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Landomatic

Homemade Pizza Tips...Just the Tips

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Need to up my homemade pizza game.

I know if I made everything from scratch, it would help.  But that also adds a ton to the effort.  One of the great things about homemade pizza is that it can take very little effort.  Pre-made crust, jar sauce, shredded cheese, and some basic ingredients is super easy and still results in better than about 95% of what I can get delivered.

Decided to try a little bit of a hybrid this time.  Went to the local Italian grocer for quality ingredients.  But, rather than making everything from scratch, I still used jar sauce and got a ball of frozen dough.

Biggest complaint is the dough was really really dense.  Is there a secret to this or was it just that particular dough?  Moved the frozen dough to the refrigerator the night before then put it on the counter the morning of the night I made it.  I'm feeling like it let it sit and rise too long or not enough or something?

Rolling the dough was the hardest part.  I couldn't get it perfectly round and the thickness seemed pretty inconsistent.  Tried twirling it in the air once and all that did was crumple it up and fling flour all over the kitchen (wife was thrilled).  Not to mention, I didn't have a cookie sheet big enough even if I could have gotten it round.  So, I guess the oblong shape ended up okay. 

Poked some holes in it with a fork, brushed it with some olive oil, and pre-baked it for about 7 minutes at 450.  What's the best stone or sheet to use in a regular oven?  And what are the tricks to getting it more evenly tossed?

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Sauce was fine.  It was some old Italian grandma's sauce, probably jarred in Jersey or some shit, so it wasn't like crappy Ragu from the grocery store or anything.  I'd like to make it myself next time.  Any homemade sauce recs?

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Extra cheese.  Pretty hard to fuck this step up.

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Half pepperoni and ricotta, half pepperoni and Italian sausage.  The quality ingredients really elevated things, especially the sausage.  Did the toppings on top of the cheese then sprinkled just a little more cheese on top of the toppings.  Is there a surly ruling on cheese over toppings or toppings over cheese?

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Baked about 15 minutes at 450.

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Other than the not nearly flaky enough, way too dense dough, turned out pretty damn good.  I'd eat it again.

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Whatcha got, surly?  I think there was a whole thread about it on TOS, but I'm not going back there to find out.

 

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I do mine in the egg.  Use dough from Central Market bakery.  And high quality jar of sauce.  

One thing we do that helps is cook the dough on the stone for a bit before adding sauce, cheese and toppings.  

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Making bread dough is incredibly easy. And fun. If I was going to make pizza from scratch, I'd start there. Without a good crust, I don't think it really matters what you put on top of it. 

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Try using half of the dough next time and half of the pizza sauce. 
 

You want to be cooking as high heat as possible in a home oven and preheat extra long (the egg is a better option because of the high temperature). 
 

the key to a great home oven pizza is the sauce. Make your own, it’s cheap and easy. The difference comes in the uncooked tomatoes. They cook in the oven instead of on the stove top which requires cooling before using on the pizza. Jar sauce is pre cooked.  
 

Some Chefs prefer to “cook” their sauce before using, IMO this compromises the sauce as they let it cool and then re-cook in a high heat oven on top of the pizza  

once you have a crust/dough you like experiment with pre-cooking the dough with olive oil for a few mins before topping if needed for desired crispy-ness 

Edited by ChickenSandwich

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I think Sicilian is the way to go when using a home oven.  Kenji has a decent primer here.  I prefer par baking the dough, but if you give it enough time, you'll get a nice raise, resulting in an airy, crunchy dough without much effort.  Sicilian dough also solves the problem of stretching the dough... it's a gentle stretch into the corners of the baking pan.

For NY / Neapolitan style, heat your stone for much longer than you think you should (I heat my on my propane grill), use an upper rack, and try to get the top element to come on during the bake time to cook the pizza from the top as well.

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You need more heat, use a higher temp, and preheat a stone a good long time as suggested above, or use a cast iron pan like the serious eats pizza. Your pics show little browning on the crust but the toppings are already done. How did the crust chew? Was it crisp on bottom, or or chewy?

