Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pizza Time

I have just started playing around with making my own pizzas at home.  So let me throw out this question: has anyone had experience making their own pizzas?  If so, do you have any tips, ideas or caveats to share?  Thanks for considering my query.

27 comments:

Antares Cryptos said...

Yes.Tasted like vegetables on healthy dough, not pizza.
And then I wanted a wood burning oven.

The Darker Side said...

Funny - was blog-walking this morning, which I don't do often anymore, and here I am!
We started making homemade (Appian Way) pizza as a family and a treat when I was a kid (sometime in the early paleozoic era).
A few things:
if you are putting meats on, like bacon or sausage, we cook that separate to avoid the grease/oil.
Palmieri sauce - made in New Haven - is, hands down, the best if you aren't going to make your own. Second place - Sclafani.
Roll out the dough in your pan - before you start adding ingredients - brush with a tiny bit of olive oil. Then toss in oven and bake till light gold. This works well if you like crisp crusts.
If I think of more, I'll be back! ;)

Way Out Wear said...

I put a pizza stone in the oven and set it for 450 degrees. I spread my dough on parchment paper and once dressed I slide the pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone. Forget about futzing with cornmeal or flour for the bottom.

I never roll my dough, I put the ball of dough on the parchment and slowly work it out to the edges by flattening in the middle and gently pulling to the sides continuously rotating until a circle is reached.

Also I found if I put on the pizza sauce first and then the cheese and then the toppings - the pizza wasn't as soggy and the toppings cooked nicely. Play around with the order of things too.

And I don't put the sauce all the way to the edge. Brush olive oil on the crust (you'll be glad you didn't miss this step)

At 450 degrees my pizzas can be done in about 15 minutes - depending on how deep the toppings are.

best of all you get to play around and see what works for you. Enjoy!!

Laoch of Chicago said...

ac, yes, this is my fear.

dw, thanks, I appreciate your thoughts. One loves olive oil!

wow, I very much appreciate your tips!

Peaceful said...

when i used to make mine, i invested in a pizza stone

Suze said...

I watched somebody make their own pizza once. Then, I be like, uhhhhh, time to call out for delivery!

I don't think I'd feel that way after sampling a pizza of yours. :) Good luck!

Laoch of Chicago said...

jade, good idea.

sue, my guess is that my early efforts will be pretty rocky,but that is how we improve so I will be endeavoring.

Coulda shoulda woulda said...

gotta be honest, I have rarely eaten great home made pizza. Even in Italy people rarely make their own. Unless you have a great hot oven - those pizza porcelain thingamajiggies dont work - i have lied to many friends that the pizza is great but really it was like toast with toppings...If you have a trick to make it like restaurants then please share!

Laoch of Chicago said...

csw, I accept that my pizzas probably won;t be awesome, it is just something I am fooling around with.

Patience_Crabstick said...

I make pizza at home all the time. A pizza stone is good, but I don't like the lengthy time it takes to preheat the stone (especially in the summer) so I save my pizza stone for when we have guests.

I love my perforated pizza pans because you don't have to preheat them, although I admit that a pizza stone is superior. You want to roll your crust as thin as you can and brush with olive oil. I set my oven to 550 (as high as it will go).

When your pizza is finished take it off the pan and put it on a rack. This prevents the crust from getting soggy from condensation.

Laoch of Chicago said...

pc, thank you so for the good tips!

angryparsnip said...

All great comments.
I make my pizza on the Bar b Que grill. Cook first a little on the grill then add toppings. I just kind stretch out the dough, very rough.
I don't care for tomato sauce I use olive oil and goat cheese.
But other topping are always cooked first.
Son makes a pizza in his Iron skillet
Which you start on the stove then finish cooking in the oven. If you like a thick crust this one is very good.

cheers, parsnip

Laoch of Chicago said...

ap, the grill is an interesting idea,you could probably get a nice high temperature that way. I really appreciate your thoughts, thanks.

susie said...

There's always Boboli pizza crusts for the lazy...they really aren't that bad. You could make your own sauce. I like BBQ sauce on my pizza.

Molly said...

