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Author Topic: Homemade Pizza Dough AAR  (Read 1925 times)
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wonderpug
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« on: February 21, 2008, 03:01:03 PM »

Over on OO jpinard was asking around for recipes to make homemade pizza.  Marik posted his own pizza dough recipe with such conviction and with such disdain for other inferior pizzas that I just had to give it a try:

First, the sauce.  With so much new happening on the dough front, I wanted to keep this very simple.  I just followed the Easy Pizza Sauce III recipe from allrecipes.com.  It's just a can of tomato sauce (the ordinary stuff, not the fancy pants jarred sugar-laden stuff) thickened with tomato paste and beefed up with some herbs & spices.



It actually came out much much better than I expected.  It tasted great on the final product.  I would definitely use the recipe again.

Next up, the dough.  Here's the bowl of dough after two nights in the fridge:



Very very sticky and goopy coming out of the bowl.  Make sure your hands are well floured!  When I covered it in flour, it had the texture of a giant mochi ball.  If that doesn't mean anything to you, think of a flour covered jellyfish.

Then I cut it into three:



In retrospect I should have probably stretched it out a bit to cut it like a baguette instead of like a pie, but it worked well enough.  Instead of setting two aside in the freezer for later, I kept them on hand in case of any disasters.

Flattened it out to a quarter inch thickness, then it was time to toss it in the air with glee like an honest to goodness professional pizza tossing guy:



Ok, that part didn't go so well.  (Lack of picture only because my hands were getting too messy.)  Attempt #1: Didn't roll it flat enough first, and it couldn't get much of a shape in the air.  Attempt #2: Started tossing with it flatter, but tore a hole in it soon after.  Attempt #4: Added a bit more flour and it held together!  Tossed it a few times and it kinda sorta worked.  I need much more practice.  That attempt, however, was done on the 2nd pizza while the first was baking.

Attempt #3: Just rolled the damn thing out with a rolling pin.



Much better.  Transferred it over to a cornmeal covered peel, rolled the edge for some outer crust, and added the sauce, mozarella, and pepperoni.  Nothing more, I wanted this first attempt to be simple.



Then it was time to transfer it onto the baking stone that had been sitting in the 500 oven for 45 minutes or so.  The cornmeal worked great at keeping it from sticking to the peel, but even then it did need a little pushing with a spatula on some sticky points.  I'd like to find some alternative to cornmeal, though.  It's too crunchy in the end.  Maybe just use finer cornmeal next time.

At 5 minutes or so it was bubbling a plenty, so it was time to take it out and see the final product:



Mmm, mmm.   It smelled and looked delicious.

My wife was going crazy waiting for me to take pictures, she wanted to dive right in.

Time for a taste:



Delicious.  We almost finished the entire first pizza before the second one could finish its 5 minutes in the oven.

Couple things I tweaked for the second one:  The dough on the first was fully cooked, but a bit soft.  I tried leaving the second pizza in longer to give the crust some time to brown, and while it helped it was still a ltitle on the soft side.  I don't think I could keep it much longer since from the way they were bubbling it looked like the cheese and pepperoni were about to go nuclear.  I think the problem was that the dough never really got to go warm up for the several hours I had it out of the fridge, as the apartment was really cold when I got home.  Also, I tried the light layer of salt on the second pizza.  It really does do wonders.

Both of us really loved the crust.  I'll almost certainly be giving Marik's dough another try, but not before I try the Jay's Signature Pizza Crust recipe, which seems to be the most popular pizza crust recipe on allrecipes.com.

Anyone who likes pizza really should give homemade dough a try.  Even with a couple things going wrong it was better than delivery and certainly better than frozen.  I'll probably be making my own pizza at least once a week now.
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IkeVandergraaf
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2008, 10:49:30 PM »

Wow, nice writeup.
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2008, 11:12:22 PM »

Like the pizza story and hey, that looks pretty tasty too!  Good stuff...
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2008, 11:43:42 PM »

drool...wipes drool off of keyboard.

I cheat and use a defrosted loaf of bread dough for my homemade pizzas.  You've inspired me to up the ante and do scratch crust.   
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2008, 12:26:31 AM »

Now I'm hungry.  crybaby

 drool drool
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WinoMcCougarstein
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2008, 04:25:24 AM »

I hate homemade dough.  Hate it!  I've tried over 10 different recipes and always feel let down.  So now I just go to a local pizza place and buy fresh dough from them.  No mess and it tastes fantastic.  $1 for 16 oz.
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warning
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2008, 05:28:29 AM »

Awesome job Pug!  Now you need to move on to something else.  Sushi maybe?
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wonderpug
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2008, 02:00:15 PM »

Quote from: warning on February 22, 2008, 05:28:29 AM

Awesome job Pug!  Now you need to move on to something else.  Sushi maybe?

