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Old 18 Dec 18, 02:17 PM  
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wanye
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pizza! (also OONI owners unite!)

*update*
ive gone and bought an ooni koda 16 which will arrive later this month hopefully. skip to the end for discussion of those...
--

so, i've been experimenting for years now making pizza in various ways, but i've finally cracked making consistent results in a (crap) home oven

for the last few years I've had a pizza stone, which I swore by, but it recently cracked and needed replacing. i was sick of only being able to one at a time, so i went for steel sheets, and WOW! what a difference! I only bought 1mm thick mild steel as a test (i wanted 6mm but wanted to try out sizing in my oven), but i think i may just keep them!

i got them from buymetalonline/ but it'll be cheaper from your local steel workshop. just make sure you get "mild steel" sheet in the size of your existing oven trays...



the sheets were scrubbed several times with scourers/wire brush/brillo pad and soap. they were then dried thoroughly and a light coating of cooking oil applied. they were then put in the oven for an hour at full blast before allowing to cool and repeating the process at least three times before using to cook on.

after warming the oven up for about an hour (its a crap old 80's gas oven we inherited with the house with a door that doesn't easily shut properly! i took a reading with my IR thermometer...



perfect temp for the fast cooks i'm, looking for!

base dough...

i've now made this dough a bunch of times, and it works just as well when you freeze it, so i usually make a batch, and then freeze 4 of the balls. this recipe makes 7x250g balls or 9-10 200g balls (easier to work with but quite a bit smaller. think 9-10" rather than 12")

1kg flour. half of this is strong bread flour, half is 00 flour. i get mine from an italian deli just down the road from me, but the large sainsburys in town have bags of it too. you can use all bread dough, but the 00 flour makes the dough *loads* nicer and easier to work with.

a sachet (7g) of instant yeast
1.5 tbsp salt (i like sea salt, but any will do, you may need to use a bit less if you use table salt or something fine)
1.5 tbsp sugar (normal white, nothing fancy)
600ml warm water... emphasis on WARM, not hot!

in a measuring jug, put the sugar and yeast into the water, stir and leave for 10-20 mins. in your mixer, add the flour and salt, and then mix on slow while adding the water/sugar/yeast mix. mix for ~5 mins. you can do this by hand, just knead it for ~10 mins until you have a nice smooth dough. spray the bowl with a bit of oil, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rest for an hour or so.



after this, punch down and portion it into 250g balls. put what you dont want that night into ziploc bags sprayed with a little oil to stop it sticking and freeze immediately. put what youve got left into some large lidded tubs bear in mind these things will double in size, so the larger the tub, the better! and leave them to rest until you're an hour away from cooking.

SAUCE

i'm still experimenting with this. last nights was good, but a bit odd. i tried making low acidity sauce as i've been suffering from bad heartburn recently. i think i put a bit too much bicarb of soda in, as it lost *all* of its acidity.

two packs of good quality chopped tomatoes
a metric tonne of dried basil and oregano (a couple of tablespoons at least)
garlic puree
tomato puree
pepper
cayenne pepper and/or paprika
1 tbsp sugar or a squirt of honey if you prefer

last night i also added 2 tsp of bicarb of soda, and a large finely grated carrot. the carrot really added to the taste, but i think next time i would use half the bicarb... cook down for around 20-30 mins until reduced considerably. portion off what you dont need and freeze in ziploc bags!



MAKING THE PIZZA.

an hour before, stick the steel sheets/pizza stones in the oven, turn it to full blast.

straight away, punch down your doughballs again. depending on how long you've left them, they should be massive by now. gently fold it back in on itself, adding a dusting of more flour to stop it sticking. using wet hands to shape the wet dough probably helps too. put them back in the tubs near the oven so they get warm.

when youre ready to make them and the oven is nice and hot (if you have a combi oven, stick the grill on as well as the oven!) then start making the pizzas. you've prepped your toppings already, right?



i've started using the block of fresh mozzarella you get from asda, but if you end up with a ball of it in water, just wrap it well in kitchen towel and apply light pressure to squeeze some of the moisture out.


the making needs to be done quickly to stop it sticking to the counter/pizza peel. a nice coating of flour on the base will help with this, but you need to be as quick as possible!

you'll also need semolina/cornflour to put on the peel to make launching it easier, as well as to give it a proper professional texture!

