The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Saturday Night Pizza

dabrownman's picture

Saturday Night Pizza

In our quest for the ever better pizza dough, this time we went with cherry yeast water and a pinch of ADYfor the levain using durum semolina and AP for the flour.  It was built over two 4 hour stages and then mixed with the dough flour, that had been autolysed for 1 hour water, salt and water. 

We did 10 minutes of slap and folds before 3 sets of S&F's on 15 minute intervals before being retarded for 12 hours in the fridge.  We took it out of the fridge 4 hours before we wanted to bake with the 1st hour being outside in 105 F heat to make sure it warmed up fast as it only grew 30% in the fridge.

It did press out very nicely and we let it rest half way through.  Since it wasn't rolled paper tin like our normal crusts it ended up being a little thicker but since were baking this on the gas grill outside we thought a little thicker wouldn't hurt at all and we were right about that.

As is our usual, we docked the dough with a fork and brushed Mojo de Ajo over the entire crust to give it that garlic flavor. We didn't put fresh rosemary and sun dried tomato in the dough like we usually do either. 


We preheated the stone on the grill for 30 minutes before starting to form the first pizza crust and the grill was was at 500 F when we put the first crust on the stone to par bake for  3 minutes before it was removed to pile on the sauce and toppings.

After returning the pizza to the grill we baked them another 6 minutes rotating them on the stone after 3 minutes.  The first pizza, the one my wife built, was on the grill 2 minutes longer (8 after toppings were put on) since I figured that the stone wasn't as hot as it should be but she said the crust was too crispy for her even though the crust wasn't burned anywhere top or bottom.

The toppings included store bought mild Italian sausage and pepperoni for the meats, mozzarella and Parmesan for the cheeses, Fresh hatch green chilies and red peppers for heat and color, caramelized red onion and mushrooms, kalamata olives and green onion with fresh basil for garnish.  Not as home made or extensive as our usual but still a plentiful load when piled on.

This crust baked up very crispy with dark splotches on the bottom side.  There was not a millimeter worth of sag in the pieces once cut and not much when complete cooled.  The crunch when talking a bite was just testament to how well the crust baked up,  The semolina added a hint of sweetness with no sugar in the dough.  All in all, I give this crust an 8 out of 10,  Not the best tasting or as open and puffed up as some but it is the the best of the crispy by far.

If you like soft, thick crust,  folded over, floppy NY style pizza.... this crust is not for you.  It was stormy at he sun's setting last night and it rained hard for many hours after it set  We need the rain so badly, I will gladly give up a beautiful sun set for it.


YW and Pinch of YeastBuild 1Build 2Total%
Pinch of ADY   0.00%
Durum Semolina25255013.33%
Yeast Water500013.33%
YW % of Total29.06%   
Dough Flour %  
Durum Semolina379.87%  
Corn Flour256.67%  
Dough Flour27573.33%  
Dough Hydration69.09%   
Total Flour375100.00%  
Total Water and YW290   
T. Dough Hydration77.33%   
Hydration w/ Adds77.33%   
Total Weight689   
Add - Ins %  
Olive Oil164.27%  



Syd-a's picture

I am sure if I was staying with you I would end up eating again. Some wonderful bakes, breads, pies and varying dishes you post just makes the mouth water. Some wonderful therapeutic sunsets too. 

Thanks for posting another great one and inspiring me.

All the best


dabrownman's picture

We have been tinkering with various pizza dough formulas and one of these bakes we will get it just right for me but others won't like it at all, especially the New Yorker's and those from Chicago who by and large prefer a different crust entirely.  That is the great thing about bread baking  - everyone has their own favorite that they just can't seem to bake the way they want it!  But, we endeavor to persevere anyway:-)

Happy baking Andy 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Nice pizza man!  Looks perfectly baked on the bottom too.  That is the trick, to find that happy heat that will cook everything evenly all around.  Damn you eat like a king.


dabrownman's picture

We don't eat like a king for every meal but we won't settle for anything less than princely :-)

Yesterday for lunch we had left over pozole, left over salad, left over pico de gillo. But the Pico and nthe pozole were first rate and are way better the next day.  The salad had the last of partially sun dried, tiny, roma tomatos from the back yard that were the best tomatoes i have ever had - ever. And, that cheddar and brie grilled cheese using the 100% whole grain multigrain bread was just delightful.  T odays's lunch was more like our usual fare during summer time when fruits and veggies are plentiful and inexpensive.  You just have to take advatge of that bounty!

Happy baking John - look forward to your next post.


isand66's picture

Those pizzas look great DA.  Maybe not up to NY standards but I wouldn't mind giving them a try!  Nice lunch spread above as well.  I'm enjoying my last day in Costa Rica and we are off for home tomorrow.  Back to eating normal again.  