I want to get some more use out of that baking stone, so I think bread is next on the list.  Again, nothing fancy, just a plain round loaf of yeast-risen bread.
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jpinard
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2008, 11:10:13 PM »

You've inspired me to go minimalist next time.  Your results look really good and I'm even going to go with that pizza sauce since I bet it'll be a lot better than what comes on a Papa John's or Dominos pizza.

What's the idea behind the baking stone vs. a pizza pan? 

If you put foil around the rolled up edge (so it doesn't get overcooked during broiling), and broil the spread out pizza dough a few minutes before putting all the toppings on, that might make the crust come out perfect.

Pug, can you send a note to RIP?  I changed my e-mail at OO and didn't get a reactivation message so I can't post there.  Thanks!  And will you do another AAR when you make your next one or your bread?  I'd like to see pics of your stuff on the baking stone.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2008, 11:24:31 PM by jpinard » Logged
Lee
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2008, 01:03:02 AM »

Quote from: jpinard on February 22, 2008, 11:10:13 PM

You've inspired me to go minimalist next time.  Your results look really good and I'm even going to go with that pizza sauce since I bet it'll be a lot better than what comes on a Papa John's or Dominos pizza.

What's the idea behind the baking stone vs. a pizza pan? 

If you put foil around the rolled up edge (so it doesn't get overcooked during broiling), and broil the spread out pizza dough a few minutes before putting all the toppings on, that might make the crust come out perfect.

Pug, can you send a note to RIP?  I changed my e-mail at OO and didn't get a reactivation message so I can't post there.  Thanks!  And will you do another AAR when you make your next one or your bread?  I'd like to see pics of your stuff on the baking stone.

Using a baking stone is like making a stew on your stove. If you use a nice thick pot, then it will hold the heat better and more evenly distribute it throughout the stew. If you use a thin pot, you will got hot spots and the stew might even burn in places if you aren't careful to stir a lot. A baking stone does the same thing. It distributes and retains the heat so your crust is evenly cooked and doesn't burn it in places. It also supposedly helps keep the moisture in the crust. Much better than using a pan, and they are pretty cheap.

Why are you broiling it at all Jeff? Never heard of doing that, except after the pizza is baked so you can get a little more color in it.
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jpinard
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2008, 01:18:19 AM »

I can't handle any softness - sogginess in the crust.  So if I broil the crust a bit before putting topings on I can make sure the pizza with toppings and the bottom of the crust mature at the same time.  Otherwise to get the curst totally crispy, all the stuff on top would be dried up "and gone nuclear" as pug put it :-)
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Lee
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2008, 01:28:04 AM »

Never had that problem Jeff, but I would think a baking stone would help in that area anyway.

I'll PM Rip for you.
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jpinard
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2008, 02:54:16 AM »

Quote from: Lee on February 23, 2008, 01:28:04 AM

Never had that problem Jeff, but I would think a baking stone would help in that area anyway.

I'll PM Rip for you.

Thanks!

Wonderpug - sorry if I sidetracked the thread.  Like I said, do another AAR.  I love these things!
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wonderpug
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2008, 03:05:07 AM »

Quote from: jpinard on February 22, 2008, 11:10:13 PM

You've inspired me to go minimalist next time.  Your results look really good and I'm even going to go with that pizza sauce since I bet it'll be a lot better than what comes on a Papa John's or Dominos pizza.
Glad you liked the AAR.  If you're keeping it vegetarian on your upcoming minimalist attempt, it's hard to go wrong with just tomato and basil. 

Quote
If you put foil around the rolled up edge (so it doesn't get overcooked during broiling), and broil the spread out pizza dough a few minutes before putting all the toppings on, that might make the crust come out perfect.
The crust was almost where it should be, the outside crust was starting to get that perfect crispy on the outside soft on the inside texture.  I really think I just needed to let the dough warm up a bit more before I started rolling it out.  I'm going to see what happens with this allrecipes.com dough recipe before I break down and do a pre-bake.

Quote
I'd like to see pics of your stuff on the baking stone.

Here's the stone:


And with pizza #1 on top:


I had some clumsiness sliding the first pizza off of the peel and it turned it into a bit of an oval and otherwise mangled the shape.  The second pizza was much rounder. smile

If you hate soft and soggy crusts and you're going to baking more of your own pizzas, you really need to get yourself a stone ASAP.  I don't think you'll regret the purchase. 
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jpinard
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2008, 03:35:26 AM »

Sweet.  Now it makes sense.  OK one more dumb question.  What is this peel thing you're talking about?

I'm not a vegetarian, but have been trying to eat healthier (not-so processed) after seeing "Supersize Me" and getting sick from a heavy meat Papa John's pizza.  But there are plenty of meats I'd love to try.

I'm going to do that salt trick too...
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Lee
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2008, 03:41:46 AM »

The peel is the thin wooden board you can see his picture that you use to slide the pizza in out of the oven. It's a pain in the ass for the most part and the worst part about using a stone. BTW I saw a stone with a peel at Bed Bath and Beyond for like $25 today.

