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Pizza tips for new folks on the list

icemncmthicemncmth Posts: 1,157
edited 2:21PM in EggHead Forum
Several of us on the list make a lot of pizzas. I bought my egg pretty much for making breads and pizzas. I do use it for a lot of things but pizza is what I do best.

So here are a few tips.

When you are making a sauce and you taste it and the seasonings taste right..add more!! Remember a small amount will be on the pizza and can get lost with all of the other flavors.

If you are doing a simple pizza sometimes I just use crushed tomatoes out of the can as sauce and sprinkle with salt, pepper...

Fresh firm veggies...(peppers, onion...etc) these have a lot of water in them so they can be very bland. Nuke them with a little oil and some salt and pepper or roast them in the oven. Grill them on your egg. Do something different with them..

Soft Veggies...( tomatoes, eggplant, squash etc) these really hold a lot of water. I love to take tomatoes and sprinkle them with salt and put on paper towels to drain. Same goes with eggplant and squash..I also love to grill them!!!!

Shrooms...Several ways to do them. Some slice them very thin while others just quarter them. You can saute them with garlic and thyme for add flavor.

Meats...

One rule for meats..Spice them up!!!! I like to precook the meats and when I do if it tastes good in the pan ..I add more spice!!!

Pepperoni trick..and or sliced deli meat. Put them on layers of paper towels and then cover with a couple paper towels. Nuke them for 15 sec or so just to warm them and to let some of the grease run off!!

Bacon...Most people who like bacon on pizza like crunchy bacon.

Chicken. Don't overcook the chicken before you put it on the pizza..It will dry out and absorb a lot of water out of your sauce!!!!

Cheese!!!!!!!!!

Mix your cheese with different types and NEVER buy pre-shredded cheese. The reason you don't want pre-shredded is ...most of the time it is covered with corn starch to keep it from clumping. But cheese from your deli and either slice it or shred it yourself.

I use a mix of Low moisture motz, Havarti, a little white cheddar and jack. The reason is. Havarti has a low melting point..Motz because it has some pull to it..cheddar because it has a bite and Jack because it has a med melting point with a different snap than cheddar. So when I cook a pizza some of my cheese melts into a creamy texture and the rest help with flavor and textures..


Dough trick...Most people don't use baker percents when baking. Most use cups!..Well it works but you need to understand a cup of flour today won't be the same in two days or even sometimes hours depend on the humidity in the air. ( if you live in AZ don't worry about it !!)

There are two great dough tricks..

1. make your dough 3 days ahead of time and put it in an oiled zip bag and squeeze out all of the air an make sure the bag is way too large. Take the dough out 4 hours before you need it. Putting the dough in the fridge right after you make it retards the life cycle of the yeast. This adds flavor and texture to the dough.

2. Autolyse!!..A big word kids but one of the most important steps in making pizza. Take any dough recipe...Take half of the flour and half of the water and mix those two together. Let sit for 30 mins and then start your recipe. What you are doing is allowing some of the flour to bloom and absorb the water. It makes for a better dough and texture when you eat it. Now you may have to add some more water to your recipe in the end to get the right "feel"...

Most people make a dough ball and don't think about how the flour is still absorbing the water. That is why a lot of people don't like their crust them make. It is just too dry!..

Your dough should be slightly tacky when you put it in the fridge.

Hydration is the key to dough. Hydration is the biggest part of dough making. More water is actually better.

OK...one last thing ...Know what type of pizza you like...

NY style
Chicago Style
Neapolitan
American
Thin
Thick
Cracker
California
Sicilian

I say this because when you ask a question on the list like..

I need a good pizza dough recipe...that is kind of wide open..

Just like asking I need a good BBQ sauce recipe.

There is a huge difference between Sicilian pizza and NY style pizza..

OK..that is it for now I probably lost most of you at the beginning!..

Comments

  • This looks really helpful! Lots of good information there. We bought our egg for pizza and bread, too, but we haven't made pizza yet.

    How would your technique work with Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes- style doughs, I wonder?
  • MtnBlueMtnBlue Posts: 109
    Great stuff! Thanks for the tips. Pizza is next on my list to try on the BGE.
  • roosterrooster Posts: 252
    some good stuff!
  • icemncmthicemncmth Posts: 1,157
    I make a lot of Artisan bread..I have a few starters and one has been in my family over 80 years..

    When you do bread make sure you "clean" the egg before you bake in it. I always run a small load of lump up to 650 deg and let it burn itself out. That will get rid of the grease.

    Now for bread it really depends on the crust you want. If you want a nice crust that has a good crunch I will mist the dough with water for the first 2 mins of baking.

    Bake your bread the same as you would in an oven. If you are going to use a high heat you may need to adjust your hydration level of your dough. I usually add about 5% more water than my recipe lists if I am starting off with a new recipe.


    This is a good recipe to try. A little sweet but that can be adjusted..

    BOB'S BASIC SOURDOUGH BREAD RECIPE

    Yield: 3 large loaves or 4 small loaves



    INGREDIENTS:

    Sugar - 2/3 cup (144 grams)
    Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup (120 grams)
    1 teaspoon salt (8 grams)
    1 cup active starter (273 grams)
    1-1/2 cups warm water (364 grams)
    6 cups bread flour (810 grams)

    I start with 5 cups of bread flour and then add the remaining cup as needed,
    depending on the humidity.

    Mix ingredients in a large bowl.

    Grease or oil a container. (I use a clear, straight-sided plastic container)

    Put dough in container and flip over to cover top of dough with oil or grease.

