Make your own pizza - the Holy Grail?

Lew Crippen

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I agree with Scooter—a high temp and a pizza or baking stone work best. And if you really want to be the ultimate do-it-yourselfer, build your own pizza oven (also good for baking bread). Although I’m not sure how much of year you could use an (outdoor) pizza oven in Boise. This saves a lot of money as they are wood fired. The only drawback is that you have to start the fire a considerable amount of time before baking the pizza.

Personally I’d avoid self-rising flour for pizza, but then I too buy yeast by the ½ kilo, as I do a lot of baking.
 

Dennis Nicholls

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MarkHastings

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David, the reason why they say that the cheese makes the pizza is because cheap cheeses can't take the high heat of the pizza oven and the fat will actually separate from the cheese (in the form of oil).

If you've ever gotten a pizza with pools of oil on top, it's probably due to the fact that they used cheap cheese.
 

DavidJ

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Now that makes some sense and I learned a little something for the day. Still not a fan of cheese myself, but I understand that to most it is an essential ingredient and the more of it the better. I tolerate mozzarella in small amounts and like having a little cheese better than none. Still the keys for me are the sauce and the bread.
 

mattCR

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I =LOVE= homemade pizza. Here's some of my tips:

* Crust makes all the difference. Making a good dough isn't too difficult, and I've used a whole-wheat dough for a while. It's easy to roll out and a lot more forgiving then "white" dough, and if you're doing a thin crust, it can be AWESOME.

* Ditto on the good cheese. Do not cheap out. But also try mixing some others in with your mozzarella. I really like to mix in small ammounts of pepper jack cheese.

* Try different sauces. Don't just buy "pizza" sauce, mix it up. One of the best recipes I have is to use good BBQ Sauce, mix with a small amount of Corona beer (or any really light ale), combine with small bit of crushed up jalapeno. Add good cheese & chicken for a topping and it is fantastic stuff. And I'm trademarking that, that's the basics of one of my recipes.. copy cats beware!

* Good vegetables make the difference. Try some non-standard ones, though. Fresh garden Green Peppers mix with anything. I've tried using carrots, but it's kind of tricky in the cooking process, they can turn mushy
The above had it right on black olives.. pit them yourself, they also retain the taste better (IMHO) at less cost.

* If you're having problems with oily surface, outside of cheap cheese, bacon & sausage can cause that. So, here's a trick. If you're doing sausage pre-cook it and strain it before adding to the pizza; it won't be too dry and it prevents you from letting it cook with the pizza - something you should do anyway. If you want to really lower the greasy-ness, used cut up chicken. And, while -REALLY- a bitch to get right, venison can be really good if done just right on pizza. I've never tried fish-stuff, no interest so can't comment there.

* Stuffed Crust is BS the way chains do it. BUT, you can always do something really different; make a two-layer crust, a crust, then layer of mozzarella slices, then another crust - after you've got that built, lay in all the ingredients of a full pasta, and you've got a real "pie". A quick-bake Lasagna in there can work out really good.

 

Mike Frezon

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Well, I sure have learned a lot in this thread.

My wife and I (who both engaged healthy eating habits a year ago) have been painfully missing pizza (good, bad or otherwise). We have been toying wtiht the idea of making a whole wheat multi-grain crust and Dennis' OP caused me to send the link to my wife asking "whaddya say we give this a try?!?" She said, "Yum! Except that it looks like a whole lot of work."
My wife doesn't really like to cook. And she's definitely not into big baking projects.
 

DavidJ

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Mike,

It won't be quite as good as the more time intensive methods listed above, but there are some decent pre-made thin crusts that aren't too bad on the nutritional bank account. Then you can just add the toppings that you want. I had to stop eating good-but-bad-for-you pizza for a while and found this to be a decent alternative. I'd brush some olive oil and seasonings on the crust, add the sauce, a little bit of cheese, prosciutto and turkey pepperoni. It is surprisingly tasty, my daughter likes making it with me and it is not too bad for you.
 

Mike Frezon

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Any suggestions on those "healthy" crusts, David? We just haven't found anything worth using a second time.

And we're not that picky. Honestly. Going "lower fat" on the sauce, cheese & toppings is the easy part. It's the crust that has stymied us.
 

DavidJ

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We've been using Mama Mary's. They come in a package with two crusts. There is probably something better out there, but they aren't bad especially when brushed with olive oil and oregano. A whole pizza crust has about 1,000 calories, 168 grams of carbs, 36 grams of fat (6 grams saturated, no tans fat), and 30 grams of protein.
 

Martino

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A little off topic – but in my bachelor days I would make a quick “pizza-ruito” in the microwave for a quick snack or several for a meal.

Basically, grab a large tortilla, plop it on a plate. Then add some canned spaghetti sauce and some shredded cheese in a stripe on one side. Micro for about 45 seconds, then wrap it up like a burrito. That is the basics for the cheese version – but you could add other toppings if you wish.

There is nothing stopping you from using better ingredients as listed by others – but the tortilla works well for a quick and cheap crust.
 

Mike Frezon

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Thanks, David.

Unless it's a pretty good size crust...36 grams of fat seems like it's still a fair amount.

Somebody's got to make a good, low-fat multi-grain crust. I don't know why someone's not "making their million dollars" reaching out to the "healthy eating" folks who are craving some pizza. That's one of the reasons Dennis' recipe spoke to me.

Ever have that "healthy" thin-crust pizza at Pizza Hut?!? Yuck. Kinda like pizza on a matzoh...only a lot worse.
 

DavidJ

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If you ate the whole thing, it would equate to 54% of the recommended daily guidelines for fat. Eating half of it is 18g of fat and 27%, which is not too bad especially considering other factors like protein and low sugar content.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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No idea how hard it'd be to use fresh mozzarella for homemade pizza, but if you haven't tried that on pizza before, you might want to give it a try.

_Man_
 

Dennis Nicholls

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Fresh mozzarella - sold in a plastic tub in water - looks pretty darned hard to shred and spread evenly on a pizza. Once again our old trusty egg slicer is recommended for thinly slicing fresh mozzarella.

Is really expensive mozzarella the key? Or is it just getting low-fat part-skim-milk mozzarella? I would think the latter would be just as good to avoid the "pool of oil on top" pizza.

My egg slicer is a favorite tool. It's great for evenly and thinly slicing soft foods of many kinds. Obviously you can't cut radishes and sausages with it - that would break the wires - but it's just the ticket for eggs, mushrooms, olives, and fresh mozzarella.

For hard vegetables, nothing beats my Kyocera ceramic-bladed slicer. I use it to shred wafer-thin onion for topping a pizza. It's also unbeatable for shredding carrots for split-pea soup.

You must be really carefull with these or you can slice off the tip of your finger. Ask me how I know this.....


EDIT Geez almost all of the reviewers at Amazon cut off their fingertips!
http://www.amazon.com/Kyocera-Double.../dp/B000A3N7QQ

Link to HT content: Kyocera is a contraction for "Kyoto Ceramics" and is famous for making heads for high quality tape drives.
 

Mike Frezon

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I wonder how fingertip pieces work as a pizza topping?!?
 

troy evans

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This actually sounds pretty damn good to me. Two great tastes that taste great together......!!!!!Pizza burritos!!!!!....genius
 

Jassen M. West

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I've used large tortilla wraps to make pizza on the grill. Use the upper rack for a nice crunchy crust. Also when using regular dough drizzle some EVOO on the outer ring of dough before baking for a nice golden color.
 

Dennis Nicholls

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Mike,
Ignore your diet. Give in to the dark side of the force....
 

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