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Casu Marzu
Oct 20, 2008

me larvae long time


I don't know a lot, but I do know that the pies I pulled out of my oven today were just as good as pizzas I get from anywhere I've ever had a slice.

What I've found so far is: 1) the crust is super important to get right and 2) less is more when it comes to toppings.

Today, I did a pizza dough that was raised overnight in the fridge. I found this to be a lot more workable when trying for that really thin pie, as well as having much more flavor.



4 1/2 cups (20.25 ounces) unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour, chilled
1 3/4 (.44 ounce) teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon (.11 ounce) instant yeast
1/4 cup (2 ounces) olive oil (optional)
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) water, ice cold (40°F)
Semolina flour



Toss the dry in a bowl, slowly add the cold water and olive oil into the dry ingredients and mix with your fingers. Keep mixing and rotating the bowl until the dough comes away from the sides, but still sticks to the bottom. 5-7 minutes or so should do it.



It should be smooth, elastic, and sticky. Set into an oiled bowl and oil the top as well. Cover with plastic and set in the fridge to rest overnight.



Cut your dough into the sizes you want. Gently press the dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil, and cover the dough loosely with plastic. Let rest for 2 hours.

Set your oven as high as it goes, and preheat for at least 45 minutes.

Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, in flour and lift I piece of dough by getting under it with a pastry scraper. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce. If it begins to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue shaping it.

Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss. If you have trouble tossing the dough, or if the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 5 to 20 minutes so the gluten can relax, and try again. You can also resort to using a rolling pin, though this isn't as effective as tossing.



Set onto a peel dusted with semolina or regular flour and top as desired. I added sauce, pressed mozzarella, sausage, and onions on this.

Slide the pizza onto the stone (or bake directly on the sheet pan) and close the door. Wait 2 minutes, then take a peek. If it needs to be rotated 180 degrees for even baking, do so. The pizza should take about 8 minutes to bake.



This is what I got.



Crumb shot. Nice and thin.



One more. Bulgogi, onion and sriracha.

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mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004





I've been working on pizza this last year and have found things that work well for me -

  • pizza/baking stone - you can't make decent pizza without it, really.
  • riproaringly high oven temperatures - preheating your stone for an hour minimum at the highest your oven will go
  • letting the dough proof and rise at room temperature - warm dough is much easier to work with and to stretch out till almost translucent
  • semolina flour to keep dough from sticking to peel/cuttingboard/whatever you're assembling the pizza on - the course grain lets it slide, AP flour just plain doesn't work.
  • stretching using the tops/knuckles of your hands - I suck at tossing, and pizza first timers most certainly will too. skip tossing - flour your hands well, and put your flattened disc on to the tops of your knuckles. pull the disc apart gently with your two hands, then rotate, holding near the edges of the dough, and repeat.
  • less is more - agree with that wholeheartedly. use a minimum slathering of sauce, and don't put more than 2-3 ingredients + cheese on. your dough will tear/get soggy/blah blah blah

oRenj9
Aug 3, 2004

Who loves oRenj soda?!?


OP, I hope you don't mind if I post up my technique for making dough. I like to create a starter the night before. I feel that the flavor and texture improve a lot after a night on the counter.

1-1.5c bread flour
1c warm (100°) filtered water
1 tsp (or so) of yeast
2 tbs granulated sugar

Spin this together until it forms a batter, then it sit on the counter, loosely covered, overnight. Upon waking up in the morning, the slurry will look like the surface of the moon with all the craters, and the entire kitchen will smell vaguely like a bread shop.

To prepare, place the slurry into the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Add about an additional 0.5-0.75c of water, 2 tsp salt and about 2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil to the slurry, turn the mixer on low-medium. Add additional bread flour, a quarter cup at a time, until the dough just adheres to the bottom of the bowl at the hump. Continue to knead the dough on medium-high for 10 minutes.

After kneading, flour the counter (or a large end-grain cutting board) liberally and turn out the (very sticky) dough. Hand knead the dough, adding flour, until it soaks up enough to no longer be sticky to the touch. Leave the dough covered to rise for at least a half-an-hour.

