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Jul 27, 2010 10:07 AM

Pizza technique

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

    1. 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. 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

          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

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

            1. re: cassoulady

              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

                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. 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

            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

              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

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

          2. 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.