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Pizza Recipe
September 16, 2006 3:12 PM   Subscribe

How to make pizza. Jeff Varasano has finished his recipe, and his page now includes everything you need to know about making a real pizza.
posted by rxrfrx (69 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
I thought supreme, glorious geekiness like that only ever reared its head over wine or coffee or spirits or cocktails. Great post!
posted by paperpete at 3:26 PM on September 16, 2006


the obsessiveness reaches astronomical levels. this feels like you're reading some genuine secret of the universe. excellent.
posted by 6am at 3:30 PM on September 16, 2006


"The spring back on the crust is excellent."
"Milk will curdle best at a ph level of about 5.2. From my experience, using a ph test kit or digital ph meter is essential."
"I've timed pies at Luzzo's in NYC at 1:55 and at Una Pizza Napoletana at 2:10. These are both top notch places with great pies and crust."
posted by 6am at 3:33 PM on September 16, 2006


Site seems to be dying. Here's the coral cache.
posted by chrisamiller at 3:35 PM on September 16, 2006


That was brilliant, although I did skip some of the more in depth parts. Great to see that the best recipe he arrived at was free of flavourings and powders so prevalent in American cooking. And they look delicious..
posted by fire&wings at 3:35 PM on September 16, 2006


I wish it was possible to make a decent pizza without a ridiculously hot oven. Alas, no.
posted by reklaw at 3:39 PM on September 16, 2006


Gas bbq/grill is great for getting high temps. Not 800, but mine can easily push 600+.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 3:43 PM on September 16, 2006


I am going to give this a go as love proper pizza which I have not found in NZ yet - great post, thanks.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 3:45 PM on September 16, 2006


two minutes, 825 degrees.

Well that's not going to do me a lot of good...
posted by delmoi at 3:51 PM on September 16, 2006


can anyone
a) put this into a condensed , less geeky, clif notes
2) suggest alternatives to 800 degrees

-I know, not likely and against the intent of the post....
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 3:56 PM on September 16, 2006


actually, if you read the article, he apperantly used a regular oven in the cleaning cycle!
posted by delmoi at 4:05 PM on September 16, 2006


yea. scary! i would fear a fire in my gas stove at those temps.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 4:06 PM on September 16, 2006


I'm hungry now.
posted by sveskemus at 4:09 PM on September 16, 2006


I feel kinda bad about MeFi-ing this site, it's been up for years at its present location... ah well.

Cliff's notes:

1. Real pizza uses only flour, water, salt, and yeast (or preferably a sourdough culture instead of a pure commercial strain of yeast)

2. It's not the kind of flour you use, it's the technique (kneading apparatus, time, rest intervals). Use a wet dough to get good voids (bubbles) and withstand a super hot oven.

3. Use delicious tomato and cheese products for a delicious pizza (he recommends rinsing your crushed tomatoes to remove bitter flavors, something I haven't seen anywhere else)

4. Cook hot, as hot as possible. You can break the safety on your stove's self-clean feature to get over 800 °F
posted by rxrfrx at 4:09 PM on September 16, 2006


Awesome. Don't miss his recommendations at the bottom of the page -- someone who spends this much time thinking about pizza (and is located in Atlanta, no less!) probably has a good sense for where to find the good stuff.
posted by armage at 4:37 PM on September 16, 2006


I'll never make this, but GOD do I want a pizza right now.
posted by jonson at 5:08 PM on September 16, 2006


I'm about ready to fly out to New York just to get a decent slice.
posted by scody at 5:16 PM on September 16, 2006


I'm so glad I just moved to Manhattan.
posted by tjenks at 5:18 PM on September 16, 2006


Who waaaaaants...pizza?
posted by teferi at 5:36 PM on September 16, 2006


This is awesome; I love this; and I am hungry like a . . . I have no appropriate simile. Please let the pizza gods smile on me tonight! In Seattle!
posted by cgc373 at 6:50 PM on September 16, 2006


His pizza looks great. Funny, in the oven I make pizza very similarly, perhaps that is why his looks good to me, although I like a slightly crispier crust. His high heat and slightly lighter crusts are also delicious. The key is really high heat.