Portion into six and hand spin, OP-style, for light, puffy crust (my favorite). Alternatively, roll pretty thin with a rolling pin (on the peal, please) for a crunchy, cracker-like crust.

My toppings of choice are, a sliced garlic clove, sauce (home made*!), thick sliced local pepperoni, and cubes of provolone; serve with cracked black and crushed red pepper. Yum.

Home made pizza is by far my favorite meal in the entire world. I'd seriously turn down just about any food for one.


Edit:

The sauce is pretty important to pizza, so I'll give it a bit of attention.

Sauce: Sweat one onion, two carrots, a stalk of celery, and four cloves of garlic in a pot with a pat of butter. Add a 14oz can of whole pealed tomatoes. Add herbal additions of your choice, along with a pinch of salt, 1 tsp of sugar, and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes, then move to the blender and pulse until desired consistency.

oRenj9 fucked around with this message at Oct 6, 2011 around 05:17

HookShot
Dec 26, 2005



If you're lazy and don't like to knead/don't have a dough attachment:

3 1/4 cup white flour

.75 TBSP instant active yeast
.75 TBSP salt
0.5 TSP sugar
1.5 cups lukewarm water.
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix everything except the flour in a big bowl, stirring only until everything is mixed.

Add the flour. Stir until it's combined and looks like dough.

Cover it with a dish towel but make sure to leave a small hole for the gases to escape.

Leave for two hours.

Come back, shape dough, make pizza, eat pizza.

Shooting Blanks
Jun 6, 2007

Real bullets mess up how cool this thing looks.

-Blade


I've gotten to the point where I don't even bother with trying to use flour any more to keep the pizza from sticking to the peel/prep surface/stone - I just use parchment paper instead, throw the already formed crust on it, top it, slide onto peel, and then cook. I haven't noticed any difference in quality, but holy poo poo is it easier to deal with (and it makes a lot less mess!)

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Bulgogi pizza

Death of Rats
Oct 2, 2005
I am Joe's Raging Bile Duct

HookShot posted:

If you're lazy and don't like to knead/don't have a dough attachment:

3 1/4 cup white flour

.75 TBSP instant active yeast
.75 TBSP salt
0.5 TSP sugar
1.5 cups lukewarm water.
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix everything except the flour in a big bowl, stirring only until everything is mixed.

Add the flour. Stir until it's combined and looks like dough.

Cover it with a dish towel but make sure to leave a small hole for the gases to escape.

Leave for two hours.

Come back, shape dough, make pizza, eat pizza.

Thanks for this. I don't have a stand mixer, and nowadays my wrists get sore from kneading (I shattered them both last year. It sucked then, it still sucks now). So pizza was a "gently caress it, let's buy frozen" affair. Not now.

Ezrem
Jan 23, 2006


Shooting Blanks posted:

I've gotten to the point where I don't even bother with trying to use flour any more to keep the pizza from sticking to the peel/prep surface/stone - I just use parchment paper instead, throw the already formed crust on it, top it, slide onto peel, and then cook. I haven't noticed any difference in quality, but holy poo poo is it easier to deal with (and it makes a lot less mess!)

This is a good idea as long as you trim the parchment to be exactly the same size as the pizza crust (or slightly smaller).

With the >450 temps you should be baking the pizza at, naked parchment will burn. Burned parchment doesn't taste very good.

[edit]
Also having said that, cornmeal works almost flawlessly as long as you use enough, and it gives you a little extra crunch. If it's not working, you're taking to long to build your pie or putting too many ingredients on.
[/edit]

NosmoKing
Nov 12, 2004

I have a rifle and a frying pan and I know how to use them

Casu Marzu posted:





At the risk of turning this thread into Nosmo Chat, my NEW OVEN COMES TOMORROW MORNING AND WILL BE INSTALLED BY THE TIME I GET HOME!!

I've been without an oven since APRIL!

I'm making a SHITLOAD of pizzas over the weekend!

That grilled flatbread stuff with toppings that I do on the grill just ain't the same.

Casu Marzu
Oct 20, 2008

me larvae long time


Shooting Blanks posted:

I've gotten to the point where I don't even bother with trying to use flour any more to keep the pizza from sticking to the peel/prep surface/stone - I just use parchment paper instead, throw the already formed crust on it, top it, slide onto peel, and then cook. I haven't noticed any difference in quality, but holy poo poo is it easier to deal with (and it makes a lot less mess!)

I've had the opposite experience. A good dusting of semolina on the peel works a lot better for me than parchment.


Sjurygg posted:

Bulgogi pizza

It was amazing. I need to do this more often with leftover bulgogi.

Daedalus Esquire
Mar 30, 2008


Here's a link to some (lovely) step by step instructions on how to build a (lovely) brick pizza oven. I posted it in the last pizza thread too, but it was towards the end so I don't know how many people saw it.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...0#post393312380

Easychair Bootson
May 7, 2004

Where's the last guy?
Ultimo hombre.
Last man standing.
Must've been one.


After much cursing of pizzas that stick to my metal peel and cornmeal that burns and stinks up the joint, I've settled on a nearly-foolproof method using my basic home oven.

I heat my pizza stone as hot as I can for an hour, occasionally kicking it up to broil. I press out my dough onto parchment paper, which I trim so as not to have too much sticking out. I brush the outside of the pie (the crust) lightly with olive oil and parbake at 500 (max temp) for about 3 minutes.

When I take the dough out of the oven, I kick it back up to broil while I assemble the pizza while it's still on parchment. Then, using a peel, I slide the pizza off of the parchment and into the oven, turn off of broil and down to 500, and bake for 6-8 minutes.

Cpt.Wacky
Apr 17, 2005


I never had any trouble with a wooden peel and some cornmeal. Is your dough too wet going on the peel? Dust it with some flour first. Another thing you can try is using a bit of dental floss to loosen it on the peel right before sliding into the oven. I use that trick with pie crusts when they stick.

I'm still looking for a good dough recipe. The Good Eats recipe has been my usual dough for a while. It tastes good and the overnight rest in the fridge makes a difference but it's just missing something. I'll have to try a few of the ones listed here next time.

I may be crazy but I really like a generous amount of dried marjoram and little bit of crushed red pepper on top of the sauce, before the cheese goes on.

CzarChasm
Mar 14, 2009

Blah Blah Blah
Look at me
I'm the Goddamn Batman
Blah Blah Blah


This seems like the place to ask:

I want to get a pizza stone on the cheap, and I've heard that you can use quarry tiles, readily available from most home improvement stores. My concern is that I have heard the term "glazed" for these tiles and I can't remember if for pizza stone purposes if they should be glazed or non-glazed. Help, please.

Casu Marzu
Oct 20, 2008

me larvae long time


Unglazed, I believe.

Zedlic
Mar 10, 2005

Ask me about being too much of a sperging idiot to understand what resisting arrest means.

I'll add to this that if you don't have a pizza stone, an upside down cast iron pan works as a substitute.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004





just for the sake of posting, I've tried a number of pizza doughs, and my favorite is Batali's. I usually just buy premade, but if I'm making my own, his is spot on fwiw.

code:
Mario Batali’s Pizza Dough
Published: August 16, 2007
 
¼ cup white wine

¾ cup warm water

1 ½ ounces yeast

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3 cups all-purpose flour

Method:

Combine wine, water and yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add the honey, salt and olive oil and mix thoroughly. 
Start by adding 1 cup of flour and make a wet paste. Add remaining flour and incorporate.

Place dough on a lightly floured board and knead for 2 to 3 minutes.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for 45 minutes.
the wine should be lukewarm though

oRenj9
Aug 3, 2004

Who loves oRenj soda?!?


CzarChasm posted:

I want to get a pizza stone on the cheap, and I've heard that you can use quarry tiles, readily available from most home improvement stores.

I grabbed a piece of travertine tile and I haven't died yet.

Shooting Blanks posted:

just use parchment paper instead,

Ha! I wasn't going to admit it at first, but, if I'm making a bunch of small pizzas, I just prep them in on a sheet of thin aluminum foil and toss the entire thing into the oven. I haven't noticed a difference in quality this way, so I just kept doing it.

indoflaven
Dec 10, 2009


I build it on parchment paper and then just slide the parchment paper onto the pizza stone. Works like a charm and I don't need a pizza peel or cornmeal. The parchment paper the pizza is on stays white and the exposed parts turn a little brown but it never burns. Makes removal very easy also I just slide the parchment onto a pan and don't even have to touch the stone.

indoflaven
Dec 10, 2009


mindphlux posted:

just for the sake of posting, I've tried a number of pizza doughs, and my favorite is Batali's. I usually just buy premade, but if I'm making my own, his is spot on fwiw.

code:
Mario Batali’s Pizza Dough
Published: August 16, 2007
 
¼ cup white wine

¾ cup warm water

1 ½ ounces yeast

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3 cups all-purpose flour

Method:

Combine wine, water and yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add the honey, salt and olive oil and mix thoroughly. 
Start by adding 1 cup of flour and make a wet paste. Add remaining flour and incorporate.

Place dough on a lightly floured board and knead for 2 to 3 minutes.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for 45 minutes.
the wine should be lukewarm though

Bread yeast?

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004





indoflaven posted:

Bread yeast?

yep

Shooting Blanks
Jun 6, 2007

Real bullets mess up how cool this thing looks.

-Blade


Ezrem posted:

This is a good idea as long as you trim the parchment to be exactly the same size as the pizza crust (or slightly smaller).

With the >450 temps you should be baking the pizza at, naked parchment will burn. Burned parchment doesn't taste very good.

[edit]
Also having said that, cornmeal works almost flawlessly as long as you use enough, and it gives you a little extra crunch. If it's not working, you're taking to long to build your pie or putting too many ingredients on.
[/edit]

Pro tip: don't eat the parchment paper.

But yeah, I guess I forgot to mention that I always do trim it as soon as I lay the dough down on it. The biggest reason for me is just the mess that cornmeal seems to make.

As for alternative pizzas such as bulgogi, I made an Italian beef pizza awhile back with roast beef, giardiniera, a horseradish sauce base, and a little bit of pepper jack cheese. It was the GF's idea, and pretty drat tasty to boot.

Heaps of Sheeps
Jul 26, 2005



I make pizzas using Jeff Varasano's method, as in, baking them on the self clean cycle. I have a infrared thermometer (critical if you're going to do this) and only bake when the oven is around 800-820 degrees. There's pictures of my pies in the previous pizza thread.

For this you need a serious pizza stone. I got a custom width Fibrament-D 3/4" stone. Even at 800 degrees, a drop of sauce on it won't cause it to violently explode like a cheaper pizza stone will. Unless you are super careful and good at making perfectly formed crusts, spend the extra cash on one of these. It also hugely helps maintain the heat in the oven, because you will actually lose about 150 degrees between every pizza due to opening/closing the door. My stone weighs about 15 lbs and the oven can bounce back up to 800 by the time the next pizza is formed and ready to go.

Kneading the dough goes in two parts. Put all of the water, sourdough starter, salt, and baking yeast into the mixer's bowl. Using the paddle attachment, turn it onto medium. Using a big tablespoon, work in a couple spoonfuls of flour at a time and don't add more until the previous addition is completely mixed in. This accomplishes two things. One, the dough is actually kneading in this batter-like phase. A lot of gluten develops. Second, this makes the autolyze period much faster. Once you've got about 3/4 of the flour worked in (it should be thicker than batter, but not quite a dough), take the paddle out, cover, and let it sit for 20 minutes. Continue kneading with the hook, slowly adding flour, until it forms a nice tight ball which pretty much just rotates around the hook.

A sourdough culture is basically required. If not for flavor, but for strength. I actually use a mixture of sourdough poolish and plain old active dry yeast, because my sourdough culture does not rise much in the fridge. The bacteria, however, do produce acid at fridge temperatures. The slightly acidic dough is MUCH stronger than one that isn't. It will spread much more evenly and thinly without breaking. My dough sits in individual portions in plastic, lightly oiled glad cointainers for a minumum of 3 days. 6 days gives better flavor but runs the risk of being over-risen.

For shaping/spreading, a WOODEN pizza peel is absolutely required. Take about a teaspoon of flour and dump it on the peel. Spread it around with the palm of your hand. This gets flour into all of the nooks and crevices of the wood without over-flouring it. Don't use cornmeal it tastes like poo poo, burns, and ruins the texture of the crust. Flour is all you need and if you do it this way you'll never have a pie stick to the peel. You'll have to develop your own shaping procedure, but start with a floured disk and punch out a "crust" around it with your knuckles.

Sauce - use a blender/food processor to crush whole, plum tomatoes. Cut the ends off and rinse them under a drizzle of water to get all the seeds out as well as remove some of the bitter "canny" flavor. You shouldn't need to add much juice, but use your best judgement. I only put salt and romano cheese in the tomatos.

Costco sells a really solid cow's milk fresh mozarella (Belgioso brand). It has very predictable melting characteristics and even at high heat doesn't dissolve into ricotta.

Into the oven. I use a flashlight to just watch the pizza, and pull it when it looks done. This is really the only way to do it, and it will cook in less than 2 minutes anyways.

Here's my recipe, you might need to adjust the flour amount depending on your ambient humidity/etc.

800g KA bread flour
550g Water
60g sourdough poolish
30g salt
3.5g baking years

That's enough for about 5 12" pizzas.

Heaps of Sheeps fucked around with this message at Oct 7, 2011 around 17:16

Walk Away
Dec 31, 2009

Industrial revolution has flipped the bitch on evolution.


I would like to add that, as someone suggested to me in the last thread, you can go by your favorite pizza place and buy balls of dough if you don't have the time (or desire) to make your own. I stop by, buy 3 or 4, and freeze them individually in ziploc bags. My pizzas always come out amazing and it saves me a lot of time.

I also get canned tomatoes and make large batches of pizza sauce in my blender, which I also freeze in baggies until I am ready to use it. When I want to make pizza, all that I really have to do is take the stuff out of the freezer and prep the toppings.

Foursaken
Nov 30, 2010

Intrepid Spirit


mindphlux posted:

just for the sake of posting, I've tried a number of pizza doughs, and my favorite is Batali's. I usually just buy premade, but if I'm making my own, his is spot on fwiw.

code:
Mario Batali’s Pizza Dough
Published: August 16, 2007
 
¼ cup white wine

¾ cup warm water

1 ½ ounces yeast

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3 cups all-purpose flour

Method:

Combine wine, water and yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add the honey, salt and olive oil and mix thoroughly. 
Start by adding 1 cup of flour and make a wet paste. Add remaining flour and incorporate.

Place dough on a lightly floured board and knead for 2 to 3 minutes.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for 45 minutes.
the wine should be lukewarm though

My mom used to make dough similar to this. no wine, but with a nice light honey flavor. works amazingly well with almost any topping.

NosmoKing
Nov 12, 2004

I have a rifle and a frying pan and I know how to use them

mindphlux posted:

just for the sake of posting, I've tried a number of pizza doughs, and my favorite is Batali's. I usually just buy premade, but if I'm making my own, his is spot on fwiw.

code:
Mario Batali’s Pizza Dough
Published: August 16, 2007
 
¼ cup white wine

¾ cup warm water

1 ½ ounces yeast

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3 cups all-purpose flour

Method:

Combine wine, water and yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add the honey, salt and olive oil and mix thoroughly. 
Start by adding 1 cup of flour and make a wet paste. Add remaining flour and incorporate.

Place dough on a lightly floured board and knead for 2 to 3 minutes.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for 45 minutes.
the wine should be lukewarm though

I make my dough with the same 3:1 ratio flour to water, but I like the higher gluten bread flours. I've used honey and sugar and didn't notice much difference, but I WILL try the white wine thing. That sounds like a great idea.