Pre-bake the crust like The Darker Side suggested. Don't pre-cook any toppings except the tomato base - make your own. I periodically roast a pan of tomatoes and a few carrots with garlic and olive oil when I've got the oven on for something else, puree the mix once roasted and cooled and freeze in small quantities (ice blocks?) to defrost and use for pizza sauce. Best.

Laoch of Chicago said...

susie, I like working with the dough. I figure in the long run it will lead to better pies. I guess if I find that I cannot make the dough right a shell would be a reasonable substitute. BBQ sauce is an interesting idea. Thanks for the suggestions.

molly, freezing the sauce is a good idea. I used to do that with stock. I wonder how long it would keep? Carrots are something I would not thought of to try adding to the sauce. I appreciate the tips.

Stephanie said...

We used to make pizza at home all the time, back before we went low carb. It was a project I'd have the kids do with their friends (that, and home-made ice cream. My kids are making home-made ice cream as we speak, actually ... so much for low carb, ha!). Pre-baking the crust was key, and while I love your basic pizza margherita, I also enjoyed experimenting with white pizzas. Sometimes I made my own crust but Trader Joe's has a few great pizza doughs ready to go, and if you have a Whole Foods nearby ... they will give you a wad of their homemade pizza dough. It's the best I've had.

Pizza stone and pizza paddle are key. Also, cornmeal the paddle (before you add the dough) so the pizza slides easily onto the hot stone.

Laoch of Chicago said...

stephanie, Has going low carb made any kind of difference health wise for you or your family? I wonder where one would get a pizza paddle? Cornmeal sounds reasonable to reduce the stickiness. I am hoping to make my own crust if I can, although I acknowledge some of my early efforts will probably be regrettable, but will take a look at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods for the dough, if my efforts come up short. Thanks for the suggestions

Bette said...

I'm learning along with you. Which kind are you planning to make? It's easy to find a good thin crisp crust here in KC, but the Chicago deep dish is a different and apparently foreign animal. I would take the trouble to make that if I could.

Laoch of Chicago said...

bette, I think I am going to try and make very simple, thin crust pizzas, for quite a while before I tackle anything harder. I expect it to be hard to get the crust right and accept that my home oven will never be as good as a commercial oven. So I am sure that my pies will not be as good as I can get out. Deep dish is like a pizza casserole, I guess. I think that would be much harder to make. There are some decent places to get deep dish in Chicago, fortunately. I grew up having NYC pizza, so I tend to like that better than the deep dish.

Stephanie said...

I saw the comment about parchment over cornmeal after I posted my own: I think that's a better idea! Parchment paper rocks. As to healthy: my husband and I have lost a total of, jeez, at least 60 lbs since we went low-carb (+high fat). So that's a definite health benefit. It's pretty easy to maintain our current low weight the way we eat now, and it's such a delightful way to eat, too. Olive oil, butter, cream, tons of vegetables, grassfed steaks, avocados, etc. Excellent for a foodie. We're never hungry. And my cholesterol is down. My doctor says keep it up.

The pizza paddle we found at Target, I think; it wasn't hard to find.

Laoch of Chicago said...

stephanie, thanks for the information about the low carb, high fat diet. I will research it. I have some parchment paper so that will be easy enough to try. I will also look for the paddle next time I am in Target. Thanks again.

Stephanie said...

I recommend Diet Doctor (dietdoctor.com/lchf) and Peter Attia's blog (eatingacademy.com), for research purposes. Attia also did a great TED talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMhLBPPtlrY

Laoch of Chicago said...

stephanie, great, thank you. One is always looking to learn about eating methodologies. My guess is that there would be some carb carvings during the initial adjustment period,but fat is much denser so less food would be needed for satiation.

dbs said...

Sun-dried tomatoes. They become like bacon (and are a lot healthier).

Laoch of Chicago said...

dbs, I did not know this!

Kerry said...

Yes! Favorite dough recipe so far is from Mark Bittman. (Do you have "How to Cook Everything? It's in there.) I do use a baking stone; it heats up along with the oven...so not really a waiting period-but it should cool down with the oven too, or it may crack upon too swift a cooling. Use corn meal in abundance on the stone and pizza peel. I tend to keep the toppings simple, but always brush the dough with olive oil & usually some chopped garlic or fresh rosemary. I love making pizza. It isn't at all hard & so gratifying.