One big difference, thank yous to my wife, is I skip the sauce entirely and go with tomato slices. She brought me this way kicking and screaming, especially since I was cooking and she was eating, but it really helps. Lots of fresh basil is also needed. Not little snips of leaves, but cover the pie with whole basil leaves.

Moisture control is an issue and good mozzarella cheese tends to be wet. Cut it, and put it between paper towels and then slightly cook the tomato slices to cook out some of the moisture. In a super hot oven this is less of an issue, but when cooking pizza over a charcoal grill this is an issue because to get the grill hot enough to drive off the moisture burns the crust. Ideally you would build a big fire and then push the coals away from the center just prior to putting the pizza on, but still, control your moisture.

This brings up the question of how to get the garlic in if you go with tomato slices - garlic infused olive oil. Gently weep some garlic at low temp and then infuse it into olive oil. Botulism scares me so I do this the same day of pizza making. Olive oil goes in the dough, and especially onto the dough both before and after adding the toppings, and lots of it.

This site has lots of good tips, and he is making smoking pizza. Follow his recipe and you will blow away anything you are likely to find in your local pizzeria, unless you happen to live in the NYC area, and even then finding the really good stuff is a quest. Usually the crusts are too thick and lack the proper crispness, as this is easy to get wrong and mess up too many pies. They take the safe route and miss the glory of a perfect crust.

Enough ranting. In any event I think I need to check out Patsys next time I am in NYC.
posted by caddis at 7:13 PM on September 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


2) suggest alternatives to 800 degrees

Use a pizza stone (sometimes called a baking stone). I've had a lot of good results with one of these, much better than any of the pizza I can get where I am right now at least. Probably not as good as this, but good enough for me.
posted by advil at 7:23 PM on September 16, 2006


no...SAUCE? What kinda crack you smokin', caddis?



Meh, this guy's pizza looks *okay* in a hippy, way too anal, and probably not as tasty as he thinks, sorta way, but I'll take some well made chigago or new york style pie over that scorched hunk o pie any day.


Mmm...oldschool pizzeria...
posted by stenseng at 7:28 PM on September 16, 2006


this made me want pizza. think i'll head over to Modern in New Haven now....
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 7:29 PM on September 16, 2006


What kinda crack you smokin', caddis?

Sliced fresh tomato, although have you ever smoked oregano?
posted by caddis at 7:51 PM on September 16, 2006


Great post, and a really interesting site for pizza lovers. Whether you bake pies, or just eat them, the information presented is thought provoking, and will inform your taste. Which is what any "foodie" wants!
posted by paulsc at 8:20 PM on September 16, 2006


Stenseng, that is new york-style.
posted by kenko at 8:33 PM on September 16, 2006


Quote: My oven takes about 80 minutes to heat up…. On most ovens the electronics won't let you go above 500F, about 300 degrees short of what is needed.... The heat is needed to quickly char the crust before it has a chance to dry out and turn into a biscuit. At this temp the pizza takes 2 - 3 min to cook (a diff of only 25F can change the cook time by 50%). It is charred, yet soft. At 500F it takes 20 minutes to get only blond in color and any more time in the oven and it will dry out. I've never cooked a good pizza below 725 - a 5 min pie. And that's pushing it. The cabinet of most ovens is obviously designed for serious heat because the cleaning cycle will top out at over 975 which is the max reading on my Raytec digital infrared thermometer. The outside of the cabinet doesn't even get up to 85F when the oven is at 800 inside. So I clipped off the lock using garden shears so I could run it on the cleaning cycle. I pushed a piece of aluminum foil into the door latch (the door light switch) so that electronics don't think I've broken some rule by opening the door when it thinks it's locked.

