to pick up and eat than the usual way I make them...I think I prefer the thinner crust though.

https://i.imgur.com/L59OjWO.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/mEunTp5.jpg
That looks really good.

 

Hawks64

Footballguy
@Wingnut do you try and do any of the thinner crusts?  maybe with a stone or metal on the grill?

would love to be able to get that crispy yet chewy thin crust with the super tiny bubble on the bottom ...
Neapolitan is the thin crisp chewy crusts, which is the dough recipe he linked.

fred_1_15301 said:
Newb question - what do you guys put on the baking steel/pizza stone when you set it in the oven to get hot?  Do you put corn meal or flour on it before placing the pizza on?
Nothing, but I use an Ooni so it's 8-900 when I throw my first pizza. The peel has a bit of flour on it from stretching the dough but that's it. While I am making it I make sure that the dough is able to move around on the peel and if not I toss a bit more flour on it. I also have a small turner that I use to rotate the pizza at about 45-60 seconds.

 

Joe Mammy

Footballguy
I usually buy dough balls at Publix. When I get down near St. Pete I always stop in at Mazzarros Italian Market and buy about 20 frozen balls for like $2 each.

The key to perfect crust is rolling it out in semolina flour. The semolina adds another texture to the bottom of the crust that I have only found in the best pizza joints.

I make a pan pizza in the cast iron skillet coated with olive oil. Usually pepperoni and sausage.

I make thin crust on the grill. Grill one side and then flip and add the toppings.

I make white pizzas with alfredo sauce, smoked chicken and spinach.

I like to add ricotta and fresh chopped garlic too.

We have a new oven with an airfryer built in. On a typical regular pan pizza I bake on regular heat @ 450 for 22 minutes and then finish with the airfryer for about 5 min.

One of the best pizzas I've ever had was in Portland, OR at Apizza Scholls. They make their dough daily and sell it out almost everyday. We stood in line for about 30 minutes out in the street before they opened. Learned about them from Anthony Bourdain. They also are strict about limiting toppings: 

*No more than three (3) ingredients per pie, including no more than two (2) meats per pie * (anchovies, garlic, basil, Mike’s Hot Honey, & arugula do not count towards the limit)*

 

QuizGuy66

Footballguy
This thread is wanting me to make the pizza mom made me as a kid which is not remotely as fancy as anything in this thread but comes out good and tastes like a memory :) :wub:

-QG

 

fred_1_15301

Footballguy
First time making a pizza from scratch.  Used a baking steel (which I pre heated for an hour at 550).  The dough seemed to turn out perfect but let’s just say I have some work to do learning how to stretch the dough (also I think I may have over floured it).  The crust didn’t get black around the edges (cooked for 8 minutes).   It still tasted good but not great.  

 

Brony

Footballguy
First time making a pizza from scratch.  Used a baking steel (which I pre heated for an hour at 550).  The dough seemed to turn out perfect but let’s just say I have some work to do learning how to stretch the dough (also I think I may have over floured it).  The crust didn’t get black around the edges (cooked for 8 minutes).   It still tasted good but not great.  
Even subpar homemade pizza is still pretty tasty. 

 

Binky The Doormat

Footballguy
First time making a pizza from scratch.  Used a baking steel (which I pre heated for an hour at 550).  The dough seemed to turn out perfect but let’s just say I have some work to do learning how to stretch the dough (also I think I may have over floured it).  The crust didn’t get black around the edges (cooked for 8 minutes).   It still tasted good but not great.  
we want pics man.

 

Wingnut

** Inactive **
So this last batch of pies I tried something different...I added a few minced anchovies to the sauce in place of salt, and it really worked out well. It gave the sauce depth and a nice umami kick. 

I'm not sure if it's something I'll do every time, but it.was an interesting experiment that ended up being quite tasty. 

 

fred_1_15301

Footballguy
I finally figured out how to stretch out the dough and get it off the peel (looking like an actual pizza).  I haven't bought an outdoor oven yet but that may be on my list if I can continue to perfect it.  Made 4 twelve inch pies last night in our oven at 550 temp using a baking steel.  My wife made a white sauce that was divine.  I made the red sauce that was also very good (and simple).  Used a bunch of different toppings (e.g. mushrooms, asparagus, onions, peppers).  I think I'm addicted now!

 

Jayrod

Footballguy
I'm sure most of you in here are gourmets that make your own sauce, but if you want a great sauce out of a jar, Trader Joe's Three Cheese pasta sauce is incredible on pizza.

 
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