Pizza Q&A.

Saranak

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Ciao a tutti,
Member asked today to give tips to make Pizza properly, this not aim at members who know how I not intend insult. This to assist get as close as possible to traditional Napoli Pizza. I need say in this I purist, I make same way as my mama make and my nonna and likely her mama also, with my time an their maybe 100 year traditions. So here go.

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza.

As all know I from Napoli the home of Pizza. It never cease amaze me how so call high street Pizzeria can take a thing that so simple yet simply destroy. They spread dubious look red stuff on God know what. The thing that thrown in box has no right be called Pizza. Any more than bottle of cheap cider be called Champagne. I not suggest all Pizza bad I think there many ristorante that make good Pizza. The classic Pizza Margherita invented 1889. So we make a little longer than Domino.

I say with most all Italian food there is no right wrong way, this not so with Pizza it right or it not right! I not pretend I know everything but same with Pasta I been making Pizza for 50 year. So I put me at disposal ask away.

Sarana x
 

medtran49

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I make a dough using just yeast, flour, salt, a tiny bit of sugar when blooming the yeast, water and some EVOO . Rolled/stretched out to a very thin crust. I try to remember to make the dough the day before so it can have a long rise in the fridge, but don't always remember. We then cook the pizzas on the grill over a wood/charcoal fire.

I usually stick to a Margherita with fresh tomato slices, no sauce, but will sometimes eat a slice or 2 of plain pepperoni if Craig makes one, and occasionally will use a combo of fresh and fresh/smoked moz, plus sauteed spinach with a pinch of red pepper flakes, and mushrooms with some garlic oil.

We don't use frozen pizza anymore other than an extremely rare French bread pizza that gets fixed up a little.

Craig makes up sauce for his pizzas, sometimes fresh, sometimes cooked, depends on his mood. He likes to use Italian sausage or meatballs, peppers and onions; as well as pepperoni, sometimes plain, sometimes with onions and/or sliced peppers.

A few weeks ago, we made pizza in a cast iron skillet in the oven. It was decent, kind of reminded us of the old Pan Pizzas from Pizza Hut, but we'd rather have wood/coal grilled pizzas.
 

Saranak

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Birmingham UK
I make a dough using just yeast, flour, salt, a tiny bit of sugar when blooming the yeast, water and some EVOO . I try to remember the make the dough the day before so it can have a long rise in the fridge, but don't always remember. We then cook the pizzas on the grill over a wood/charcoal fire.

I usually stick to a Margherita with fresh tomato slices, no sauce, but will sometimes eat a slice or 2 of plain pepperoni if Craig makes one, and occasionally will use a combo of fresh and fresh/smoked moz, plus sauteed spinach with a pinch of red pepper flakes, and mushrooms with some garlic oil.

We don't use frozen pizza anymore other than an extremely rare French bread pizza that gets fixed up a little.

Craig makes up sauce for his pizzas, sometimes fresh, sometimes cooked, depends on his mood. He likes to use Italian sausage or meatballs, peppers and onions; as well as pepperoni, sometimes plain, sometimes with onions and/or sliced peppers.

A few weeks ago, we made pizza in a cast iron skillet in the oven. It was decent, kind of reminded us of the old Pan Pizzas from Pizza Hut, but we'd rather have wood/coal grilled pizzas.
I always make sourdough base. Chopped San Marzano tomato, Mozzarella di Bufala 3 - 4 baslico leaf in my Margherita . Only Pizza my Bambini eat.

Sarana x
 

medtran49

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I've had limited success. Both mine died after several weeks. How long have you had the same sourdough starter? Do you feed it every day or keep it in the fridge until you want to use it, then activate?
I'm surprised knowing you. I've kept sourdough growing for months when I've made it, finally throwing it out because Craig got tired of sourdough breads. If I remember correctly, it's been a while, once you get it going, you only need to feed and remove some once a week or so. I've still got the book where I got the starter recipe from if you want me to dig it out. I did start it with some commercial yeast though.
 

TastyReuben

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As anyone who's been here a while knows, I make pizza all the time. I also make pizza in any number of styles, which is one of the things that makes it some much fun and entertaining. Many times just the same basic ingredients, but they can be combined so many different ways, and prepared so many different ways, it's just too much fun.

If I'm making pizza, I'm HAPPY! I don't care what else is going on. If I'm making pizza, I'm HAPPY! 😊

I love Neapolitan style, NY big slice, grandma pizza, New Haven apizza, Greek style pizza, Detroit style pizza, St. Louis style pizza, Sicilian style, Chicago thin, Chicago deep dish (the very polarizing "pizza casserole"), thin crust, thick crust, hand tossed, stretched, rolled, you name it, I like it.

As the old saying goes, "Pizza is like sex, even when it's bad, it's good." :)

Locally, we have a chain out of Dayton, OH (Cassano's Pizza King) that I like a lot. The crust is a cracker crust, reminiscent of the old Pizza Hut Thin 'N' Crispy (but much, much better), it's as close to a saltine cracker you can find for a pizza crust. So light, I could eat five of them.

At home, for a quick lunch, I'll frequently make bar/tavern pizza - heat a cast iron skillet in a 500F oven, then put it on a medium burner, throw in some oil and a flour tortilla.

Working quickly, add sauce, a light amount of toppings (this is a thin crust), and cheese. Get the sauce and the cheese right out to the edge, because you want it to caramelize a bit along the edge.

Back in the oven for a few minutes, until the top is melted how you like, then back on the burner to char the bottom.

Take it out, onto a rack to cool and (very important) cut it into bite-sized squares (called tavern or party cut). Takes all of 10 minutes, and it's good without being overly filling.
 

medtran49

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There was a Mexican restaurant we used to go to that made what they called fajitzas. They made either 14 or 16 inch tortillas, a light Mexican type tomato sauce, with beef, chicken or shrimp fajita fillings, with a Mexican melting cheese. They were yummy!

Our DD was still at home and going to a local college before she went to NOLA. she had a part time job at the dry cleaners that pretty much only employed college kids next door to the restaurant. They used the kids as a sounding board for new menu items. Let me tell you, the fajitzas went over very well.
 
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TastyReuben

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My own tips, in no particular order:

Let dough sit overnight, if possible, but have a good same-day dough recipe as well.

Use a good pizza stone or baking steel. Those cheap stones from Target/Walmart, you'll likely buy those over and over again

Depending on the style, preheat your oven as high as it'll go, and let it preheat for a full hour to really heat the stone

Make your own sauce, it's easy, but find a jarred brand you can live with as a backup

Whole milk mozzarella, please

Cool your baked pizza on a wire rack for about five minutes, to let the toppings settle and to allow the crust to cool without becoming soggy

Don't overload with toppings if it's a thin crust
 

Morning Glory

Obsessive cook
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I'm surprised knowing you.
I will take this as a compliment. :D Truth be told I think I got bored and a bit sloppy. I am not much good at repetitious things. To me, cooking is an adventure and if it isn't new all the time I get bored. I rarely cook the same thing twice, let alone keep a sour dough going.:ohmy:
Ciao MG,
I keep in fridge an take and feed one time a week. You say die is tight seal?
Sarana x
The seal was fine. Its me that was slack.
 
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