I was curious and priced out some commercial portable pizza ovens and found that they top out at 650 degrees for a few hundred dollars, and top out at 750 degrees for a few thousand dollars more.
posted by Brian B. at 8:40 PM on September 16, 2006


Impressive.
posted by j-urb at 8:45 PM on September 16, 2006


I've made a lot of pizzas and I find it's more about technique than recipe. Obviously, you need to get the ingredients right but pizza is such a personal preference that one person's "perfect pie" will be blasphemy to someone else. And even once you manage to find YOUR perfect recipe, unless you've got the technique down it's just not going to come out right.

I use unglazed quarry tiles from Home Depot. A box of them will run you about $10.00 or so and they work as well as the overpriced and undersized stones you buy at kitchen stores. Get the thickest ones you can find and buy enough so you can line two racks with them leaving only an inch or two around the sides.

Put the racks with the stones on them a couple inches apart. Preheat them for an hour. Yep. An hour. Better still if you have a convection oven.

Put the pizza down on the lower rack. so that it's sitting on the stones with the other stones just a couple inches above it. Big ol' thermal mass. No heat loss from opening the doors.

It's not 800 degrees, but my pizzas look as good as anything from NYC and the crust comes out perfect.

I've never been able to get the tomato taste I want. I'm looking for a nice fresh "bright" tomato taste. I've used all sorts of canned brands, fresh from the store, fresh from the garden, etc. The garden fresh were the closest so far but the wrong variety. I've not tried rinsing them like this guy suggests.

Tomato slices work well, especially on grilled pizza. I chop them up roughly rather than slicing them.

My tips for dough: King Arthur Flour's high gluten flour and an overnight rest in the fridge. Bread flour will work well also but it won't be as elastic.

Use less cheese and sauce than you think you should use.

You'll need a peel to take it in and out of the oven. Spread cornmeal (or, when you get better, semolina) on it so the dough will slide off easy. If you don't have a peel, an upside-down cookie sheet will do if you use parchment paper. Just slide the pizza onto the stone with the paper.

I highly recommend Peter Reinheart's (sp?) book "American Pie."
posted by bondcliff at 8:49 PM on September 16, 2006 [2 favorites]


Patsy's is so good. If he makes it even half as good as Patsy's, it's 5 times better than my favorite LA slice.

Oh man. Now I want to fly to NYC for pizza.
posted by mzurer at 8:51 PM on September 16, 2006


Perhaps I'm stating the obvious here, but be careful if you're going to tamper with your oven. If something did go horribly wrong and your apartment burned down, you might not be covered by insurance if they can show that the oven overheating was the result of your overriding safety features.
posted by chrisamiller at 9:01 PM on September 16, 2006


I've always toyed with the idea of dedicating my life to learning how to make really good pizza. Now, seeing just how much work it is, I think I'll just continue to dedicate my life to eating it. I live about ten minutes from Grimaldi's (and, yeah, Stenseng, that's New York pizza he's making).

I moved to Brooklyn from St. Louis, which, pizza-wise, is like Dorothy moving to Technicolor Oz. St. Louis-style pizza is ... not so good.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:44 PM on September 16, 2006


I'm not sure what Stenseng's thinking, but this is pretty much the least "hippie" pizza you can make.

One thing is that although JV has put in a lot of great work (trying different flours and mixers, making Excel sheets), making a great product isn't all that hard, if you're willing to make a dozen or so crap pizzas along the way.

For those taking a pizza trip to NYC soon, I agree with JV: Grimaldi's is awful... they seem to chronically undercook their pies these days, and it's not worth the wait. DiFara is worth a weekday afternoon trip down there, if just to experience the place itself... it's probably the best pizza place for that sort of experience (watching the master at work).
posted by rxrfrx at 10:15 PM on September 16, 2006


Use less cheese and sauce than you think you should use.

Bravo! Too much pizza, especially in the provinces (i.e. outside of NYC) is coated with a solid sheet of melted cheese - all yellow, no red. This is sacrilege. As for deep dish: meh.
posted by QuietDesperation at 10:38 PM on September 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'll never make this, but GOD do I want a pizza right now.