Give up on perfectly round crust, it doesn't happen at home, and if your dough has some elasticity, try pulling it out to shape vs rolling it out.

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34 minutes ago, Errestaurants said:

Posted these in the other thread. Cooked in the Egg72507e241dc37773bc0b4ccf8b12167f.jpg44e82e0d9f747113000834d4adc3405f.jpg1142a444d515885f2206d57ba334618c.jpgf56d335c7323f2a1c97f47efe2f63d73.jpg

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

Looks good.

I went through a pizza stone phase a couple summers ago.  Sam Lin is right, get the stone on the grill and heat the shit out of it, use some high heat oil.

Couple of things I found: 1) use a shitload of flour to get the dough off the spatula and onto the stone, 2) put the sauce and fixing nanoseconds before putting it on the stone.  If not the liquid seems to permeate the dough.  Key to a great stone pizza is getting the middle part of the crust as crispy as the edge.  Not easy.

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19 minutes ago, Mach 1 said:

Looks good.

I went through a pizza stone phase a couple summers ago.  Sam Lin is right, get the stone on the grill and heat the shit out of it, use some high heat oil.

Couple of things I found: 1) use a shitload of flour to get the dough off the spatula and onto the stone, 2) put the sauce and fixing nanoseconds before putting it on the stone.  If not the liquid seems to permeate the dough.  Key to a great stone pizza is getting the middle part of the crust as crispy as the edge.  Not easy.

i use coarse corn meal instead of flour on the peel, slides right off. my stone is heated for a good 30 minutes prior to putting the pizza on. Also moving/rotating the pizza around the stone depending on hot spots. 

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2 hours ago, Agent 13 said:

Broke down and bought some Antimo Caputo 00 flour. Will never go back.

This is where great homemade pizza begins and ends. Nothing else really matters if you don't start here. 

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So much wrong with the OP. I don’t even know where to start.

Make your own dough, make your own sauce, never use a rolling pin and get a good stone.

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I hate baking.  It's just way too fussy.  But, I make pizza at home quite often -- I just buy dough from a local pizza joint.  In Austin, Brick Oven (Jollyville) will sell you their dough AND roll it out for you.  Is it the best dough I've ever had?  Nah.  But it's good.  I use a giant Lodge cast iron skillet and heat the shit out of it for 30 minutes or so, then built the pizza in the skillet.  Cook 500 F or so for about 7 minutes and it's as good as most local mom 'n pop shops for about 1/3 of the price.

Fresh mozzarella matters, too.

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My advice is to try some somewhat unusual toppings although some of these have been around a while. Of course, you should begin with homemade dough. Do a BBQ chicken pizza with your favorite sauce and either grilled or smoked chicken. Add some onions and mozzarella cheese. Or try a shrimp gumbo pizza. Make a dark roux and add the trinity, gumbo spices and enough stock for a thick sauce and when the vegetables are soft add shrimp and cook just until done. Spoon the shrimp and the sauce around the dough as you would a red sauce and top with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with chopped green onions after it’s cooked. Use a good stone and get your oven as hot as possible. Another one is duck confit (from the frozen section at HEB) and figs. And parma or serrano ham and arugula.

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54 minutes ago, HouTex said:

My advice is to try some somewhat unusual toppings although some of these have been around a while. Of course, you should begin with homemade dough. Do a BBQ chicken pizza with your favorite sauce and either grilled or smoked chicken. Add some onions and mozzarella cheese. Or try a shrimp gumbo pizza. Make a dark roux and add the trinity, gumbo spices and enough stock for a thick sauce and when the vegetables are soft add shrimp and cook just until done. Spoon the shrimp and the sauce around the dough as you would a red sauce and top with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with chopped green onions after it’s cooked. Use a good stone and get your oven as hot as possible. Another one is duck confit (from the frozen section at HEB) and figs. And parma or serrano ham and arugula.