Happy Baking!


dabrownman's picture

had a chance to get to a bakery and enjoyed the fish dishes.  The beaches are amazing.  Travel safely and we look forward to your next bake.  I though you would like pizza on the grill.  Not as good as your grill with the pizza attachment though but, putting the stone on the grill really helps.  I like NY pizza too, mainly when the real thing isn't available.  Check this out .  Thin, crisp, loaded and no soggy, crust bending required :-)

Happy baking Ian


Alpana's picture

Wow! I logged in after ages & see this delectable pizza. Wish I had seen your formula yesterday when I made biga for today's pizza night. As I didn't, it is going to be Hamelman's pizza in my house. I hope mine turns out at least half as good as yours.

Glad to hear that you got the much needed respite of rains, but the sunset is a real beauty.


dabrownman's picture

Sunday - you might have seen the flood pictures on national TV - in Scottsdale of all places.  The washes were running full.  When I first moved here and would hike in the desert washes, not so many cactus there, I would come across a small sigh at the top of an 8 foot pole.  It read, Not a cloud in the sky but the water will get this high!   Even though we haven't had rain for months, the ground is so hard it just can't soak up the water fast enough when it rains that hard.  When it rains in the desert it really rains!

Hamelman's pizza crust is very good so no worries.  Glad you are back and

Happy Baking

SylviaH's picture

any day pizza to me.  Love the sunsets.  Thanks for sharing all, DA : )


dabrownman's picture

rodeo turn out?   Your WFO puts out some of the best pizza ever!

This crust was very crispy.  I warmed some up from freezer, for my daughter's dinner the next night, by thawing it out in the microwave and putting it in the mini oven on toast for 5 minutes and it was nearly as good.  One of the few things I bake without Sylvia's steam!

Glad you liked it Sylvia

dabrownman's picture

rodeo turn out?   Your WFO puts out some of the best pizza ever!

This crust was very crispy.  I warmed some up from freezer, for my daughter's dinner the next night, by thawing it out in the microwave and putting it in the mini oven on toast for 5 minutes and it was nearly as good.  One of the few things I bake without Sylvia's steam!

Glad you liked it Sylvia

SylviaH's picture

Yes, we all ate before leaving and when we returned, snacked on the leftovers.

I've thought about making up some cooked or uncooked pizza's to freeze.  I know my grandkids, love a frozen pizza for a quick snack in the TO and I saw my daughter buy ready frozen ones at Whole Foods.   

My TO has setting for regular or frozen pizza..I think they planned on purchased frozen pizza lovers to be warming up their pizza's.  I have had such great results with this little oven.  Right up there with the big elec oven and stone.  No kidding.    I will have to make up some frozen ones to try, maybe uncooked altogether and frozen.  Your freezing leftover ones I'm sure tastes great too...mine never have made it that far.  I usually just do enough for Mike and, know what we will warm up later.

You know! To turn out a delicious pizza. It's all about having the greatest flavor fermented into your pizza dough and all those delicious toppings and, then comes the cooking factor next.  So it is possible to have a delicious toaster oven pizza.  

This pizza was done entirely in the TO.  I've been making minor adding the cheese last few minutes.  I try to keep my cheese from any browning as much as I can.  Wow, did it have a great 'crunch' factor.  That pizza pan  does work nicely..right up there with a stone.  I do have a pizza stone left from my old counter top oven that fits perfect..but the non-stick perforated and solid pizza pans that are made for this TO work even better.  Also, you can purchase a perforated aluminum pizza pan that works too.

Just amazing the crunch crispy bottomed pizza.  I wonder how pizza pans versus a stone would work on a grill.  The aluminum one would work take the heat.  I've also seen the back side of iron skillets used.  I haven't tried that but, have always wanted to in the big electric indoor oven.  I hear it works very good.

All in less than 20 minutes, including TO pre-heat.

Hope you don't's a photo of a very simple topped TO pizza.  The crust was just great texture, crunch factor and browning as dark as you like.  I won't be using my big EO this summer for indoor pizza after this.

Happy Pizza Eating!  Grilled, baked or fired : )



dabrownman's picture

makes everything better than Big Old Betsy does.  I was actually planning on baking this pizza in it but I made too much dough for 2 small pizzas so moved the bake to the grill.  Now we have 3 ways, you have 4 with WFO and maybe 5 if you can figure out how to make it with your rotisserie, depending on what\ ever the situation is...