Cpt.Wacky
Apr 17, 2005


Nostrum posted:

I make pizzas using Jeff Varasano's method, as in, baking them on the self clean cycle. I have a infrared thermometer (critical if you're going to do this) and only bake when the oven is around 800-820 degrees. There's pictures of my pies in the previous pizza thread.

Thanks for mentioning this. The amount of obsession displayed there is impressive.

I'd like to try it but I'm afraid of burning my house down while baking on the cleaning cycle. Are there any alternatives to the cleaning cycle or a DIY brick oven? It also seems like a lot of wasted energy if you're only going to make a few pizzas.

Heaps of Sheeps
Jul 26, 2005



Cpt.Wacky posted:

Thanks for mentioning this. The amount of obsession displayed there is impressive.

I'd like to try it but I'm afraid of burning my house down while baking on the cleaning cycle. Are there any alternatives to the cleaning cycle or a DIY brick oven? It also seems like a lot of wasted energy if you're only going to make a few pizzas.

There really is no risk of burning the house down, I accidentally forgot about a pizza in there once and it just turned into cinder and ash. No fire or anything. The oven is designed to be able to withstand those temperatures. Just don't let any sauce hit the glass on the door.

As for the energy, well, don't just make a few pizzas! I regularly have get-togethers and make 10-15 pies. Pizza is a great party piece because you can do all the prep before hand, and people are usually pretty interested in watching you shape/form the dough.

laylow
Jan 24, 2008
wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

I have had good results getting proper thin crust pizza on a cast iron round(not skillet. I tried it first on an upside down skillet but it was too small). Put the ungreased, uncured skillet on the highest burner for a good while, if you have previously greased this pan at all it will smoke at this point. once the smoke subsides and it is a dark grey (not red/pink at all) you can lay your dough onto it and transfer, with gloves or other protection, under a preheated broiler. I have found this combo of residual cast iron heat from underneath and direct overhead broiler heat matches the situation in a real pizza oven nicely.


The reason for all this is that i was popping pizza stones on the reg and it felt like a bummer that i was paying 20us$ every time i spilled grease/sauce on my stone and it blew up. Its a little more Micro manage-y but its pretty easy to visually tell the temp of cast iron so you will get the hang of it.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004





Nostrum posted:

I make pizzas using Jeff Varasano's method, as in, baking them on the self clean cycle.

just gonna throw this out there : I live literally across the street from Jeff Varasano's pizza place (aptly named Varasano's.) - the pies are just ok - sometimes soggy crusts, and I know it's not his fault but the service is horrible, prices over the top. And they've recently taken the old 'death throes' route of posting lots of happy hour posters outside, along with live music, free validated parking, etc etc.

anyways, I haven't tried the self cleaning oven part, and that can be nothing but a good thing, so I'm not discounting his internet e-recipe tactics really per se. just surprised that anyone has heard of him outside atlanta mostly, since I went to the restaurant (and was a little let down by the food) before ever reading about his amazing incredible e-journey to make the perfect authentic pizza.

Heaps of Sheeps
Jul 26, 2005



mindphlux posted:

just gonna throw this out there : I live literally across the street from Jeff Varasano's pizza place (aptly named Varasano's.) - the pies are just ok - sometimes soggy crusts, and I know it's not his fault but the service is horrible, prices over the top. And they've recently taken the old 'death throes' route of posting lots of happy hour posters outside, along with live music, free validated parking, etc etc.

anyways, I haven't tried the self cleaning oven part, and that can be nothing but a good thing, so I'm not discounting his internet e-recipe tactics really per se. just surprised that anyone has heard of him outside atlanta mostly, since I went to the restaurant (and was a little let down by the food) before ever reading about his amazing incredible e-journey to make the perfect authentic pizza.

I have also heard that his pizzeria isn't that good. And actually, a lot of his site is over-spergy and insane. But his three basic rules are 100% on point. High heat, sourdough starter, wet kneading with autolyze period.

