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Pizza time! - making the "perfect" pizza

Mystery Man

Established Member
Ok, it's the weekend and I fancy a pizza, instead of going down the takeaway route I thought I would give the homemade method a trial.

I have bought pizza bases before and added toppings but looking for some more authentic inspirations. Anyone make their own pizza from scratch, care to share your method?
 

clc.sheff

Distinguished Member
I have. I used a Jamie Oliver base recipe and reduced down some decent tinned toms, touch of balsamic vinegar and some origano with a touch of chilli and paprika then did random toppings and added some fresh basil, olive oil and a decent pile of mild rocket right at the end. Very nice indeed. Took a shed load of time though. Making the dough takes a good while. Its worth making extra dough and freezing it.
 

sniffer66

Distinguished Member
I use the pizza dough recipe in my bread maker. Makes lovely elastic dough. Plus you can make garlic dough ball starters with any spare dough. Lovely !
 

Noggin1980

Distinguished Member
a pizza stone preheated for about an hour in your oven as hot as it will go makes a massive difference even with store pizza (just don't follow the cooking instructions) will probably take about 10 mins to cook but it depends on your oven.

I've heard a baking steel is much better still and take half the time to preheat but they are expensive and we don't make enough pizza to make it worth it.
 

Pisto_Grih

Distinguished Member
For the tomato sauce: use tomato passata as it's already smooth. Slowly cook some ground garlic in a pan with plenty of olive oil, then add the passata and chopped basil. I use a touch of Tabasco and some lee&perrins sauce for added flavour. Season to taste. Simmer for what seems like forever until it's reduced down to a smooth sauce that's thick enough for pizza.

For the dough, look up Jamie Oliver's pizza dough recipe on Google, it's what I follow and it always comes out nice. Still have some in the freezer I think, the sauce and the dough keep well frozen.

We dont go overboard with toppings, just mix of cheddar and mozzarella on top and maybe chopped ham and mushrooms,sometimes sweetcorn.
 

Mystery Man

Established Member
Some good tips here guys and thanks for the Jamie Oliver dough idea will check that out today. Will have a look at pizza stones too
 

MrSossidge

Distinguished Member
We do this quite often with the kids and they really enjoy it.

I have learnt over time to put less onto mine otherwise I end up with a soggy bottom as the heat won't penetrate through the toppings.

We did buy a weber pizza stone so use that for in the oven.

We also bought one of these when it was launched on kickstarter - The revolutionary wood-fired pizza oven

It's a bit of a faf but you don't half get a great taste from it.
 

blue max

Distinguished Member
Got all my ingredients now after a bit of domestic trauma (boiler wouldn't light and we had a leak).

My wife is adamant that it will be a failure, so no pressure :D

No alternative, so if it's rubbish, we starve!
 

Mystery Man

Established Member
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1398638809.789170.jpg
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1398638821.606454.jpg


Well I gave it a go. Verdict?....it was good for a first attempt, too thick dough and needed a bit more herbs and overall flavour.

I thought it was pretty thin but once in the oven got pretty big. I will have another go next week but making the "perfect" home made pizza ain't that easy. Was fun tho and was still enjoyable. Can see why the pizza stone is recommended.
 

blue max

Distinguished Member
Sorry, forgot to come back - it was ok actually. I too, found it expanded quite a bit during cooking. Probably could have rolled it out rather larger than I did. Had a small jar of sun dried tomatoes along with a jar of tomato and basil sauce which was great. The buffalo mozzarella is a nice touch (although extravagant). Cherry tomatoes were good and I had some pepperoni on mine. I had black olives and red chillies, but was thrashing the red wine, so can't remember if I used them! There is something about cooking and drinking that makes me the galloping gourmet :D

I used 20% semolina flour and that was relatively expensive. Not sure it added much to the flavour if I'm honest. Mixing it all up looked like too much water. And boy was it sticky! But got there in the end.

Half the dough is in the freezer, so ready to give it another whirl at some point.
 

Pisto_Grih

Distinguished Member
I don't mind if the pizza dough is a bit thick, so long as its cooked and chewy like a dough ball. Tend to roll mine till its almost see through, I like it thin and crispy.
 

SanPedro

Prominent Member
Made 3 pizzas yesterday... should have taken photos as they were damn good.
We use a hand blender to blitz the sauce which is just onions, tinned tomatoes, garlic, herbs, pepper. The sauce needs reducing quite a lot. A runny sauce makes the base soggy.

We use a bread maker for the dough. Easy peasy. Thin base is better IMO. Around 5mm max. Do you have a rolling pin? Makes it easier to get a nice round base.

We have some pizza trays which have holes in, so the base can dry out during cooking. Might try getting a pizza stone though... sounds like a good idea.

Toppings?
Pepperoni, with extra chillies, mozzarella: Classic.
Ham. garlic mushrooms, blobs of mascarpone or Philadelphia cheese, bit of mozzarella: Divine.
Tuna, anchovy, capers, parmesan, bit of mozzarella: Different.

It's tough to go back to shop bought...

Oh... and still plenty of leftovers for today. Will see if they look good 2nd time round and will post a pic. :)
 

Mystery Man

Established Member
The prob I had was when it was so thin it was hard to lift to put in the oven with everything on it. Deffo need to practice, may try again on weds, determined to get good at this
 

bluedroog

Prominent Member
Not the most authentic way of cooking a pizza but please give this a try from Jamie's 30 minute cook book. What he does is to put the base in a frying pan for about five to seven minutes on a medium heat while you add the toppings before finishing under a hot grill.

Some times I seal the top side of the dough either giving it a minute before flipping or quickly under the grill first before putting the topping on and I have found this just works so well, I actually favour this to cooking in the over now. The base just has so e lovely colouring like a good naan bread and then the hot grill gives a good melt and colour to the cheese.

If you can be bothered to make your own fresh to orator sauce it does pay but not essential, a quick blanched and the skins come off quite a easily, if you use a few different types of tomatoe I think you can build a deeper favour, put throw a sieve to remove potentially bitter seeds a summer with a good olive oil, Somme herbs and a little sugar, optional garlic and season to taste. Blows ready made stuff away, as others have mentioned passata is a good alternative as it is smooth.

As far as topping go I like to mix a couple of cheeses and have been on the hunt for a good New York style mozzarella which is easier said than done, the ready made pizza stuff in the supermarkets has a dusting on tot stop it sticking which is no good, most the block stuff is flavourless! I am trying to find a nice greasy authentic New York style to mix with a good buffalo version. I also like a touch of meat such assalami which adds a greatly flavoured fat content.

For dough use a strong 'OO' flour, tepid water and good olive oil also again a touch of sugar with the salt. I don't necessarily use yeast a let it proof if I'm in a rush but it does help.

If you do use a pizza stone just make sure you let it get really hot in the oven for at least half and hour if not more first but do give the pan and grill cook a try.
 

WildeKarde

Distinguished Member

SanPedro

Prominent Member
Mmmmmm.... pizza. These were the ham n mushroom and pepperoni leftovers the following day.

Had to laugh at the idea of lifting the uncooked pizza into the oven ;-) The round pizza trays are dead easy though.

For a pizza stone I guess you'd need something flat to transfer from the preparation area to the oven and then slide it onto the stone.

pizza.jpg
 

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