Tag Archives: Pizza

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pizza Margherita

While I am still working on my pizza dough experimentation my Basil has been thriving in my herb garden. Tonight we were going to hunker down and watch the World Cup Finals. So I picked up a ball of dough at our favorite pizza joint and decided to make a Margherita pizza. This pie really turned out well. Thin crispy crust, perfectly melted mozzarella with a super simple tomato sauce and my fresh basil.

I purchased one of those Presto gas powered pizza ovens because it can get up to 900 degrees. I prefer to stay at 700 degrees to let the crust really crisp up. So really the only thing I made here was the sauce and it was super simple because I cooked the two cloves of garlic in olive oil and added crushed San Marzano tomatoes and 2 tsp of sugar. I also used low moisture mozzarella cheese.

We recently saw an episode of Best 5 Pizza Places in the US on FoodNetwork. It showed the Chicago joint called Pequod’s that does a deeper dish but they line the edges of their pan with cheese so as it cooks it makes a nice crispy cheese edge. Jill tried it on one of the pies and it really did turn out perfectly. (if you’re into burnt cheese).

pizza dough
14 oz of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
handful of fresh basil
2 tsp of sugar
2 tsp of crushed red pepper
Kosher salt
Parmesan cheese
Low moisture Mozzarella

1. Made the sauce by cooking the garlic in olive oil for a few minutes and then adding the tomatoes and spices.

2. I took a non stick square brownie pan and put some olive oil on the bottom. I spread out the dough to the edges and then added some parm, then the sauce and finally the mozzarella and basil. IMG_0308

3. My oven was right around 700 degrees so it took about 6 minutes to cook.

Attempt at Pequod's crispy cheese edges
Attempt at Pequod’s crispy cheese edges

Pepperoni Rolls (DoubleDave’s)

Pepperoni Rolls

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pepperoni Rolls (DoubleDave’s)
As I mentioned before I went to university at Texas A&M a while back. While still a small town, the number of places to eat are exponentially greater than when I attended. La Taqueria, Chicken Oil Co, Dixie Chicken, Fajita Ritas, Grapevine, Toms BBQ, Deluxe, Freebirds, and DoubleDave’s were a few of the ole favs. Many of them have gone belly-up but one that is still kicking is DoubleDave’s Pizzaworks. http://www.doubledaves.com/menu/handcraftedfavorites.php

Now pizza is an obvious college food staple, and while DoubleDave’s makes pizza, they were known for their pepperoni rolls. They are rolled-up pizza dough stuffed with smoked provolone and pepperoni. You dip them into ranch and/or marinara sauce. I am an unabashed two saucer while Jill only dips red. DD’s franchised and have since expanded across Texas and even Oklahoma. We don’t have them in my neck of the woods, so when we go catch a game we always make a point to stop.

For business I took a trip to West Virgina and noticed that they had pepperoni rolls all over the place. They sold them in gas stations, restaurants etc.. They are more buttery than the DD’s version.

Jill was wanting pizza and I thought of DD’s and wanted to see if I could make a proper roll. These turned out well. I used a packaged crust instead of making my own and it had a buttery flavor similar to what I had in West Virgina and less chew than sturdy pizza dough. Had I not had DD’s,
I wouldn’t have noticed. Still a great snack or quick pizza like dinner.

Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough
Smoked Provolone
Pizza Sauce

1. These are really simple so lay out your dough into a thin layer. As best you can, cut triangles. Mine don’t look that great and in fact look like ‘triangles by kindergartners”. IMG_9566

2. I put my pepperoni in a small sauce pan and warm them up and render out a little fat. Not a necessary step at all. I also then removed those pepperonis and put them on a paper towel and drained the pain of extra grease. To that pan I smashed a clove of garlic and added some olive oil to infuse it with garlic.

3. Ideally you will take your triangle and at the base place your smoked provolone and pepperonis and roll them up. Try to enclose the roll as best you can but truth be told when that cheese leaks out onto your pan it makes a lovely little crispy cheese bit.

Serve them up with marinara and ranch.

Pizza Progress

Pizza Process

So I have blogged a few times about my attempt to find my “go to” pizza crust recipe. Me and dough have a love hate relationship. The dough plays hard to get for sure. My pizza crust goal is to make something similar to Campisi’s or il Fratelli’s. It’s a thin crust that isn’t quite cracker and seemingly has more fat or less rise.

I have tried Bobby’s Flay’s crust, Jamie Oliver’s and decided to give Tyler Florence’s a try given my luck with his Carolina Pulled Pork recipe. He essentially uses a 00 flour that is high gluten and therefore high elasticity. My struggle remains getting it thin enough. The taste is fine and even good but I want to get my dough technique down before I start fine tuning the taste of the crust.

One thing I tried this time was rolling it out on an oil rubbed pizza pan and putting it directly on my pizza stone. It was pretty chilly the other night so I probably should have turned it sooner but we like our pie “well done”.

Definitely making strides but still not there yet.

Before the oven

Sourdough Salami Pizza #2

Sourdough Salami Pizza

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sourdough Pizza

Second attempt at a Sourdough pizza. Pretty much the same recipe I used on my first post titled “Sourdough Salami Pizza” Instead of dividing it we simple oiled a sheet pan and put all the dough on it and spread it out to the edges. Cooked the dough at 500 for about 9 mins. Then pulled it out and topped it with marinara, grated mozzarella, Parmesan and sliced salami. Cooked it for about 15mins.

