Author Topic: Advice On How to Cook Pizza In a Home Oven Without a Pizza Stone. Need help.  (Read 3765 times)

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Offline A-Neibs

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I made some pizza for a friend the other night and he loved it. He asked me if I could teach the youth at the church he attends, to make pizza as an activity. He wants them to learn some life skills of knowing how to prepare a meal. This Wednesday, we are having a little pizza party and I will be teaching these 16 or so year olds how to make the dough and sauce, and eventually how to cook the pizza. Most of them probably have never cooked a real meal, so I will share what I've learned, but I will keep it basic as well. The plan is for them to take the dough home and cook a pizza for their family. I want everything to go smoothly, but I realized that most of these kids probably have never even heard of a pizza stone. There's a chance that some of the parents might have one, but thats not a guarantee. I'm going to recommend to them that if they get serious about making pizza, that they should invest in one, but I realize that some of them might just want to cook their dough and never really get into it. The first time I made pizza I bought a stone, so It's the only way I know to cook a pizza. I need some advice on what I should tell them to do in order to cook a pizza in a home oven with the possibilty that they wont have a stone. Other than buying a stone, whats the next best option? Again, these are kids that havent cooked much so I want to keep it simple. No Jeff V cleaning cycles or anything like that :). Thanks for any input. It's greatly appreciated!


Offline patnx2

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Pre heat oven as high as it gets for 15 minutes and bake on a sheet pan or pizza pan. A good recipe to teach with is Reinharts contry pizza from the Pizza quest site. It is an easy recipe to do. I taught a group of 6 and 7 year olds and it was fun. Make a batch with the kids and bring a few balls that are mixed and fermented for the kids to play with. Have fun.
 Patrick
Patrick

scott123

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I need to teach some young adults how to fix a car, but I'm relatively certain that they don't have wrenches.  Can anyone give me advice on how to fix a car without wrenches?  ;D

A-Neibs, if you're going to teach these kids how to make pizza, it should really be how to make the best pizza possible.  Pizza made in a pan in a home oven, at least the style of pizza that most of us non-Chicagoans define as pizza  :P, is worse than mediocre.  I lost about a decade after making pizza in a pan, because I thought if that was the best I could do, why do it?

Imo, it's way better for one or two of these kids to get amped, buy the right equipment and make great pizza, then for a larger number of them to go with a pan workaround, be disappointed with the lackluster results and never make pizza again.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 10:14:37 AM by scott123 »

Online Tscarborough

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I do not think you have to have a stone to make good pizza in the oven.  Generally, if you start it on a pan on the lowest rack, then remove it after about 3 minutes and put it on the upper rack for another 5 or so, you can get a balanced cook with an AP or bread dough.


Offline johnamus

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The technique for baking on a stone requires additional skills compared to the technique for baking on a pan.  Perhaps you could demo both techniques so that they can get a good feel for the differences in technique - as well as the differences in the finished product!  This demo might give them motivation to ask their parents to buy a pizza stone.

For the pan pizza, perhaps you could teach them the Ohio Valley Style.  The process is to spread a little oil on the pan before spreading the dough in order to fry the bottom of the dough during a cheeseless yet sauced bake.  The baked pizza is removed from the oven, sprinkled with mozzarella/provolone and placed into a box to steam.  Out of all the commercial panned pizza's I've had the pleasure of tasting (Giordano's, Malnati's, Pizza Hut...) the pizza served at a few pizzeria's in the Ohio Valley is by far the best of the bunch.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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I am also an advocate of starting the pizza on a low rack position and then moving it to a higher rack position when I don't have a pizza stone to bake on. Additionally, make sure the cookie sheet, or the pan you're baking the pizzas in are dark colored. TIP: DO NOT use an airbake pan. The bottom crust won't color up.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline A-Neibs

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Thanks for the replies everybody.

Scott123, I do plan on teaching them how to make the best pizzas they can in the home oven setting. I am going to take my stone and my peel and show them how I make my pizzas. I'm going to cook a few pizzas for them and show them how to stretch the dough, use a peel, etc. As I said, I am going to strongly recommend that they go buy a stone. The reason I wrote this post is I understand that the possibility exists that some of them wont rush out to buy a stone. They will already have a dough and sauce that are made. I want to know how they should cook it just in case they dont go buy a stone.

Offline Jet_deck

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A-Neibs if you want a pizza in a pan, Peter set me up with a killer recipe.  The pictures are here : [url][/urlhttp://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12806.msg132648.html#msg132648]

Although it doesn't require a peel, I highly suggest it.  They could learn alot from eating one of these, or getting to top it before it goes into the oven.  Super simple, easy and very impressive.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

parallei

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A-Neibs,

Sounds like fun, and quite heroic of you. 8)

As far as needing all the "right" equipment,  I think you have the right idea.  Much more important to show them that cooking can be fun, and that good food is a great thing to share with your friends.  It is O.K. to improvise!

Good luck and let us know how it went...photos!

Online Tscarborough

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Preheat the oven long enough to reach max temp, it only takes about 15 minutes for mine to get to 550 degrees.

Shape the skin on the counter then move it to the pan.  I have been oiling the pan for a slightly fried crust, but you do not have to do so.  Once the skin is on the pan, spread the sauce then the cheese and finally the toppings.  Less is always better, as a rule. 

Put the pizza into the oven on the lowest rack and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.  Remove the pizza from the pan (take it out and shake it side to side to release it), then put the pizza sans pan on the upper rack.  Give it another 3-4 minutes until done.  You can use the pan itself as a peel in a pinch, but I have an inexpensive pair of pan-grabbers.

Always let the pizza cool for 3-4 more minutes on a rack before cutting,

If you have 2 ovens and 3 pans you can turn out 4 pizzas every 12-15 minutes.


Offline A-Neibs

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I just got the pics back from this little event we had. I know that they're a little late :D. We had a great time and they all loved the pizza. They even made us all little chef hats. I think it was a great experience for all of these young men.


Offline A-Neibs

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More Pics

parallei

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Looks like it was a good time!  I'm sure the young men appreciated your efforts, and the eats.....

buceriasdon

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Great pics! Thanks for sharing with us ;D
Don

Offline norma427

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A-Neibs,

What a nice event!  :)  The pizzas look great too.  I really like the chef hats.  :chef:

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!


 

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