I think of myself as a master pizzaiolo. I have tried many different ways of preparing dough, stretching dough, making sauce and yes even making the cheese myself. I have perfected my own personal technique and was wondering how all you other homemade pizza aficionados prepare your pizzas.
Well- I have been called a fine cooker- but never a pizzaiolo!
Our pizza nights include using a recipe for rustic dough- I make it in the bread machine(lemon zest and fresh rosemary) and let it rise again, roll it as thin as I can, and use shredded cheese of the night- it could be mozzarella, smoked gouda, smoked sharp cheddar- or just the bagged Sargento- what ever is on hand. A little sliced Italian sausage is always nice. Fresh herbs, kosher salt and VOLIA- pizza.
Between my Husband and myself, and a 5 yr old- we do some major destruction on the pie.
We usually use no sauce, just a little olive oil brushed on- but if we do use sauce, it is a light tomato sauce just to wet the bread.
I have made hundreds of fancy pizzas- simple and easy homemae cheese pizzas are the best!
Lisa- here is the recipe- this makes excellent dough. I have a stone, but I don't warm it up, and cook my pizzas at 450- works for me. A member of our family heats her stone for 1 1/2 hrs before using. Our pizzas are pretty much the same....
2 1/2 t yeast 1/4 t sugar 3/4c warm water 1 3/4 cups bread/ap flour 1/2t salt olive oil ( I add lemon zest-1/2 a lemons worth fresh chopped rosemary 1 dab of honey 1 t dehydrated garlic)
I put the water and yeast in the water and add garlic. Let it sit for a few minutes, then add the honey and lemon and rosemary- then the rest of the dry ingredients all at once.
Put on dough cycle. After it is finished, I put into a pam'd metal bowl and cover- let rise and then you are ready to go.
I use Italian 00 flour and always make the dough a day ahead of time. I think the key is oven temp. I use a pizza stone on my outdoor gas grill which I can crank up over 600 degrees. The pizzas cook in 6-8 minutes.
I use the pizza dough recipe in the Baking with Julia book. It raises (the way I do it) and sits in the fridge for a week if necessary and is delicious at the end of the week. I've been doing stuffed pizzas/calzones lately with chard, feta, and lots of very garlicky EVOO, and they're lovely. We also really like margherita pizzas in season with fresh mozz. Our local cheese shop is getting water buffalo mozz from CA now, and I can't wait to try it with fresh heirloom tomatoes.
I've been making my own pizza now for years. My dough, is 2 3/4 AP flour, tsp sea salt, 2 T olive oil, 1 packet of yeast mixed with 7/8 cup warm water 112 degrees/ with 1 tsp sugar. And its so important to make the handle for the pizza. This dough make a wonderful handle. Befpre baking and the sauce goes down, I brush olive oil all over the base and the handle, and give a fair grinding of sea salt all over. Bread and salt after baking is divine!
I have tried all sorts of tomato sauce, home prepared, to canned/jarred marinara. I find that the jarred marinara is just as pleasnt. The key is the cheese. Lots of mozzerella, fontina, and provolone, make the pizza. We like best mushrooms, onions, fresh garlic, olive with pepperoni. Dried herbs. (I use fresh tomatoes to serve the pizza with afterward, never cooked). but being able to layer the pizza right with cheese placed just right makes the best pizza I find.
See, I knew everybody has their "thing" that they do with pizza. It is so versatile and fun to play with. Keep it coming! I want to see more......