This post is why we had pizza tonight. And took a chance on a local place and were pleasantly surprised by the flavour of their sauce, quality of cheese, and balance of ingredients. Yay!
posted by five fresh fish at 11:03 PM on September 16, 2006


I thought I knew how to make a pizza, but was so, so, wrong.
My heat treating oven goes up to 1800 degrees but it would only hold a six inch pie(shakes head sadly)
posted by Iron Rat at 11:31 PM on September 16, 2006


For those taking a pizza trip to NYC soon, I agree with JV: Grimaldi's is awful...

And while he's right that the Bleeker St. branch of Johns sucks, and I wouldn't chance their Times Square premises with a bargepole, their place at 64rd and 1st is sublime. A proper neighbourhood place, full of kids and familes and much better than the nearby Patsy's at 69th and 2nd IMO.

Its been a few years now, but I'm drooling at the thought.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:32 AM on September 17, 2006


Stenseng, that is new york-style.

Presumably Stenseng has this varietal in mind.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:40 AM on September 17, 2006


Well, this guy is talking about, and going to scarily obsessive lengths to make, just a certain kind of pizza. Is it the 'real' pizza? Can't there be more than one type of pizza that's still excellent and delicious? As someone who has spent more than enough time in Naples and who has eaten pizza at all of those pizza joints, in old, dark neighbourhoods into which you venture with only the essentials, I have to say, to use that snowboarderism that actually makes sense here - it's all good.
Yes this pizza in Naples is very tasty - it is all about the dough and the charring - but it's a very specific kind of thing, and the world is full of other variations and bastardizations, a lot of them equally good. Maybe I'm just a phillistine, but I like the Pizza Hut stuff covered in greasy bacon, and I like the 2 for 1 'pointes' you get on St. Laurent in Montreal, and I really, really like the pizza from Beeline in Lake Louise Alberta (I made and delivered it there for 2 summers); there's lots of great pizza all over the place.
I just don't think you need to get all dogmatic and possessive about it. It's like saying that only the concoction they brew in Malawi from fermented sorghum is the true 'real' beer. I think we can accept that the world has room for hundreds of variations on the theme of 'beer' - can't the same be true of pizza?
posted by Flashman at 3:39 AM on September 17, 2006


Maybe I'm just a phillistine, but I like the Pizza Hut stuff covered in greasy bacon

I'm with you on the idea that we shouldn't refer to a very specific strain of pizza (as featured on the FPP) "real pizza," but I gotta say, pizza made in the "real" style is good, and very few other types of pizza are.

Pizza Hut: not good.
Domino's: not good.
That stuff they eat on the west caost of the US, where they put 2" of toppings on top of a nearly inedible pastry conveyor device: not good.

There are thousands of variations on good pizza, but none of them are baked in a pan. I think for the purposes of this discussion it's useful to call Chicago deep-dish pizza something else- "pizza" is a misnomer there. Pizzas baked in a pan (e.g. Pizza Hut, or the New England style known as Greek Pizza) are gross and bad.

There's lots of good beers, and there's lots of good pizza places. They all vary the recipe and starting ingredients slightly. But just as the most popular beers are terrible (e.g. Budweiser), the most popular pizzas are the same.

(Sorry for the early morning rambly)
posted by rxrfrx at 5:11 AM on September 17, 2006


rxrfrx: Believe it or not, some people like pizza from Pizza Hut. That's why they buy it and eat it. The fact that you're a snob doesn't mean that everything popular is bad.
posted by reklaw at 5:31 AM on September 17, 2006


When did I say everything popular is bad? I just said the most popular beers and pizzas both are bad. Pizza Hut isn't good pizza. Budweiser (a filtered mixture of rice, corn, and such products) isn't good beer. It doesn't stop people from liking it.
posted by rxrfrx at 6:20 AM on September 17, 2006


I'm going for the anti-snob snob-off gambit here. Because I am a man of the people, and my people need good pizza.
posted by Wolof at 6:20 AM on September 17, 2006


For a guy that's done this much experimentation, however, I'm kind of surprised Jeff Varasano hasn't made his own wood fired pizza oven.
posted by paulsc at 6:42 AM on September 17, 2006


Pizza Hut isn't good pizza.

