Ok... my first pizzamaking.com pizza making experience was a great success. A couple of lessons learned...
#1 - Learn how to toss. Preferably before your first attempt. My biggest regret was not fully realizing how to manipulate the dough properly... I tried using my hands to stretch it out as spinning on the countertop, but it wasn't working. The dough would retract too quickly, collect too much flour on the ends, begin folding under itself, just not good. My attempts at spinning were fun, but resulted in a crazy oval shaped dough. Ugh.
#2 - Buy a pizza stone (or quarry tiles). I wasn't quite satisfied with the crust "doneness" without them. That said, reheating the pizza the next dough resulted in an incredibly crisp bottom while the middle (where the sauce hits the crust) was yummy chewy. Best next day pizza I've *ever*
#3 - Go with 6 in 1 versus Allegro. Not that I've tried 6 in 1 yet, but for $.50 more a can, I'm trying that next. Allegro wasn't bad, but it wasn't that great either. It was just there.
#4 - Better cheese. As I mentioned, Roundy's Premium whole milk shredded Mozzarella was on sale for $1.79 per 8oz bag. It was fine. Just not memorable. When I think of all the great pizzeria pizzas I've had, the cheese is so important. Smoky, salty, buttery... it's got flavor. The Roundy's had the right consistency, but lacked in punch.
#5 - Better seasonings. Since the cheese and sauce were somewhat bland, and the crust was pretty bland too, I'd like to experiment with more seasonings. I started sprinkling on the aged Parmesan and assorted herbs (oregano, basil) on the final few pies, that helped, but I think I need some garlic too.
Ok... things that worked...
#1 - Sautéing the onions, green peppers and mushrooms before topping. Oh, YUM. I sautéed these up with butter and olive oil and spread handfuls across my deluxe pizzas before layering on the sausage. Maybe I add some garlic there? They were SO TASTY!
#2 - Pizza screens. These guys worked great. $3.99 each at GFS. Perfect.
#3 - Bob Evans Italian Sausage. Yeah, it comes in a tube. But Bob Evans makes the *best* breakfast sausage, so I gave their Italian a whirl. Not spicy by any stretch of the imagination, but very flavorful. And crazy cheap.
#4 - Reheating. As I mentioned above, reheating the next day was UN-FREAKIN'-BELIEVABLE. All the flavors came together, the crust was phenomenal, mmmmmmmm
Next up, I've been reading the Home Run Inn recipes... I really want a flavorful butter crust. Bubba's crust was good, but not as much flavor as I like. I'm a Chicago boy. I want a crust (Home Run Inn, Lou Malnati's) that takes my breath away. Some of the pan recipes, that cook up in a wealth of oil, also pique my interest...