What really bothers me about him is his insistence on "AUTHENTIC PIZZA". He has so much right "...pizza inspires passion..." but goes so overboard with his ulillillilia-esque sperging about poo poo that is literally a pissing contest about food. Which is meant to be enjoyed by diners and creators, not endlessly raged over by internet tough guys.

Shooting Blanks
Jun 6, 2007

Real bullets mess up how cool this thing looks.

-Blade


Varasano's problem is that he is a poster boy Type A personality - he has in his mind the definition of the perfect pizza, and he wants to replicate that rather than develop his own. The problem is, the original place shut down so everything is up to his memory, which of course is purely subjective - and since he obviously can't taste every pizza his place sends out, it just goes downhill from there.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

GroovinPickle posted:

I brush the outside of the pie (the crust) lightly with olive oil and parbake at 500 (max temp) for about 3 minutes.

I do that but add crushed garlic to the olive oil about 30 minutes before then brush the whole pizza top. I want to try it with a habenero but my family doesn't like spicy food.

mediaphage
Mar 22, 2007

Ricola-kun, tell me
about pizza cones!


wormil posted:

I do that but add crushed garlic to the olive oil about 30 minutes before then brush the whole pizza top. I want to try it with a habenero but my family doesn't like spicy food.

If you don't want to wait for the garlic to infuse, put it in the oil and pop it in the microwave for a minute.

HeatherHomemade
Sep 17, 2011



laylow posted:

I have had good results getting proper thin crust pizza on a cast iron round(not skillet. I tried it first on an upside down skillet but it was too small). Put the ungreased, uncured skillet on the highest burner for a good while, if you have previously greased this pan at all it will smoke at this point. once the smoke subsides and it is a dark grey (not red/pink at all) you can lay your dough onto it and transfer, with gloves or other protection, under a preheated broiler. I have found this combo of residual cast iron heat from underneath and direct overhead broiler heat matches the situation in a real pizza oven nicely.

The reason for all this is that i was popping pizza stones on the reg and it felt like a bummer that i was paying 20us$ every time i spilled grease/sauce on my stone and it blew up. Its a little more Micro manage-y but its pretty easy to visually tell the temp of cast iron so you will get the hang of it.

I've been craving homemade pizza for the past few weeks; now I'm going to have to make it!

I've popped several stones as well, so I've been using cast iron (Lodge 14" round pizza pan); closest I've gotten to a real pizza oven at home, because I use the broiler. I heat the pan in the lower third of the oven to 400 degrees for 20 minutes and then switch to the broiler for another 20 minutes. When the pan is hot I build the pizza on a flour/cornmeal dusted peel and slide it onto the waiting pan.


LITERALLY MY FETISH
Nov 11, 2010

Could people please stop fighting the avatar war over my avatar. I really appreciate people being nice about it but I'm feeling crappier that people are wasting money because someone is an asshole than I am about the avatar in the first place.


I've been working at a family run pizzeria for the past 4 (good god I need a new job) years, and I shamelessly stole the recipe for their dough for my own use at home . Short of giving you that recipe, which probably won't happen, I can give you a few tips on making the pizza: (This is all just crap I've learned through working at a pizzeria, and my own personal experimentation. I'm not an expert at all forms of pizza, and I'm sure other people get good results with other methods. This is just how I do it.)

Don't get confused with what gives pizza dough its flavor. Honey and sugars give you a little flavor, but what they're mainly for is increasing yeast productivity, and yeast will "eat" most of it. Salt is where the taste comes from, so if your dough has little to no flavor to it when it's done, you probably don't have enough salt in it. The place I work at is famous in the area for having the best crust, and we get complimented on it every time someone tries it. All it has in it is salt, yeast, water, flour, and oil, and that's all you really need.

When your dough is ready to be pounded out into a pie, before you do anything with flattening it, shape the outside of it so that the entire thing is round. It's incredibly difficult, nigh impossible, to get the dough to be round if the dough ball it started out as was square, heart shaped, what have you. The way I do that is to shape it, generally using the palms of my hands to press in the sides, and using the bottom of my right hand to force the bottom edge of it to be round. There are other ways, but it has to be done before you go any farther.