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3 hours ago, luke duke said:

So much wrong with the OP. I don’t even know where to start.

Make your own dough, make your own sauce, never use a rolling pin and get a good stone.

Yeah that’s why I asked for advice on all those things.  Dick.

And by the way, I used a bottle of wine because I don’t own a rolling pin.  So take that, mother fucker.

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33 minutes ago, ChickenSandwich said:

Home slice will sell you a fresh dough ball for $8. It can easily make two pies. 

The fresh dough from Central Market is really good.  One ball of it will also make two large sized pizzas.

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Most store bought dough that I've found is too elastically to really work. If you make your own ball, like the one I linked above, you can stretch it and form it any way you want, from thin to pan/square. I like a lot of things from the recipe above. I don't think a NY style needs a lot of sauce. Another tip is use 100% fresh mozz, not that skim shit. You want it to be a little greasy. If you can find Grande, that's tops that I've used.

Good video on how to form a NY style dough. 

Here's another good recipe for Detroit style from Serious Eats. I've had a lot of success with this one. https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2017/02/detroit-style-pizza-recipe.html

 

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Caputo 00 flour

Sauce:

28 oz can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, drained

1 clove garlic

Sprinkle of red pepper flake, oregano, and a teaspoon of salt.  

Blend in a food processor.

Let sit in the fridge until ready.

 

 

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The dough was always an ass whipping and broke be from doing this more often. This thread has got me wanting to give it another shot

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On 11/3/2019 at 6:28 PM, Errestaurants said:

i use coarse corn meal instead of flour on the peel, slides right off. my stone is heated for a good 30 minutes prior to putting the pizza on. Also moving/rotating the pizza around the stone depending on hot spots. 

I tried that.  I didn't like the flavor the seared corn meal brought to the dough.  It made it far easier to get it on to the stone but the trade off in taste wasn't worth it for me. 

Next stop this Caputo flour. Ordered and will report back.

Edited by Mach 1

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I get a great crust just using the cast iron pan. I just roll out of the dough and put the dough right on the pan, then toss on the ingredients. 

I generally do pepperoni, margherita, or BBQ chicken with BBQ sauce, chicken, red onions, and mozzarella. 

The other thing is that you make personal pan pizzas. Doesn't need to be round, just fit in the pan. Make one, takes less than ten minutes, then make another one. Everybody gets their own pizza. 

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6 hours ago, ChickenSandwich said:

Home slice will sell you a fresh dough ball for $8. It can easily make two pies. 

wow what a great deal

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We like our crust to be thin, light, and a little on the crispy side (not soggy or floppy). We've found the best way to do that is to pre-heat the pizza stone, then spread the dough on the stone and cook it for ~10 minutes, then take it back out and quickly apply the sauce/cheese/toppings and put it back in to finish cooking.

We usually do a thin layer of olive oil, then tomato sauce, then mozzarella cheese. On the side we saute some garlic in olive oil and then brown some chopped prosciutto and pancetta. We spread the garlic and meat mixture evenly over the cheese. Add some thin slices of Roma tomatoes and then cook. Once it is finished cooking we top with basil and fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

We have never used 00 flour in the dough. I'm not sure why because we keep a ton of it in the house for making pasta noodles. Just never occurred to me to also use it for pizza. Will try that next time around.

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The best sauce is just Pomi finely chopped tomatoes with some sea salt sprinkled on top.  Once you taste the simplicity of it, you won't go back to a multi-ingredient sauce.

 

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Lando,

Jimmy's sells frozen dough balls and some really good Italian sauce.

I posted last week's pizza in the BGE thread.  

Another tip--use cornmeal on the peel and stone to keep from sticking.  Works better than flour and won't scorch as easily.

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3 hours ago, DDD Dad said:

Lando,

Jimmy's sells frozen dough balls and some really good Italian sauce.

I posted last week's pizza in the BGE thread.  

Another tip--use cornmeal on the peel and stone to keep from sticking.  Works better than flour and won't scorch as easily.

