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Make your own pizza - the Holy Grail?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Dennis Nicholls, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    [​IMG]
     
  2. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    I like to make pizza on the grill with flat bread. Delicious.
     
  3. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer

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    Well, all this pizza talk made me hungry, so we cooked one today. It was just pre-made crust and sauce, but it was still tasty and the family cooked it together. I still want to make my own crust someday when I have the time. Actually we had the time today, but not the ingredients and a trip to the store wasn't worth it in the ice and sleet. The pizza, even though it wasn't "gourmet," sure hit the spot on this "snow day."
     
  4. Brad Porter

    Brad Porter Screenwriter

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    Last year I got a bread machine because I got tired of not having bread around for sandwiches. I think I've actually only used it three times to bake bread and at least thirty times to mix pizza dough. I used to always do it by hand, but I was never patient enough to let it rise properly. Using the machine takes a considerable amount of labor and mess out of the process, so if you have one sitting around anyway - use it.

    It takes a couple of minutes to assemble the ingredients:
    1 cup of water
    2 1/2 cups of flour
    1 Tbps of oil
    1 Tbps of sugar
    1 tsp of salt
    1 tsp of yeast

    This makes enough dough for one nice 12" to 14" pie, but I usually divide it and freeze half so I can make a single serving 8" to 10" pie on two different days. The bread machine handles the mixing, the proofing, and runs a timer for 1 hour and 45 minutes to discipline me from leaping straight to the oven with unrisen dough.

    Toppings are always a personal thing, so I won't tell you the right ingredients to select, but my one simple rule is always to put the cheese down first before the sauce so that you don't have the toppings sliding off the crust on the molten liquid layer of sauce - the cheese makes a good glue. You can always add another layer of cheese on top to maintain the classic look and enable the burning of the roof of your mouth.

    Lastly, I used a large pizza stone for a few years and never really had any complaints. Then I started adding cast iron components to my cookware ensemble and have been loving the results - so I bought myself a cast iron pizza pan last month. It creates a perfectly crispy and sturdy crust. I'm still testing the proper temperature and time at which to cook on the thing, having tried a range from 420 up to 500 generally up to 15 minutes. I suspect that the best method will be to find the user's manual and hack the stove to disengage the safety locks and allow me to cook on the cleaning setting of 800 degrees. [​IMG]

    I also bought an 18" curved knife for slicing the pie so that I no longer have a cutting wheel dragging toppings around as I cut. It's a fairly impractical device, but who doesn't want a huge curved knife with a second grip on the back of the blade? I feel like Crocodile Dundee whenever I pick the thing up.

    Brad
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

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    Ahh...Saturday morning. After cleaning up after breakfast it was time to make up a batch of pizza dough. What a great therapy for around 9 AM on a Saturday morning.
     
  6. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer

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    That does sound pretty relaxing. Are there any good bread recipes that require you to really "punch" down the dough after the first rise? That might help me this morning. [​IMG]
     
  7. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    So how's that dough rising?

    And, anyway...you're retired. Isn't a Saturday morning pretty much the same as a Wednesday morning when you're a man of leisure?!? [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I was just going to suggest that site, Greg. I found it when my wife and I had a "make your own pizza" party a couple years back and we knocked out a bunch of premade crusts and kept them in the freezer. When guests came, they threw on whatever topping they wanted and tossed it in the oven for a few minutes. The pizzas were awesome.

    After the party, there were leftover crusts and toppings and it was great to be able to just throw together a pizza in a couple minutes and have it as a snack.

    I wouldn't say it was cheaper than buying a frozen pizza at the grocery store.. not with the toppings we used. But, it was definitely better!
     
  9. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

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    I think I'm going to pass on this corn-dog pizza recipe.
    [​IMG]

    In fact I think I'll pass on all the recipes on this page.
    This is why you're fat.
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    [​IMG] Best...website...ever!
     
  11. RobertR

    RobertR Executive Producer

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    Food porn!
     
  12. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

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    This is a good short explanation of why during the mixing of dough you will notice a somewhat sudden change in the stickyness of the dough...

    Gluten-Free Flour - Baking With Gluten-Free Flour

    Two other proteins in the flour combine in the presence of water to form gluten.
     
  13. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

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  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    My local market has now started to stock a whole wheat refrigerated pizza dough (the kind that comes as a ball of fresh dough in a clear plastic bag--usually in the deli section). [​IMG]

    Could someone here give me a good description of how best to deal with this kind of dough to get it properly stretched out into a reasonable crust? We struggle with this in my household...always getting parts that are too thick and parts that have holes. [​IMG]

    I wouldn't even begin to know how to toss it. I'd just like to know how to stretch it out evenly.

    Too much Irish and Dutch in my heritage....no Italian. [​IMG]
     
  15. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Thanks for the link Dennis—I just printed it off.

    The duck with hoisan sauce sounds very good to me—after all, hoisin is the traditional sauce with Peking Duck.

    Otherwise, the pancetta and pepper pizza seems first rate, as does the roasted asparagus and proscuitto (a traditional pairing in any case), pesto with garlic and leeks and the fennel and goat cheese. I’d give the greens and sausage a try and the mushrooms and cambozola (although the cheese might overpower the mushrooms). I agree as to the chorizo and olive pizza, but I’d give the one with the fried egg a pass—in the category of “what were they thinking?”
     
  16. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

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    Lew,

    My ethnic Chinese friends look down their nose at Hosin sauce, calling it "Chinese ketchup".

    Fried eggs go best with pancakes. I've been having a lot more hot breakfasts since I retired. [​IMG]
     
  17. Jason_V

    Jason_V Lead Actor

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    And to think I've been making pizza every Friday night for the last three years. [​IMG]

    Back in January, I came up with a "genius" idea to cut some string cheese and put it inside the crust before it gets rolled. Sure, it adds a sixth kind of cheese onto the pizza, but hey...it's cheese!
     
  18. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

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    Mike,

    I just cheat and use a rolling pin. I bought these things that look like a giant salt shaker, called a "dredge", for shaking flour and bread crumbs.

    [​IMG]

    I just shake some flour onto the counter, drop the dough ball, and then flour the top: dough is sticky. I then mash the ball flat with my hand and start rolling in all different directions. Using a rolling pin makes it much thinner in the middle than at the edges.
     
  19. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

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  20. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    I love eating pizza and would eat it everyday.
    Unfortunately these days the dough just kills me.

    I get bloated and actually become very sleepy after eating pizza.

    There must be something going on with me and gluten.
     

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