That's a completely stupid assertion to make. How do you define 'good'? Good is a matter of opinion. Just because you think it's not good, that doesn't make it so, and it's ridiculously arrogant to even put forward such an argument.
posted by reklaw at 7:00 AM on September 17, 2006


I think for the purposes of this discussion it's useful to call Chicago deep-dish pizza something else- "pizza" is a misnomer there.

Okay, then: call it "better-than-pizza." Sorry, NYers--I was brought up to believe that "salty," "foldable," and "way too greasy" are words that have no business being next to "pizza."

I'll take some well made chigago

Go right ahead.
posted by Iridic at 7:36 AM on September 17, 2006


I figured it was always understood that when one says "this food is good" it really means "in my opinion, this food is good."
posted by rxrfrx at 9:04 AM on September 17, 2006


I've made some really good pizza's on my gas bbq and my wood hibachi. I don't know if this guy would appreciate them but I sure did (I live in an area where chain restraunts reign supreme: Pizza Hut, Domino's, Papa John's, Boston Pizza). There are a couple of decent pizza places though but nothing like home.

My favourite is sliced garden tomatoes, sauce, herbs and a little bit of parmesan and romano cheese.

The barbecue makes a really good crust that isn't chewy like most of the chains.
posted by substrate at 9:20 AM on September 17, 2006


rxrfrx: Believe it or not, some people like pizza from Pizza Hut. That's why they buy it and eat it. The fact that you're a snob doesn't mean that everything popular is bad.

In my opinion, people that like Corporate Pizza are very likely to be people who have never eaten good pizza, and thus have no frame of reference.

It's nothing to do with snobbery. It's everything to do with experience.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:22 AM on September 17, 2006


Rxrfx is right--"x is good" is really just a shorthand way of saying "I believe x is good." And everyone's entitled to their opinion, even if it is a completely ridiculous one like "Pizza Hut makes good pizza."

Personally, I like pizza that's made with fresh dough, actual tomatoes, and real mozzarella rather than with manufactured plastic. I guess that makes me a snob too. But whatever, it's not like I'm standing in front of the Pizza Hut stopping you from eating that crap.
posted by lackutrol at 10:03 AM on September 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


I like most varieties of pizza, but only if it's plain -- meaning sauce and cheese, and spices, but not pepperoni or any other toppings.
posted by danb at 11:28 AM on September 17, 2006


I figured it was always understood that when one says "this food is good" it really means "in my opinion, this food is good."

I'm going to go ahead and claim that Pizza Hut and Budweiser are bad, not in my opinion, but objectively bad, and if people like them, it's probably out of ignorance, snobbery (of a certain sort), and acculturation.

You might ask, of course, at what point does an objectively bad instance of something with good instances start becoming a good instance of something else entirely—when do we recognize Budweiser as part of its own variety of beer, or something else altogether, and not as a shitty instance of a kind of beer that has good instance? Well, that's a good question, but I don't think it's happened.
posted by kenko at 12:02 PM on September 17, 2006


I second bondcliff's recommendation of Peter Reinhart's American Pie.
posted by Huplescat at 12:04 PM on September 17, 2006


"taste" is an amazing concept. It is grounded in physioloigal sences that try to signal if food is good (nutritious) or bad (poisionus).

It seems to be the basis of the human sense of evaluation, and forms much of the metaphorical field underlying esthetics and parts of morality/ethics.

Taste is not absolute. Something that tastes good can become not-so-good if one experiences something similar that tastes better. Thus you can love the taste of pizza at your local joint until experience reeducates you.