1 ½ cup of sourdough starter
1 ½ cup of 00 flour
2 tbs of olive oil
1 tps Kosher salt

1 can of Cento tomatoes
1 tbs of chopped basil
2 cloves of minced garlic
½ small yellow onion

Fresh Mozzarella
Goat cheese

1. For the Dough take your dry ingredients and mix in a bowl. Then add your sourdough starter and mix by hand until incorporated. Work your dough by forming a ball and pulling in the bottom and rotate 90 degrees and do the same. Do this for about 10mins. Split into two portions and in an olive oil lined bowl wet the dough ball and cover for about 2 hrs or until it doubles in size.
2. For the sauce I caramelized a shallot, then added garlic and quickly added tomatoes and everything else in the sauce. Simmer for 30mins and then put it in a blender until smooth.
3. Roll your dough and place it in a preheated 500/550 oven for about 3-4 mins. Pull it out and add your sauce and toppings and put it back in the oven for 10-15 mins until it’s done.

Neapolitan Pizza Process

It’s not recipe post worthy yet….but getting better

Pizza #2

A celiac’s kryptonite but manna from heaven for the rest of us. What’s not to love about a good pizza? Making pizza at home always seemed like an exercise in futility. Is it possible to match the greatness of Tony’s in San Fran, Grimaldi’s in NY or Cane Rossa in Dallas? Likely not, but I am going to try.

I have scoured the internet for recipes and even armed myself with 00 Italian flour and yeast. However, out of the gate I am handicapped because I don’t have a wood/coal fired oven or even a Green Egg that gets me over 500 degrees.

Several attempts in to this and I can say I am getting better. My sauce is close, the dough flavor is there. Making the dough and cooking it have been my challenge. Tried it on the grill… was a disaster due to that high gluten flour and no pizza paddle. I basically heaved it onto the pizza stone at 500 degrees so it bunched up in places and had no thickness consistency. Also I tried the preheated oven at 500 for 30mins.

When I get it figured out better I will happily share some recipes. I am growing some sourdough starter to experiment with crust flavors.

Thin Crust Homemade Pizza #7

  • Difficulty: medium
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Thin Crust Homemade Pizza #7

I have mentioned earlier that I was working on my pizza making process. I have had several “at bats” and pop flied, fouled or even struck out several times. As I mentioned early on, I would only post a recipe that you can make with some level of success. I have tried dough recipes from Bobby Flay, Jamie Oliver, several online but I had decent success with Tyler Florence’s recipe.

If any readers want to share your secrets I am open to them. As I mentioned on my Sourdough pizza recipe I posted a few months ago, my oven and grill tap out at 500 degrees. Pizza temps prefer 700-1000 degrees. At least the ones I like. So I bought a little Pronto Pizza oven that is an outdoor gas oven that can get me to 900 degrees. Works great.

My favorite crusts are thin but not cracker crunch but instead have a little chew or “tooth” to them. In the Dallas area Campisis and il Fratellis are the ones I strive to replicate. I think somehow they are getting more fat into their dough.

My areas of improvement are getting my dough to stretch evenly without holes and then getting the damn dough off the pizza peel. I have tried corn meal and flour but seems like there is always a sticky area that clings onto my metal peel. So last night I decided I am going to go with a non-stick pizza pan covered in olive oil to impart more fat.

It was chilly outside which created an cooler spot at the mouth of my oven. I turned it about 1min late and burned an area but I like mine well done anyways.

Dough (adapted from Tyler Florence)
1 package of active dry yeast
3 cups of 00 flour
1 cup of warm water
1 tsp of Sugar
1 tbs of Kosher Salt
2 tsp of Dough flavoring
Olive oil

Amazon link to 00 Flour http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=00+flour
Amazon link to King Arthur’ Dough flavoring http://www.amazon.com/King-Arthur-Flour-Pizza-Flavor/dp/B00GCDPLC6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1419874435&sr=8-2&keywords=dough+flavoring

I 15oz can of Tomato sauce
1 tbs of minced garlic
1 tbs of Penzey’s Pizza Herbs
2 tsp of sugar
1 tbs of red wine
3 tbs of tomato paste

low moisture Mozzarella cheese (shredded from block)
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese and or Goat cheese
Fresh uncured salami cut thinly
torn basil
Tomato (sliced, salted and moisture removed)

Before putting it in the oven
1. Make the Dough by getting your yeast started. Warm 1 cup of water to about 100 degrees and stir in the sugar and yeast and pour it into the mixer bowl. Let it sit for about 10mins. The yeast will activate and get frothy.

Turn your oven on to 150 and after a minute shut it off. Creating a warm sealed place for the dough to proof. Put your proofing bowl in the oven to warm it as well.

Add your flour and salt and a glug of olive oil and mix for about 10mins. It should be tacky but not sticky. Make into a ball, cover with olive oil and then plastic wrap and a towel. Put into the oven and let it proof for 50 mins.

Punch it down and divide into two balls. Turn the balls for a few minutes with olive oil on you hands. Cover both with plastic and a towel and let it rest and relax for 10mins before making your pie. We froze one ball for later use and split the 14-15inch pizza made tonight.

2. Sauce: Olive oil and minced garlic in a small sauce pot on medium low heat. Cook for a minute or two and then add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer and stir while the dough is proofing.

3. Tonight I oiled a non stick 15inch pizza pan and tried to spread my dough out. then sauced it, topped it and stuck it into my pizza oven for 6mins. and turn another 6mins or until you get it to the “doneness” of your liking.