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Pizza technique

cassoulady Jul 27, 2010 10:07 AM

Mario Batali suggests parcooking a pizza crust in a skillet then broiling the pizza once the toppings are on. I have only ever baked pizza in a very hot oven. Any ideas about the broil and par cook crust method?

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  1. monavano RE: cassoulady Jul 27, 2010 10:39 AM

    I"ve used the broil methoid when making pizza in a baking pan, but I like using my pizza stone a whole lot better.

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      Shaw Oliver RE: cassoulady Jul 27, 2010 11:38 AM

      I think that technique is aimed at trying to reproduce a quality crust without a pizza stone. I agree with monavano a baking stone will work better. In other words, stick to your old habits for what I think will be better results. Can't hurt to try though. He is Batali after all.

      1. chowser RE: cassoulady Jul 27, 2010 11:55 AM

        This was in the Washington Post a few months ago, on using a cast iron skillet to make pizza. It sounds good but I never make one single serving pizza and use tiles.


        4 Replies
        1. re: chowser
          ipsedixit RE: chowser Jul 27, 2010 04:21 PM

          That method is now my preferred way of making pizza, be it for one or more people.

          The only downside is you have to move quickly, but a few practice pies and you'll have the technique down cold.


          1. re: ipsedixit
            cassoulady RE: ipsedixit Jul 28, 2010 06:15 AM

            why cant you just place the pizza in the cast iron skillet, why must it be inverted?

            1. re: cassoulady
              ipsedixit RE: cassoulady Jul 28, 2010 09:14 AM

              The bottom of your skillet pan is hotter than the inside.

              Why? Two reasons.

              First, because you are heating the skillet first on your stovetop (the bottom of your skillet is in direct contact with the heat source).

              Second, because you are using your broiler, inverting the skillet brings your pizza closer to the heat source in the oven.

              1. re: ipsedixit
                ESNY RE: ipsedixit Jul 28, 2010 09:28 AM

                plus its easier to use the bottom so you have easy access to place and remove the pie since there are no sides to get in the way.

        2. s
          smtucker RE: cassoulady Jul 27, 2010 12:57 PM

          I am wedded to the hot-as-blazes oven with a stone in the bottom, so haven't tried this. My brother used to make cast iron pizza over a fire on his solo adventures in the Alaska Wilderness during Outward Bound. I understand he made pizza 28 days out there!

          3 Replies
          1. re: smtucker
            cassoulady RE: smtucker Jul 27, 2010 12:59 PM

            Do you par cook the crust on the stone before adding the sauce and toppings? it seems people are divided on this.

            1. re: cassoulady
              smtucker RE: cassoulady Jul 27, 2010 01:03 PM

              No. I don't par-anything. I use a two-day dough from American Pie, roll/toss until thin but not too big for the stone, and then lightly dress. I dislike pizzas that hide the flavor of the dough. So a little tomato sauce, 2 oz of mozzarella cheese, sprinkling with parmesan and already cooked sausage for him. For me, pesto or basil oil, some parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes sliced into slivers and a few dollops of goat cheese.

              This dough is good enough that sometimes I just brush with olive oil, sprinkle some freshly chopped herbs and a little course salt and call it dinner! [Now I wish it weren't so hot today, or I would make this!]

              1. re: smtucker
                cassoulady RE: smtucker Jul 27, 2010 01:08 PM

                thanks I will try that later this week (its fish night tonight for me- hooray)

          2. monavano RE: cassoulady Jul 27, 2010 02:16 PM

            I agree that with a hot enough oven, you add the toppings and bake it off asap. No need to par-bake.
            However.....if you're oven doesn't get 550 or more, par-baking is a good idea. Fortunately, we have a gas grill that can push 700 degrees. I like to make pizza at 650 degrees or so. Par-bake? no way! The whole kittenkaboodle is done in 3 minutes.

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              Ali RE: cassoulady Jul 28, 2010 09:22 AM

              Tried this last night. Wasn't bad and made it easy to handle the crust (I was using one of those high hydration doughs). Not so feasible for a large pizza, but a tiny one? Not too shabby. I'd do it again, especially since this method produces a respectable pizza in my toaster oven, which is an important consideration in the summer.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ali
                e_bone RE: Ali Jul 28, 2010 11:39 AM

                Great point Ali... in the summer we don't "do" pizza in the oven as we have a swamp cooler only and the kitchen would probably top 90deg if I run my oven at 550 for an hour and a half.... finding a technique that just uses the broiler briefly would be pretty cool.

                I've done crust pre-cooking inside and then flipped and finished on the grill once topped with pretty good results.. but predictably the bottom is cooked too fast so the toppings have to be sparse to make this work.

              2. cassoulady RE: cassoulady Jul 30, 2010 06:11 AM

                I tried this last night it. It was pretty good. The crust still wasnt quite as crisp as I wanted but I did like not having the oven raging in the summer. I will try again to see if I can perfect it.

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                  fongpei RE: cassoulady Aug 1, 2010 09:06 AM

                  I've reheated pizza in a cast iron skillet for years and its a huge timesaver over heating an oven. It gives the crust a crunch texture and if you put on a lid, the trapped heat helps to melt the cheese.

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