tap out the centre of the dough with your fingers. making sure you leave the crust nice and fluffy. then stretch. some people use this method



some (me) prefer to drape it over your knuckles and keep rotating. a bit like this



once stretched, place on the counter with a light dusting of flour to stop it sticking, add sauce and toppings. i tend to do sauce, ripped fresh spinach, mozzarella, then meats, a bit of cheddar, a few pepperoni on top for crispness, and a grating of parmesan (i used pre grated grand padano last night, but usually use fresh grated parmesan)



gently lift the dough, and slide it onto the peel (remember to dust with semolina!) and then transfer to the oven.

cook for ~3-5 mins, about 2/3rds of the way through turn the pizza round 180 degrees (unless you have a fan oven)



hopefully you should have a nicely risen crust that is crisp on the outside, and nice and chewy inside. the more air left in the crust when you stretch it the better!


it definitely takes practice. for ages, i was having problems with the pizza sticking to the peel (i was topping it on the peel rather than on the counter and then pulling onto the peel)... there have been several disasters, which is why i always have at least one spare dough ball ready to go.. heres a recent one that stuck to the peel, then didnt launch onto the pizza stone properly and ended up like a smashed calzone...



so. how about you? show me some of your pizzas, and post your favourite recipes or toppings. mine is goats cheese, black pudding, fresh jalapeno and olives

*edit*
to use the frozen balls, get them out in the morning when you go to work and place the unbagged balls into your large lidded containers to defrost/rise. punch down and add a dusting of flour again an hour or so before (ie when you turn the oven on) - keeping them next to the cooker will warm them up nicely again...

Edited at 09:27 AM.
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Old 19 Dec 18, 04:11 PM  
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Unexpectedpenny
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Oh wow! Great write up of your process and the finished pizza looks delicious! DH does all the cooking in our house and had been trying to master pizza recently so Iíll be passing this to him for a try.
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Old 19 Dec 18, 04:16 PM  
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its a shame most modern home ovens won't reach that temp.
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Old 19 Dec 18, 04:34 PM  
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WhereIBelong
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Mine is cheats-home-made - take one pack of wright's ciabatta bread mix, make up in breadmaker on dough setting.

Take it out, knock it back, shape on a couple of trays, top with jar of Napolina Pizza Topping.

Put what you like on it (leftover roast chicken with sliced peppers is my fave) sprinkle on some grated cheddar and mozzarella (usually from a bag).

Then just put it in the oven til it is done.

Tastes great.
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Old 29 May 19, 10:43 AM  
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wanye
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so on monday, i finally got round to trying to do pizza on my kamado oven. when i started out it was sunny, but after everything had come up to temperature and was ready to cook, the bank holiday weather kicked in! i need to get me some sory of canopy/gazebo for it!



i used my old 14" pizza stone, which cracked recently, but i glued back together. it didnt stay together very long though, so i've now odered me a 10mm thick 45cm diameter mild steel disc which i will scrub and season for use in the grill in future...



first one could have probably done with a few more minutes to aid browning, but was *lovely*... crispy on the outside, but a soft, chewy crust inside, and a cracker-thin crispy base

since my first post, i've switched from using chopped tomatoes over to passata, and cooking it down so its more like tomato puree. one pack of passata should be enough for 4-6 pizzas. i also used 200g dough balls instead of 250g



toppings were a bunch of bits i had lying around in the freezer. i tend to make a load of bits like this, then bag them up and freeze. today i had sausagemeat balls that id previously rolled and cooked off before freezing (the last pizzas i did, i used fresh sausagemeat. i made the balls out of what was left over), some pepperoni (again, used half a pack last time, so froze the rest), some bbq rib meat i shredded that was leftover from a bbq i had on saturday, some fresh thinly sliced onion, and mozarella/parmesan



next time, i want to get it up to nearer 700 degrees rather than 450-500. i hadn't cleared out the ash trap from saturdays bbq, so airflow wasn't as good as usual. plus, with my new steel arriving shortly, heat retention should be loads better than the old pizza stone so i'll be able to cook more pizzas faster. meaning its nearly time for a pizza party!

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Old 29 May 19, 04:35 PM  
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Claudette
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Your pizza and especially the dough looks fabulous. What is the "peel" you are referring to in your first post?

My attempt is not particularly good, we decided to do half each and I burnt it anyway. I was proud of my freshly made sauce though.




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Old 30 May 19, 12:47 PM  
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wanye
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Originally Posted by Claudette View Post
Your pizza and especially the dough looks fabulous. What is the "peel" you are referring to in your first post?