Yeah I got my first dough from jimmys.  You been over there lately?  Wonder if they have curbside?  I love me some jimmys but definitely not worth going inside with added exposure right now

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I went there last week.  It makes me anxious to go in there, as narrow as the aisles are, but generally folks were good about keeping their distance.

The pizza sauce is from Mutti.  I think it's just the classic version (they have some new flavors that I've not tried).

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12 hours ago, DDD Dad said:

Another tip--use cornmeal on the peel and stone to keep from sticking.  Works better than flour and won't scorch as easily.

That's a good idea... I've been using sea salt. Adds a little to the flavor of the crust 

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Made a pantry-raiding medley pizza yesterday and I was surprised at how easy it was, and especially how well it turned out.

 

Dough:  400gr self-raising flour + 200ml water and knead.  slightly adjust as needed for consistency you want.  mine was on elastic side.  then rest under towel.  (if you only have all-purpose flour, add a shot of warm milk to a sprinkle of sugar and some yeast to activate it, then add that to the dough)

Toppings:  packaged crushed/finely chopped tomatoes; and whatever you have or want... except pineapple.  i used pitted olives, salami, sliced jalapenos/garlic/shallots/mushrooms

 

1.  On a large pan, heat olive oil and pancetta/pork fat.  Add pepper flakes and dried herbs on the fat.  Add toppings and sautee.  Remove ingredients. 

2.  Stretch dough to circumference of pan and place in the pan - crust starts to cook on the residual oil on hot pan.  You could actually stretch the dough directly in the pan itself, but you might very well burn yourself (like I did).

3.  Spread a thin layer of tomatoes on it (mostly the fluid).  Add toppings back on.  Throw in 450*F oven for ~15 minutes.  But you can eyeball when both crust and toppings are done. 

4.  I threw on some rocket lettuce and anchovies after it finished - because why not?

 

As a militant pizza purist, I found it really good.  What worked?  stretching dough thin so it didnt overwhelm pizza.  having dough crisp up on the fat.  heating toppings up so the flavors blended, instead of trusting them to cook just on the pizza.  heat from the peppers building into the fat, and the acidity of the jalapenos balancing the oily sauteed toppings.

 

I have italian buffalo mozarella and DOP san marzano tomatoes and 00 flour, so i can tackle "real" neapolitan pizza next, but that was a good weekday substitute

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20 hours ago, Landomatic said:

Yeah I got my first dough from jimmys.  You been over there lately?  Wonder if they have curbside?  I love me some jimmys but definitely not worth going inside with added exposure right now

yeah plus they're italian.  virulent motherfuckers.

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I went there last week.  It makes me anxious to go in there, as narrow as the aisles are, but generally folks were good about keeping their distance.
The pizza sauce is from Mutti.  I think it's just the classic version (they have some new flavors that I've not tried).

Checked my remaining stash. The one I’m using is the “Parma” sauce with oregano and basil.

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Made another pizza this weekend and used 00 flour this time. I’m convinced that’s the way to go, not sure why it took me so long to realize that.

It’s hard to tell from the photo but the toppings are sautéed garlic, pancetta, prosciutto, Roma tomato slices, and chopped basil.

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4 minutes ago, wild_turkey said:

Made another pizza this weekend and used 00 flour this time. I’m convinced that’s the way to go, not sure why it took me so long to realize that.

It’s hard to tell from the photo but the toppings are sautéed garlic, pancetta, prosciutto, Roma tomato slices, and chopped basil.

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Looks amazing.  What did you cook it on/in?  My next step of this whole thing is to try to nail down the perfect wood fired pizza oven solution.  I'm convinced the regular oven isn't where it's at for the level I want to be at.

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Looks amazing.  What did you cook it on/in?


Pizza stone in oven for 20 min to get hot, then add the dough/crust and cook for 10 min, then add the sauce/cheese/toppings and cook for ~10 min.
After cooking add the basil and fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

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