Author Topic: help!  (Read 1757 times)

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Offline N

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help!
« on: January 03, 2008, 02:03:32 PM »
hello, all you pizza lovers out there! 

I was ecstatic at receiving a pizza stone for Christmas and tried my first pie on New Years Eve...oh, boy...didn't turn out too well...the dough didn't have any flavor and stuck like mortar to the pizza stone...(sigh)...I have looked a little bit on-line at this site and others today and read about "peels", semolina vs corn meal, blowing under the dough, etc...in the end, I find myself a little overwhelmed and confused about the whole process...(what exactly is a peel, by the way??)...I will admit that when I was in high school I worked at Pizza Hut, but it's a whole new ball game without the handy dough mixers, proofing shelves and nifty pizza oven...is there anyone out there that would be willing to take the time to either explain the whole process step-by-step or point me to a place where I can find it?   I would be very appreciative!

thanks a bunch!


Online Pete-zza

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Re: help!
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2008, 03:08:04 PM »
N,

If you are new to pizza making, you may want to start by taking a look at the Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html. You will see the definition of peels in the “P” section of the glossary. A typical wooden peel is shown at http://www.ablekitchen.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=JR-6124, and a typical metal peel is shown at http://www.ablekitchen.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=JR-6134. Peels are available at many restaurant supply stores and at many online sources other than the one referenced in the above links. Peels come in different sizes and lengths depending on the sizes of pizzas you will be making and the available space to use them with your oven.

To make pizza, you will need to have certain equipment and related accessories to accomplish the task efficiently. Not too long ago, I wrote what I deemed to be a good set of equipment and accessories to start the pizza making hobby, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5326.msg45110/topicseen.html#msg45110 (Reply 1). For the budget conscious, there are ways of getting around some of the requirements noted in this post but it is difficult to generalize because each person’s situation is different. What equipment and accessories you will need will also depend on what kinds and style of pizza you want to make, and how frequently and with what investment of time and effort.

As for basic techniques of pizza making, my best suggestion is that you read this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.msg19503.html#msg19503. The “meat” of the thread starts at Reply 8 but I would read all of the posts in the thread because they contain a lot of basic information on pizza making.

Good luck.

Peter

Offline yaddayaddayadda

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Re: help!
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2008, 03:11:29 PM »
Did you preheat the stone in the oven and slide the pizza onto it?  From your post, it sounds like you put the raw pizza on a cold stone and then into the oven?   Generally as far as baking the pizza is concerned, the stone should be in a preheated oven for about an hour, then slide the pizza onto the hot stone using whatever mechanism you decide on.

Also, Follow Pete-zaa's advice.  He's forgotten more about good pizza than I could ever know, and he certainly helped me out of a jam.

Offline N

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Re: help!
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2008, 08:18:50 AM »
thank you both so much...Pete-zza, I will definitely check out the links you suggested...and to answer yaddayaddayadda's question, I did not preheat the stone...I was in a bit of a hurry when I made dinner that night and did not read the stone instructions as thoroughly as I should have...shame on me! :-[  once again I proved to myself that one should always read the directions first!! duh!...anyway, thanks again for your help and advice...I will let you guys know how it goes!  :pizza:

Offline yaddayaddayadda

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Re: help!
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2008, 10:06:07 PM »
N,

If I may, let me share with you what I personally do for my pizza's. This is based solely on Pete's excellent instruction and not by any genius on my part ;).  I've screwed up plenty a pizza's till he set me straight.

This recipe makes 2 12" pizzas.  It helps if you have a digital scale, as I use weight for the ingredients.  You don't mention where you live, so I'm going to assume US measurements are ok:

Dough:
13.6 oz of King Arthur bread flour
8.6 oz water from my brita filter.  Cold out of the fridge seems to work fine for me.
.25 tsp instant dry yeast (also known as rapid rise)
1.25 tsp Morton's kosher salt
1 tsp Olive Oil (regular olive oil, not extra virgin)

I have a kitchenaid mixer, not sure if you have a stand mixer or not - there's plenty of instruction on this site on hand kneading.

I measure out all my ingredients, mix the yeast with the flour in a bowl, and pour the water and salt in the bowl of my mixer.

I stir the water to dissolve the salt.  Then put the paddle attachment on the mixer and turn it on "stir" speed.

I shovel the flour in a bit at a time, till it's all incorporated. Then I add the oil.

After the olive oil is incorporated, I spray PAM on the dough hook, and put that on the mixer instead of the paddle attachment.  I put the mixer on 2 speed and let it knead for 7 minutes.  I generally will stop half way through and pull the dough off the hook.

I use round tupperware containers (I like the round because it keeps the dough a round shape when I'm ready to make the pies), and oil them slightly.

After the 7 minutes, I take the big dough ball and weigh it.  I then split it in two, form each half into balls and put them in the containers, tossing to coat them with the oil. They go in the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours, but I prefer 3 days.

On pizza making day, I preheat my stone in the oven set to 500 degrees. Take the dough out of the fridge, and put them on the counter. This is done as I said before, an hour prior to dinner time

While the stone and dough are warming up, I make sure my sauce is ready, either made, or pulled out of the fridge if I'd made some previously.

I also shred my cheese if I didn't buy some already shredded.

I do have a pizza peel, which is a wooden paddle for transferring the pizza to the oven and out. I sprinkle and spread out a small handful of semolina flour.  the semolina flour helps prevent the dough from sticking to the peel.

I then hand shape one of the dough balls into 12" round "skins". I don't toss my pizzas, but will stretch by hand. The dough should work easily in your hands, and almost stretch TOO easily. I generally don't see any tears in my dough, but can get some thin spots.

I put the dough on the peel, then sauce and put the cheese on the pizza.  I jerk the peel after each layer is applied to ensure the pizza doesn't stick.

Then, it's into the oven for 7-8 minutes, out and resting for 3 minutes.



 

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