Taste can also be driven by social concensus (which helps if one's sense of taste if lacking). Just consider that much sense of "taste in clothes" is driven by fashion.

Taste is also second-order - somebody's taste (their ability to evaluate) can be used to evaluate how tasteful that person is.

One can advocate "each to their own" but that in part denies the real physical and social roles of taste and is useful only to combat excessive social pressure.

Taste is real and can lead one to becoming spoiled (ooh "spoiled" - a basic taste word).
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 12:09 PM on September 17, 2006


Wow, it looks like within the last 12 hours the link has been posted to CNet, and then BoingBoing.
posted by rxrfrx at 12:11 PM on September 17, 2006


That's a completely stupid assertion to make. How do you define 'good'? Good is a matter of opinion.
posted by reklaw at 7:00 AM PST


Yea, its only good if you add Polydimethylsiloxane.

Blast of Metafilter past

Who DOES NOT find adding a defoaming agent to the cheese a sign of quality?!?!
posted by rough ashlar at 1:52 PM on September 17, 2006


NICK: Oh, so it’s all New York styte for you, is it?

JOEY: Yes, NY style is all I need.

NICK: Well, I need more than New York. And for that matter, I need more than Pizza Hut. I believe that we need freedom, and choice when it comes to our pizza, and that, Joey Naylor, that is the definition of liberty.

From this. (Why do you hate America?)
posted by blacklite at 5:05 PM on September 17, 2006


I live in NYC, and I love pizza. I am glad that there are people out there who understand that good pizza is also a simple pizza.

Living here means I've had the pleasure of trying many pizza places here and my favourites are as follows:

1) Di Fara in Midwood, Brooklyn, no one makes pizza like Domenic DeMarco, he's a true master of pizza making. It's really worth the trek into the middle of Brooklyn for what I feel is the best pizza in the city. You can get pizza by the slice, but you probably want an entire pie, partly to see him make it.

2) Patsy's: Yes it's more commercial because they have multiple locations now, but they still make really good pizza (at all the locations I've tried) plus they are the only ones who put big basil leaves on their pizzas for free.

3) DeMarco's on McDougal & Houston: Related to Di Fara, partially owned by Domenic DeMarco's kids. Although I think most of the day to day stuff is handled by someone else. Anyway their pizzas are about 75% - 80% as good as the original Di Fara style. I just feel their pizza seems to lack the care Domenic puts in his pies. They do sell pizza by slices in the Express section.

4) Grimaldi's near Brooklyn Bridge: They're turning into a chain now too, they have a location in NJ and one on Long Island. Their pizza is the priciest of all the ones I've listed, and while it's still good, you get the nicely charred crust and everything, it just doesn't seem to be good value for money compared to the ones listed above.
posted by riffola at 5:29 PM on September 17, 2006


Also Domenic DeMarco from Di Fara uses 3 different cow cheeses on his pies along with olive oil.
posted by riffola at 5:31 PM on September 17, 2006


When do we recognize Budweiser as part of its own variety of beer, or something else altogether, and not as a shitty instance of a kind of beer that has good instance?

Kraft Dinner:The French Laundry::Pizza Hut:pizza.

Twinkies:homemade blueberry pieBudweiser::Craft Brewery.

Blowup Dolls:Real Women::canned peaches:tree-ripened fresh peaches.

shit:sundae::corporate food:good food.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:13 PM on September 17, 2006


Opps! I dropped a pair of colons around here...


::

A-ha, found them! I'll cut 'em, but you'll have to paste 'em.

[snip]
posted by five fresh fish at 6:14 PM on September 17, 2006


I used to love to eat Elio's frozen pizza. But it was bad pizza. I knew this even when I was 12. Pizza Hut makes bad pizza. They may make something you consider a good dinner, but it's not good pizza.

