We take our pizza seriously. Matt and I have been making homemade pizza dough for the last seven years, and perfecting our recipe along the way. I’m not exactly sure where this obsession started, but I’ll chalk it up to living in the country. Out here going out is not really an option, or at least there are not a lot of options to choose from. It’s definitely forced us to become more creative with our last minute recipes and pushed us to become experts on those things we enjoy. I say “expert” but that would probably be an overstatement. We do, however, enjoy cooking. Thank goodness. We would be miserable or living off of Doritos if we didn’t (which means either way we’d end up miserable).
Our first pizzas were baked in our cast iron skillet. They were definitely more along the lines of deep dish, but the crust was bready and thick. However once we got a pizza stone the cast iron was out. Along the way Matt dreamed about building a wood fired oven, but we are not in a house to do that so the plans never went farther than a day dream. However, wood fired pizza was essentially what we were after. What was the best we could make at home? Finally Matt found this recipe on Serious Eats and it’s brought us leaps and bounds closer to what we are after. One of the best/worst parts was that you had to make it in advance – saving us time on the days we planned ahead and leaving us moping around the house when we forgot to get it ready. On the upside, the recipe easily makes two-three crusts, so you can either have enough to feed a few people or save a crust for later in the week (it makes great garlic knots too).
Most of our tricks come from how we actually cook pizza in a home oven so it most closely resembles wood fired in the crisp and chewy sense. It’s a multi step process that goes like this:
-put the pizza stone in the oven
-preheat the oven to 550
-a few minutes before putting the pizza in, switch to broil (this might vary depending on how your broiler works)
-slide the pizza on the stone with a peel or a tray dusted with cornmeal / flour
-broil for 1-2 minutes then switch back to 550 for the remainder of cooking (usually 5-8 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling
We recently heard great reviews for Baking Steel, and are putting it on our wish list to replace the stone as it holds heat + distributes more evenly
The recipe for our dough is as follows : adapted from Serious Eats : Basic New York Style Pizza
4 1/2 c bread flour* | 1 1.2 T sugar | 1 T salt | 2t active dry yeast
combine in a food processor and pulse, then add
3 T olive oil | 15 ounces lukewarm water
Turn processor on as you add liquids and continue until a ball is formed and rolls around 15-30 seconds
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead 1-2 times until smooth. Should pass the windowpane test, or be able to stretch thin enough that it can be transparent like a window. Divide dough into 2-3 parts and put each in an airtight container or ziploc bag – then place in the fridge and allow to rise at least 1 day. Remove from the fridge, shape into balls and allow to rest at room temp for 2 hours before baking. See instructions above for our baking techniques. ENJOY + I hope it works as well for you as it does for us.
*we are working on the right ratio of 00 flour + bread flour and will update – but we often use just bread flour