My attempt is not particularly good, we decided to do half each and I burnt it anyway. I was proud of my freshly made sauce though.
the peel was the cheapest one i could find on amazon - i think i paid a £7 for it, but its up to £10 now...

amazon/Shoze-Alumi...nguag e=en_GB

my 18" pizza steel just arrived at work (not been down to collect it yet) - it cost me £45 for a 45cm 10mm thick steel disc including next day delivery. i just need to scrub it thoroughly with a brillo a few times, and then oil/season it like you do with cast iron
ebay/itm/292825645083

so now i have a bigger steel, im gonna need a bigger peel!
(having two is gonna be handy for speeding up the production line for gatherings too)

your efforts looks reasonable... ive spent years experimenting now and until recently it was my dough that was letting me down... i never got consistent results until i started using the recipe above, and stretching using a proper method rather than a rolling pin

my stretching method is similar to this one



however, instead of stretching the base on the deck like that once youve tapped out a nice crust, i hang it off the back of my hands and rotate (pretend you're a t-rex with your hands!) - i then top with sauce, move it slightly to make sure it isnt stuck to the worktop, top with other stuff, then slide/lift/rotate it onto a peel dusted in course semolina (about 50p a bag from your local asian supermarket or a quid from the ethnic aisle in your local supermarket) before launching as quickly as possible from the peel to the oven.

when i tried building the pizza on the peel, i had no end of issues with it sticking

next update will probably be next week once ive tested my new steel
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Old 31 May 19, 02:27 PM  
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wanye
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my god the new steel is *heavy* - if i was buying it again, id get 5/6mm thick steel instead so it would be roughly half the weight

(13kg for a 45cm diameter 10mm thick plate)

so i scrubbed it a few times with soapy water and a brillio pad before rinsing it off and drying it thoroughly. i then seasoned it by spraying on both sides with vegetable oil (i ran our of flaxseed oil, otherwise i would use that) and then wiping it cleam with paper towel a couple of times. i then put it on the gas hob (too big for the oven) and put all 4 burners on full.



i then sprayed with more oil and wiped and waited for it to start smoking (i set the alarm off twice even with all the windows open!)



let it cool fully, then repeated the oiling/heating cycles two more times. ill probably do it one more time before i go out later before storing it in the kitchen, waiting for one night next week when i can try it out on the bbq...

Edited at 02:29 PM.
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Old 31 May 19, 02:37 PM  
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Claudette
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Originally Posted by wanye View Post
the peel was the cheapest one i could find on amazon - i think i paid a £7 for it, but its up to £10 now...

amazon/Shoze-Alumi...nguag e=en_GB

my 18" pizza steel just arrived at work (not been down to collect it yet) - it cost me £45 for a 45cm 10mm thick steel disc including next day delivery. i just need to scrub it thoroughly with a brillo a few times, and then oil/season it like you do with cast iron
ebay/itm/292825645083

so now i have a bigger steel, im gonna need a bigger peel!
(having two is gonna be handy for speeding up the production line for gatherings too)

your efforts looks reasonable... ive spent years experimenting now and until recently it was my dough that was letting me down... i never got consistent results until i started using the recipe above, and stretching using a proper method rather than a rolling pin

my stretching method is similar to this one



however, instead of stretching the base on the deck like that once youve tapped out a nice crust, i hang it off the back of my hands and rotate (pretend you're a t-rex with your hands!) - i then top with sauce, move it slightly to make sure it isnt stuck to the worktop, top with other stuff, then slide/lift/rotate it onto a peel dusted in course semolina (about 50p a bag from your local asian supermarket or a quid from the ethnic aisle in your local supermarket) before launching as quickly as possible from the peel to the oven.

when i tried building the pizza on the peel, i had no end of issues with it sticking

next update will probably be next week once ive tested my new steel
I think I didn't really try with the pizza dough, that was a pizza base mix from the supermarket and we definitely only rolled it. I don't know that I could throw the dough around as in your clip.
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Old 27 Jun 19, 03:46 PM  
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wanye
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Originally Posted by Claudette View Post
I think I didn't really try with the pizza dough, that was a pizza base mix from the supermarket and we definitely only rolled it. I don't know that I could throw the dough around as in your clip.
i don't throw mine around either, i tap it down as shown in the video and then kinda let gravity do it whilst resting on my knuckles

like in this video at 4 mins in...



someone suggested using a damp teatowel folded in half as a way to practice throwing dough. i *will* be experimenting with that at some point, but for now i'm happy just to have a consistent crust that doesn't tear really easily

now the crap weather seems to have passed, ill be firing up my kamado grill and finally getting to use my giant pizza stone soon. possibly even tonight...
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