Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Pizza

Pizza that Italian gift to world, pizza that food that no one can really tell where it did come and by who, pizza is always a pizza.

In Finland we have kebab-pizzeria in about every city little or big! Sometimes we get great pizza and sometimes we hope that it was just after bars closed so we would not have any idea what we are eating! Those pizzas can be "homemade" dough or ready frozen ones that taste like cardboard.

When we go to market there is these microwave pizzas (roiskeläppä) that is never seen real pizza, frozen ones that need little tuning before going oven (comes out ok most of times), kind of fresh market pizzas with too thick dough and then some more. Finnish people do eat a lot of pizza but they eat these mediocre ones and don't even know how make one himself!  

Copyright: Gaploon
Seriously PIZZA IS EASY TO MAKE dammit!

My recipe to dough:

2 ½ dl water
1 pack (11g) dry (instant) yeast
3 dl durum flours
around 2 dl all purpose flours (have to look that dough little)
½ ts salt
½ ts sugar
2 tbs oil
+ dry herbs and/or pizza seasoning
You can make pizza with all purpose flours alone, taste and texture change little but it's still really good.
  1. Get everything you need on table and if you can measure ingredients ready to add. This way you know if you are missing something and are not in too much hurry making stupid mistakes. Don't combine flours together! You may not need all of it to dough. Take your baking sheet/pizza stone and cut baking paper to fit it you need one per pizza. This will make sizing dough later very much more easy.
  2. Now get medium size bowl and add warm water (around 42°c or 107.6°F little warmer than body temp) to the bowl.
  3. Mix yeast to durum flours and add them to the water. If you are using only all purpose flour, mix yeast to small amount of flour, it's really possible that you don't need all flour!
  4. Add salt and sugar and some herbs.
  5. Start to kneed dough and add all purpose flour until texture is soft but not longer wet. If it feels like rubber you used too much flour.
  6. Add oil and possible some more herbs and flour.
  7. Leave dough to rise on warm place under kitchen towel. Do part 7 NOW!
  8. Crank your oven to hot as it gets! If you have pizza stone use it or put baking tray to oven so it get nice and hot. Hot surface makes start cooking bottom of pizza so it get nice crunch and if you made everything right you get those nice "bubbles" on edge of your pizza!
  9. Split the dough. You can make 2 sheets or 3 pizzeria style round ones (~180-190 g per ball).
  10. Round pizza: take one ball and start working it to to thin or thicker round pie. Max diameter of pizza will be ruled by your pizza stone or sheet you make it to. Make pizza roughly right size on floured surface and transport it to baking paper and re-check size if you did measure and cut paper. Now that is ready to be topped with what you want. Some people will slide pizza right to baking stone or oven but I do not know that trick.

    Sheet pizza: Size of the pizza is ruled by you and size of baking sheet you gonna cook it in. My sheets are 50cm wide (~ 19.68 inch) so I get 2 sheets of pizza from this size of dough. Roll dough roughly right size on floured surface, transport it to baking paper and then do some finishing touches on size and thickness. Now it is ready to be topped with that you want.

    Tip: Using ready cut baking paper makes sizing pizzas really easy if your pans are "normal size". Easy way to transport ready rolled dough is to wrap it around rolling pin.
  11. Thats it with dough! Now you will just make your pizza taste like you want and put it to owen. Baking time will different with how wet and much you use fillings and how much cheese you put. To me it's around 15 minutes in 250°c (482°F).
Copyright: Gaploon
Extra tip!
First put ketchup or tomato pyre, then some cheese and then filling! Maybe little mozzarella cheese to top it all. If you put lots of cheese on top it will seal all liquid in and possibly make your pizza sloppy mess. I'm not a fan of that kind of pizza byt my parents like extra-extra-extra cheesy pizza.

Choose only 2 or 4 fillings. If they very wet ones then choose only one or two. You don't want too much topping so you can eat it on slices.

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If your dough feels little like a plastic when working it, next time try use less flour.

You can crack raw egg top of your pizza before putting it to oven. Egg pizza, why not.

Dough can be made before hand. You can make dough let it rise, kneal it to balls and wrap ball in plastic and put them to cold. Before you make pizza's take them to warm and let them to rise 30min or so and work them to pies. I know people who roll pies ready (no filling) and then put them to cold.
There are even those who makes dough pies and freeze them.

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