Grab a rolling pin, and just roll it out while turning it 90 degrees between rolls. It will look oblong at times, but it will keep evening out as long as you're giving it even pressure on every roll. Do this until it's a little bit thicker than what you want it to be, then run the edge through your hands, stretching it slightly and evenly across the entire thing. The idea is you're increasing the circumference of the dough, and the inside will stretch evenly to flatten out the edge.

Something I wouldn't have thought of before I saw my boss do it, but rice flour is amazing to use for keeping the dough from sticking to your peel. Take a generous pinch, maybe a tablespoon or two, depending on how big it is, and spread it on the peel, then lay the dough on top of it before you put toppings on. Use more if you want to be sure. Rice flour's great for it because it's super easy to clean up, rather than using other flour, and more importantly you won't have that dry grit of flour on the bottom of the pizza to deal with.

Don't pile toppings in the center, try to put them in a ring around the center. Cheese will melt and flow into it, and remember that the center is where the highest concentration of cuts will be made. A lot of toppings in the center will just turn into a mess if you're not careful.

Rand alPaul
Feb 3, 2010

Everyone has been traded to the Padres


Nostrum posted:

I have also heard that his pizzeria isn't that good. And actually, a lot of his site is over-spergy and insane. But his three basic rules are 100% on point. High heat, sourdough starter, wet kneading with autolyze period.

Yeah I've heard it isn't too great, I've also heard similar things about Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, AZ.

High heat ovens and awesome dough seem to be what separates good pizza from pizza industrial complex pies. I just wish my clean cycle on my oven worked. My old oven is so loving ghetto that was the first thing to break and now I can't even take advantage of it.

jooky
Jan 15, 2003



If you have a food processor, the Serious Eats recipe (here) works rather well. Seems a little odd to make a pizza dough in a food processor, but when you see the rise on it in the fridge you'll understand. I've made their New York style sauce, as well, but I personally just prefer canned whole tomatoes with some dried herbs and garlic personally.

Here's a pic of a pizza I made using the recipe: http://i.imgur.com/n4WtI.jpg Linked because it's huge.

I've made all of my pizza sans baking stone, using an upside-down baking sheet instead. It's not optimal, but it gets the job done.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004





Bauxite posted:

Something I wouldn't have thought of before I saw my boss do it, but rice flour is amazing to use for keeping the dough from sticking to your peel. Take a generous pinch, maybe a tablespoon or two, depending on how big it is, and spread it on the peel, then lay the dough on top of it before you put toppings on. Use more if you want to be sure. Rice flour's great for it because it's super easy to clean up, rather than using other flour, and more importantly you won't have that dry grit of flour on the bottom of the pizza to deal with.

Don't pile toppings in the center, try to put them in a ring around the center. Cheese will melt and flow into it, and remember that the center is where the highest concentration of cuts will be made. A lot of toppings in the center will just turn into a mess if you're not careful.

hey, these two are great tips, thanks. I don't know why I never thought about the highest concentration of cuts being made at the center - I mean it's completely obvious. also, cornmeal literally sucks rear end as the bottom-of-pizza coating, semolina flour (what I use now) is only moderately better - I'll have to give rice flour a go - I have a tub sitting in my pantry anyways.

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godzirraRAWR
Sep 11, 2003

godzirra will trample your scrotum

Jeff Varasano is a dick that rips off his employees, and will steal pies during rushes to give to attractive women in order to hit on them.

That being said, his process is amazing, and I even have a poolish with his starter in it that I've been babying for months now.

I used it to make some sourdough pizzadough and a couple loaves of bread the other day, and it was simply amazing.

I've been using my cast iron heavily oiled for both thick and thin crust pies. I used to have a fancyass pizza stone, but I broke that motherfucker with a QUICKNESS. I got so angry I swore never to buy one, but I think I'll break down soon. I've been making http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/03/breakfast-pizza/ lately, and it is AMAZING.

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