Your pizza looks perfect.  I have to get one of those perforated pans but haven't seen a small on that will it the mini oven.  I prefer a brownish cheese and have been know to turn the TO to broil for the minute or two that takes :-)  The only time i used the the EO now is if what ever I am making won't fit the To,  Luckily, cooking for 2-3 people, few things won't  fit.  I wish i had a DO that fin the mini though.  Am looking for a shorter wide one at Goodwill but no luck yet.



 2 fresh poblano peppers; roasted and skin removed

6 dried red chilies of your choice; reconstituted in hot water and strained

4 oz bacon fried crisp in enameled, cast iron, 6 quart pot reserving 1 T of bacon fat in pot

1 onion chopped

1 C chopped swish chard

1 carrot cut into coins

1 stalk celery cut into slices

1 each jalapeno, Serrano and Hatch minced fine

4 cloves garlic

1 tsp dried Mexican oregano

1 tsp cumin and thyme

½ tsp dried cilantro powder

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1 # pork shoulder or loin end chops cut into ½ inch cubes

4 15 oz cans of hominy

1 4 oz can of green chilies

½ C chopped fresh tomato

½  bunch of cilantro chopped

8 C chicken stock, water or mix

1 # chicken thighs chopped in ½ “ chunks

2 T masa harina to thicken

Juice of 1 lime

Fresh epazote – 2 sprigs

½ tsp salt and pepper

Garnish with lime wedges, chopped cilantro, crema and grilled corn tortillas.


Grill poblano peppers until blackened, wrap in plastic wrap and allow to cool.  Remove skins, stem, seed and reserve.

Reconstitute 6 dried red chilies in hot water.  I use one each; Guahillo, Ancho, Pasilla, negro, New Mexican and chipotle but any combination will do.  When soft de-stem, deseed and process in small food processor with 1 C of stock until it is well minced.   Strain mixture through a sieve to remove hard skins and reserve pepper sauce.

Fry up bacon in large, 6 quart, enameled, cast iron pot.  Remove bacon and all but 1 T of bacon fat.  Add onions, celery and carrot,  jalapeno, Serrano and Hatch fresh chilies, Swiss chard, and sauté until onions begin to brown.  Add galic, cumin, Mexican oregano, fresh thyme, cilantro powder and ground cloves.  Sauté until fragrant - about 1 minute.

Add pork, hominy, green chilies, fresh chopped cilantro and tomato.  Stir to mix in.  Add 8 cups of stock or water or combination.  If you have fresh epazote add it here.

Simmer, covered on low for 2 hours.  Add chicken and continue simmering uncovered for ½ hour.

Add masa marina and simmer uncovered for additional half hour.  Add lime jiuice before garnishing.

Garnish with lime wedges, chopped cilantro, crema and grilled corn tortillas.  Enjoy Sylvia.   I just love going to my cookbook and being able to copy and paste!  Up to well over 500 recipes now and 150 are breads.

This is one of my very favorite Mexican stews  that can be served year round - even in AZ.

The French talk about their 7 famous sauces evey chef has to be able to make adn rightly so.  I say every future Mexican grandmother has to be able to make at least 10 different moles, 10 salsas and 10 stews before they are 16 years old :-0

SylviaH's picture

Your pozole looks fantastic...recipe..please!

I don't even know what pozole is..but I know Mike will : )


SylviaH's picture

I will definately be making your pozole..soon as I pick up a roast, masa, I will use kale though...homney...have everything else.  I love Pobalno of my favorite things...oh need some fresh ones.

I love the thickness of the broth..I know it's summer but, hey I made chicken okra gumbo the other day.  I love soup anytime of year...could eat it everyday.

Thank you very much for the your recipe. TO is not the pans are 13" and the aluminum one is's old and I can't remember where I got it but I'm sure they must come in different sizes.

Thanks again, DA


dabrownman's picture

this o was to brown the pork and chicken in the bacon fat and remove before the veg saute begins.  I also added 3 chopped tomatillos with the veg saute and will change the recipe for these two things as it really made a big difference for the better.  I also used 4 cups of chicken stock, a 12 oz Negro Modelo beer and 2 C of water for the liquid but even straight water will work too.

Good luck with the Pozole it is a favorite and we make it different every time depending on what we have on hand.  Sometimes only chicken and sometimes only pork.  No celery no problem.  I forgot, this time i didn't even roast the poblanos or add in a can of green chilies I just put more fresh ones in and sauteed the poblanos with the rest of the chilies.  I had tons of grilled and peeled extra chilies and grilled onions in the fridge bit forgot they were there - was saving them for Southwest Hummus :-).

SylviaH's picture

Really, glad you got some rain.  Two of my favorite things are a desert storm and pizza : ) I grew up with those flash floods.