If you are unable or philosophically unwilling to make distinctions of quality, then by all means do not. Those of us who can will founder on without your help.
posted by mzurer at 8:23 PM on September 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Oh mygod, I'm SOOOO glad I saved this page before it got popular and deleted. This TECHNIQUE changed my life, as well as my friends' and family's views on what is good pizza.

After LOTS of practice, I can now say my pizza is better than that served at most pizza joints--still not as good as Jeff's or the brick/wood/coal oven places that I love, but better than most.

His dough technique (totally not just the recipe, to which i don't even adhere, but more of a technique) revolutionized my pizza. Also, i never realized puttting pre-made sauce on pizza was WRONG. It's all about getting big cans of italian tomatoes, blending them with a boat motor (those hand blenders)--not processing them, then just using that as sauce. "Pizza sauce" is a joke, and Delmonte and all of those diced/whole American tomatoes nefver give you "that taste". you need the real-deal Italian whole tomatoes. One huge can at Costco is only $3!!!!! It's amazing. And 20 year's worth of yeast there is only $3! I don't work therre, I am just a major fan. I get all my pizza ingrediants there, actually.

This was the best, most-informative site I've ever read on the web. thanks so much, Jeff!!!!!!!!
posted by unwordy at 9:59 AM on September 18, 2006


Wow, i had a lot of typos/spelling errors in my last post--i guess Pizza-frenzy does that to me.

Thanks again, Jeff Varasano. I hardly ever buy pizza anymore, but I sure eat a lot of it. I hope you live a long and prosperous life!

The autolyzing and wet kneading processes are Jeff's key techniques, as well as keeping the dough pretty moist until you form the pies. Also, not putting on the amount of cheese, sauce and spices that you think you need is vital.

Lately, I've been pinching off a piece of dough from my last batch and tossing it in the bowl while I make a new batch. This has actually given the dough an almost sourdough-like texture and taste (though not overbearingly so), which is amazing.

I was using two different sourdough starters (or cultures) for awhile to make bread and pizza, but in trying to maintain them, I ended up ruining them in the oven, forgetting to turn it off twice and thus cooking them.

However, this carrying-over-older-dough trick has been a useful substitute. I think after a couple more batches, I'll pinch off some dough and add it to a cup of filtered water and a cup of flour to start a new starter again.

On the Costco once more, I was using these one pound balls of fresh mozz from there, at about $4 each. Last time I went, however, I actually tried their ovaline Polly-o (!!), of which i was initially skeptical of, and it blows away the other kind. For like $10, you get 3 pounds of fresh mozz in water that is sooo much better than the other "fresh" one, that was actually wrapped in plastic and thus, not really fresh, probably in the middle between dry and fresh mozz.

I also use unglazed quarry tiles from Home Depot, and since I live in crappy apartment that's going to be torn down with a crappy old gas oven, I broke the cleaning-cycle lock by pulling it really hard while locked, so i can pre-heat it on the cleaning cycle and then switch to "550f" , which is actually hotter than that, as soon as i start throwing the pies in (one at a time).

I've used all kinds of seasoning/spice/toppings combinations, but none are ever better than just the freshly crushed, canned Italian tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil (when I have it). Simplicity, you tasty vixen!
posted by unwordy at 10:47 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


You may remember him from Jeff Conquers the Cube, and You Can Too. He's the Rubik's Cube kid.
posted by caddis at 11:13 AM on September 18, 2006


Can his pizza be made in 45 seconds or less?
posted by Iridic at 12:00 PM on September 18, 2006


Perhaps: "My best pies were 2:10 - 2:30. Maybe it will get even better as I go down in time, but I'm skeptical of the 30 second claim. I've timed pies at Luzzo's in NYC at 1:55 and at Una Pizza Napoletana at 2:10. These are both top notch places with great pies and crust."
posted by caddis at 12:13 PM on September 18, 2006


He's the Rubik's Cube kid.

So OCD has been a thriving component of his life for a long while, eh?
posted by five fresh fish at 12:28 PM on September 18, 2006


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