July 27, 2004

An Attempt At Making Some Pizza

POST #    1179

Armed with several housewarming gifts, I attempted to make a homemade pizza last night. With a pizza book from Christiona, a pizza peel and a pizza stone from Adam, everything seemed so simple.

There was a thought of making my own pizza dough (I actually bought the ingredients), but after a stop at my local pizzeria, I acquired some real pizza dough for $3. Score! I attempted to cut the dough in half to make half the large pizza, but I had major issues trying to turn the first half into circle. After giving up, I took the other half and left it as a malformed semi-circle.

Everything seemed to be going well. I preheated the pizza stone to 500°, which seemed too hot, so I lowered it to 400°. After placing the "pizza" onto the stone, it seemed like I was set. About 25 minutes later, the pizza looked done and the cheese was very toasted, so I turned off the oven. Sadly, the crust in the middle was soggy and didn't seem to be totally cooked, so it stuck to the pizza stone. The crust in the back also seemed to be a little uncooked.

It seemed to be a good start, considering I've never even bought flour before. Hopefully, I only need to try 3 or 4 more times before I make something decent. The crust was uncooked, the cheese was too cooked. There were major issues with the consistency of the crust. What was cooked though, was decent, but overloaded with tomato sauce. All mental notes for the future.

When finished, I used the stainless steel soap from Eleanor and Masako, but thankfully not the toilet paper from Necia. Of course, I washed all this down with some water in the glasses from Jonathan and Fan.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:33 AM

 

 

mmm...pancreas-shaped pizza. im feeling hungry, and slightly nauseous.

Posted by: halo | veritech pilot at July 27, 2004 7:57 AM

Heat the stone as hot as you can. In a previous apartment, my oven went to 600, and I'd run it at that. The hot stone should cook the crust quickly and avoid the dough-sticking issue.

Posted by: Adam at July 27, 2004 9:37 AM

Another trick is to make the crust as even as possible-- when shaping the dough, lift it and rotate from time to time. It stretches it out more evenly and will help to achieve a circle.

Posted by: corie at July 27, 2004 9:42 AM

a few tricks to use:

the oven can never be too hot. crank it up as high as it goes and leave the pizza stone in there for at least half an hour to get it heated up.

sprinkle some cornmeal onto the stone to help keep the dough from sticking.

roll out the dough thinner. and use toppings sparingly (which you did nicely). the pizza should only take about 10-12 minutes to cook.

and while making your own dough is fun, buying it from your neighborhood pizzeria is just so much easier and usually better.

but definitely an admirable first attempt. it just takes some practice...

Posted by: pete at July 27, 2004 9:45 AM

i got the oven to 500 before i turned it down to 450 because there was some metal warping noise. i'm sure it was because i had never gotten the temp that high before.

as far as spreading the dough out evenly, i've got some work to do. if i have time, i'll try to do it this weekend.

Posted by: tien at July 27, 2004 9:52 AM

Although it looks semi-retarded, picture #3 looks quite tasty. I'm sure we'll soon hear of a pizza-making party?

Posted by: christina at July 27, 2004 9:54 AM

I echo everyone who said the hotter the better, and get the stone super-hot before you put the pizza in. And ditto for the cornmeal. Easy on the sauce, too. Not bad for a first attempt!

Posted by: Laren at July 27, 2004 12:02 PM

thanks for all the excellent advice. now i really want to try it again this weekend. i hope the pizza people don't get too irked by my constant dough buying.

Posted by: tien at July 27, 2004 5:54 PM

The dough is easy enough to make if they do get irked.

How well does the stainless steel soap work?

Posted by: joe s at July 27, 2004 6:29 PM

does that soap work? i saw it in the store but thought maybe it was a trick.

Posted by: rachelleb at July 28, 2004 7:47 AM

i don't think it claims to actually clean your hands, but to get rid of scents. so far, so good. i have yet to use it with anything really stinky though. just popcorn and cheese.

Posted by: tien at July 28, 2004 7:50 AM

Tien,

You can buy 2-packs of frozen dough in many supermarkets. It's not the best, but it's decent. It's usually next to the frozen ravioli. Take out a ball of dough in the morning, put it in an oiled bowl, and cover it. By the time you get home, it will be thawed and may even have risen a bit.

Were you trying to make it round? A good trick is to put the flattened dough on your fist and rotating it, pulling it on all sides.

Good luck!

Posted by: astrid at July 28, 2004 10:35 AM

astrid, i looked long and hard for the dough in my local associated, but i couldn't find any. the polish must make their own dough or something.

thanks for the flattening tip.

Posted by: tien at July 28, 2004 10:47 AM

yes, the soap is for getting rid of smells. we figured you could rub your hands on your stainless steel fridge instead, but the little soap is a nice size. i have to say that toilet paper is probably one of the best housewarming gifts ever.

Posted by: el at July 28, 2004 10:55 AM

Excellent first effort. I am hungry now.

Posted by: Jen at July 29, 2004 4:50 PM

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