I personally thought that this was the best pizza in the past 3 weeks. I have been using the same dough each time, and realizing how much technique influences the results. This week’s crust was crunchy on the bottom, soft on top, and FULL of bubbles. Toppings were roasted garlic, sauteed portabello mushrooms, sauteed onions, cherry tomatoes, and sprinkled sea salt. Perfecto! Here are my steps to a perfect pizza:
- I start by transferring the dough (click for recipe) from the freezer to the fridge the day before baking. The day of baking, i remove the dough from the fridge around 5:30 (or at least an hour before shaping).
- To shape the dough, i coat a sheet pan with semolina flour (coarse grain cornmeal would probably also work) and press the dough into a disc using oiled hands. I have stopped using parchment paper to transfer pizza to the stone, so the semolina helps to slide the crust onto the pizza stone.
- After shaping, i like to lightly coat the dough with oil, and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. i think this helps develop better bubbles.
- Now top the pizza with a little sauce (slow cooked from fresh tomatoes is best, but we often use canned crushed tomatoes). Add your choice of toppings (2-4 max) and then top with cheese (we use sargento’s Italian blend). Maybe a little sea salt or basil.
- The temperature dial on our oven here does not go over 500° F and i doubt that the oven even reaches that. The dough is so sticky to start with that i have to bake it on the sheet pan for 5 minutes then use a spatula to slide it off, then continue baking for another 7 minutes to crisp the crust. If you can, bake it at 550° F for a total of 7 minutes.
- Finally, do NOT rinse your pizza stone. Simply wipe it off and let the hot oven do the ‘cleaning’.
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