If you use basil/tomato, try not using sauce. it will have tons of flavor without it, and then put some extra virgin olive oil on top when it's done cooking. Be careful with raw tomato though, it has a lot of water in it that can make your pizza soggy.

And Rip said he would contact you here Jeff, watch your PMs.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2008, 06:43:19 AM »

Quote from: jpinard on February 23, 2008, 03:35:26 AM

I'm not a vegetarian, but have been trying to eat healthier (not-so processed) after seeing "Supersize Me" and getting sick from a heavy meat Papa John's pizza.  But there are plenty of meats I'd love to try.

I don't know how much the thick layer of alfredo sauce helped the healthiness of your veggie pizza. slywink  It might've been enough to make yours less healthy than my pepperoni!

The sauce I made is pretty healthy, but for an even healthier sauce try a simple fresh ingredient no-cook one like this popular one.  The only unhealthy ingredient is the measly 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, which I'm guessing is far less than you'll find in a premade sauce.

Some other healthy topping ideas besides big piles of veggies:

Aforementioned tomato & basil
Olive oil can compliment a lot of things and help you cut down on the cheese without losing too much flavor
Garlic & chicken (white meat)
Canadian bacon is fairly healthy, with pineapple or other toppings.  Canadian bacon & sauerkraut works for some people
Shrimp works for some
Morning Star vegetarian versions of pepperoni, sausage, or ground hamburger.  It's really pretty decent.
Sun dried tomato & artichoke hearts, and/or with caramelized onions
Wild mushrooms instead of plain jane mushrooms

If you have a specialty grocery store near you you might be able to find some really good chicken sausage that would be pretty good for you. 
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jpinard
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2008, 05:23:19 PM »

How do you think turkey burger would be?  You know how you can get ground beef (in little clusters) on meaty pizzas?
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« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2008, 06:25:11 PM »

If you really like your pizza, having a baking stone is a must.  Even junky $4 pizzas from the grocery store come out 10x better when you use the stone, because the crust bakes properly.

Now if you want the crust to come out less chewy, you have to either use fewer ingredients or lower the heat a bit and bake longer. 

Preheating would help, but the problem is that the typical home kitchen oven will lose a lot of heat when you open the door.  A real pizza oven gets around this, because it's just fricken huge, and the airflow inside is shaped such that most of the heat cycles around in the oven rather than flowing out the front (the front is also set below the "roof" of the oven).  In Italy, their are people who specialize just in building brick ovens- in fact, many American restaurants are flying these guys in to build their pizza ovens.

BTW, if you are having trouble with "sticky pizza" when putting it in the oven, one thing I noticed from the pizzeria is they put corn meal both on the bottom of the crust AND the pizza board.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 06:28:43 PM by unbreakable » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2013, 05:40:20 AM »

Rise from your grave! Pfft, 56K warnings. Tongue

So, I've had Marik's recipe sitting around on my hard drive for the longest time and I finally got around to trying it.

It was a disaster.

The sticky goop that came out of the bowl was unmanageable, and there was a lot. Is the dough at this point supposed to be only a little better than pancake mix?

I poured it out onto a lot of flour it and took in some, but you could forget about picking it up by hand to turn over no matter how floured my hands were.

Do I just have to keep basically rolling it in the flour until it's enough to handle? I eventually got it to be rollable, but it didn't take to being thrown at all. It just seemed I was adding in a lot.

Eventually I got it out into a pizza-like shape and baked it at 550 degrees, the highest my oven would go, for about 9 minutes and it came out a bit undercooked.

Lastly, I guess I didn't put enough flour on the bottom because practically the whole thing stuck to the metal pizza pan I used, now I'm soaking it in preparation for another try.

Still, despite this mess, what parts that were cooked were delicious, and the toppings turned out just right.

As an alternative to the usual marinara pizza sauce, try brushing the dough with olive oil, then putting down a layer of minced garlic, spread evenly. Add cheeses, and top with chicken.
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Scuzz
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2013, 09:05:53 PM »

I buy pizza dough from a local Italian Deli. I usually make 2 small pizza's rather than 1 larger one. My family likes it better on a BBQ grill than from the oven, crispier crust I think. Also we don't do a red sauce, we use olive oil, cheeses and whatever else you want. One pizza with regular cheese and one with goat cheese because my wife can't do dairy.
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Zinfan
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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2013, 11:50:22 PM »

I've used this recipe with success.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/jays-signature-pizza-crust/detail.aspx?src=VD_Summary

For a peel I'm using a super peel

http://www.amazon.com/EXO-Super-Peel-Gift-Set/dp/B002PFRXG2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1363736857&sr=8-2&keywords=super+peel

I find 5 1/2 oz of the dough rolls out thin like I like it and fits on my 15" pizza stone.  I cook it at 550-600 deg on my Big Green Egg and it comes out great.
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