Saturday, September 3, 2011

Home Pizza Baking Guide

The secret to our pizza dough is the yeast; we use a wild yeast culture (grown in our bakery) which creates the complexity of flavors that brings out the most desirable qualities for your pizza toppings. So our dough is excellent without adding sugar, fat, or oil; just flour, water, barley malt (sprouted barley), yeast and salt

Here are some hints to making a great pizza and feel free to write us with questions or comments; or leave a comment here.

Dough Preparation. Store the dough in the refrigerator up to two days before use; the dough is ready to use (but thaw overnight in a refrigerator if it has been frozen); no need to let it sit out or “rise.” Just cut the dough ball to the size you want and roll it out to your desired thickness. Generally, one pound of dough makes two eight inch pizzas. Place the rolled out dough directly on an oiled flat sheet pan (or you can use parchment which tends to burn in a hot oven but makes it easier to move/slide the pizza around before baking if needed).

Top as desired. Plain canned tomato sauce works great; a small 6 oz. can is just the right size for 1 pound of dough. There really is no need for cooked sauce or specialty pizza sauce; but they work great. Just check the ingredients on the can; add salt if none is listed. The dough is rugged and can hold a lot, but be sure not to overload the pizza with items that will shed moisture while baking and cause the dough to fall apart.

Bake at high heat.   Ideally, pizza is baked between 700 and 800 degrees; this is why you will often see a fire burning inside authentic brick pizza ovens. But you can successfully bake in your kitchen oven or, even better, on your outside grill at lower temperatures. Turn the oven/grill to the highest heat it can go and heat oven for at least 15 minutes, 25 minutes if using stones. Baking stones are ideal as they help keep the oven hot after opening and closing; the stones hold retained heat and release it when the oven temperature goes down thus keeping the highest possible heat. Consumer “pizza stones” are troublesome because they tend to break if they get hot and wet; and their size and shape sometimes don’t work well. We recommend unglazed quarry tile which you can buy cheaply at any hardware store that sells floor tiles; they come in 6 inch squares which you can piece together in your oven/grill as desired and easily remove and store away when cool. For best results bake one pizza at a time and give the oven/grill time to reheat between bakes; this helps keep the oven hot. You can always put a baked-but-cooled-down pizza back in the oven/grill to heat up again. Each pizza should take about 10-15 minutes to bake completely.

No comments: