From Scratch, With Love

Pizza: Some Updates

with 2 comments

I’ve been making pizza for a few years now, basically since I acquired a kitchen of my own, senior year of college.  I started out using the method my dad used all throughout my childhood, and it has evolved since then.  Lately, largely due to reading articles on the Cook’s Illustrated website (you have to subscribe to be able to read them fully, but it’s well worth it), I’ve deviated from my original method.  A couple things remain, however.  1) Always make the dough by hand.  This rule is part snobbishness and part wanting to get a feel for when the dough is the right consistency. 2) Use some whole wheat flour.  Well, are you surprised? I love me some whole wheat.  3) Use lots of garlic.

Here are the tips I want to pass on.

1) Unlike commercial pizzas, which are baked in 800 degree ovens, homemade pizza dough does not benefit from high-gluten bread flour or long kneading times.  As a result, I’ve switched to using part pastry flour or cake flour, and kneading it just until it forms a smooth ball.

2) In order to make a thick sauce that is not overly watery, you can blend canned tomatoes in a blender and let it drain in a fine mesh sieve for about a half hour until a lot of the water is released.  I like to mix in some canned tomato sauce and minced garlic as well.  A little salt and sugar and herbs improves the sauce.

3) Use a pizza stone.  No need for a pizza peel – build the pizza on parchment paper on a rimless baking sheet and use the baking sheet to slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven.

4) Bake the pizza for about 5 minutes at 500 degrees with just crust, sauce, and toppings, then add the cheese and bake for another 5 minutes.  This method keeps the cheese from burning.

5) Fresh mozzarella is awesome.  As is adding a parmesan-like cheese to the pizza.

6) Slice toppings very thin so that they cook evenly.  Green peppers, especially.

Those are my current tips for homemade pizza.  I’m sure I’ll discover more soon enough.


Written by poperatzii

October 27, 2010 at 8:49 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I’ll trade you chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting for a slice of that pizza any day!

    Anyway I was pretty sure I have the one dough recipe that makes pizzas I would be happy to stuff my face with for the rest of my life but your tips about using whole wheat and cake flour have me very intrigued. Any chance you’ll share a recipe soon (and move somewhere closer to me, preferably next door)?


    November 7, 2010 at 11:24 am

    • Yeah I think that would work. I’ll perfect my pizza dough and share a recipe soon.

      Maybe you wanna meet me somewhere in the middle. Paris? I’ve never been there. Do you speak french?


      November 8, 2010 at 9:04 pm

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