    Cover with a clean, damp cloth.

    Let stand 6-8 hours or overnight.

    Punch down and divide into 3 parts. Knead each part 8-10 times on a lightly
    floured surface.

    Shape and put into 3 greased (I use a non-stick cooking spray) pans and brush tops
    with oil (or butter).

    Cover and let rise 4-5 hours. I put pans in a large plastic bag and tuck the
    ends under the pans to make it airtight. Make sure you "tent" the bags.

    Bake at 325F to 350F for 30-35 minutes. I use an instant read thermometer to
    205F.

    After baked, for a softer crust, brush tops with butter and cool on cooling rack covered with a
    towel.

    When cool, wrap in plastic cling wrap, then aluminum foil and freeze.
  • KitarkusKitarkus Posts: 149
    thanks for the helpful information....especially the dough hydration..I'll keep that in mind on my next pizza outing.
  • EggieGEggieG Posts: 81
    Thanks for the tips...
  • Can anyone answer RiverRat's question about the recipes in Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes? As it's a very slack dough, I imagine it fits icemncmth's requirements, but has anyone actually used it for pizza in the Egg?

    Judy
    San Diego B)
    Judy in San Diego
  • Judy, that's funny because I've been wondering the same exact thing.
    I thinnnnnnnnk, that when I was in a bookstore a couple day's ago, that there was a pizza dough recipe in it...
    I couldn't decide whether to buy that book, or the America's Test Kitchen's big book on baking...
    They are both excellent...
    If I get the book anytime soon, I'll post the recipe..
    RicklessssssssS in Oregon
  • Hope my next pizzas will be even better. Cheers.
  • Thanks man! I've been meaning to send you an email to ask for your dough recipe. I remembered that you go by weight so I'm curious to see it.

    I was just contemplating buying a sourdough starter from King Aurther Four so your timing is great!

    Any chance of you doing some artisan bread in April?

    Bruce
  • Ricklesss wrote:
    Judy, that's funny because I've been wondering the same exact thing.
    I thinnnnnnnnk, that when I was in a bookstore a couple day's ago, that there was a pizza dough recipe in it...
    I couldn't decide whether to buy that book, or the America's Test Kitchen's big book on baking...
    They are both excellent...
    If I get the book anytime soon, I'll post the recipe..
    RicklessssssssS in Oregon

    There is a pizza dough recipe in there. In fact, they say that several of their bread doughs will work for pizza. I'm just wondering whether it needs any extra tweaking for baking on the Egg. My regular bread didn't so probably this wouldn't, either.
  • icemncmthicemncmth Posts: 1,157
    5 min style doughs usually have a really high hydration..someplace around 85% they work just the same as the oven in your house but better on the egg because you have hot air passing through the egg at all times while baking.!
  • icemncmthicemncmth Posts: 1,157
    Probably will but it depends on my work load. You can make your own starter....
  • mkcmkc Posts: 540
    Judy Mayberry wrote:
    Can anyone answer RiverRat's question about the recipes in Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes? As it's a very slack dough, I imagine it fits icemncmth's requirements, but has anyone actually used it for pizza in the Egg?

    Judy
    San Diego B)

    Leslie and Judy,

    I've used the European Peasant Bread dough for pizza on the Egg, kneading in a little olive oil when I initially pull the piece of dough from the bucket. It does work well as long as you have a "carrier" like semolina-coated parchment (or a SuperPeel) to transfer it to the Egg. Otherwise, it's a bit high hydration for easy transfer to the pizza stone (and sticks like a bugger to parchment if you don't use semolina).

    I prefer a 61-65% hydration dough that uses high gluten flour (like Sir Lancelot or unbleached, unbromated All Trumps) for our NY style pizzas. It produces a more traditional pizza, less bread-like, crust than the ABin5 I've done. The two dough recipes I use most with the Egg are from the NY Style subtopic on the pizzamaking.com discussion board - Flagpull's and JerryMac's (the latter especially with the Pete-zaa cool rise modification). I also like our own Fidel's Mellow Mushroom dough.

    For those looking at Chicago Deep Dish, you can't beat BTB's Malnati Clone with 15-20% semolina, also on the pizzamaking.com board (its thread is a sticky at the top of the Chicago Style sub-topic).

    Speaking of all this, it's time to take my JerryFlagPete 3 day cool rise experimental dough out of the fridge for tonight's pepperoni, peperocini, red onion 'za....
    Egging in Denton, Texas
  • Hey, I've got a SuperPeel! But I discovered pizza screens and never have to worry about the dough transfer. I have to say the SuperPeel is a really cool invention, though.

    Judy
    Judy in San Diego
  • cookn bikercookn biker Posts: 13,407
    Thanks ice, bookmarked.
    Molly
    Colorado Springs
    "Loney Queen"
    "Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it."
    Bill Bradley; American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, former U.S. Senator from New Jersey
    LBGE, MBGE, SBGE , MiniBGE and a Mini Mini BGE
  • Okay, what's a SuperPeel? And what are super screens? I use a standard wooden pizza peel with cornmeal sprinkled on it and don't normally have any trouble getting the resting dough off it and onto the pizza stone, but then I've never made pizza with the 5 minute recipe - just boules and baguettes.

    I would rather use the ABin5 recipes for pizza dough because I have a serious space problem in my refrigerator (so much for thinking that now that the kids are gone I can get by with a smaller one!) and I can't dedicate enough space in it for the time needed to go through a standard dough rising.
  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    Good tips for old timers like me too.

    There really should be a place where it's easy to get to your full set of tips on hot cooks etc.
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