The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How about a Community Bake featuring Pizza?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

How about a Community Bake featuring Pizza?

I am polling to determine if there is interest in posting a Community Bake featuring Pizza. The dough could be made either using commercial yeast or sourdough for leavening. The goal of the CB would be making better pizzas of any persuasion. Anything and everything is optional.

Will, aka The Roadside Pie King has been posting some beautiful examples of his handiwork. His tantalizing images have seduced me. I’m jumping on the pizza train for a bit...

Please let me know if this is of interest to you.         All aboard!

Danny

Benito's picture
Benito

Great idea, it would be my first community bake.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Good to hear Ben. It is commonly accepted that the actual pizza crust is the star of a great pizza. With that in mind it seems that bread and pizza are not that far apart. I have plenty to learn, and that is exciting. Everyone that participates in our CBs learn something that makes them a better baker. 

Hoping to squeeze the Pizza bake in before we start our scheduled Swiss Farmhouse Bread.

Dan

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Like a big pizza pie that's amore.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

C.B. are all about trying new things and learning. With that in mind this will be a perfect time to try a Sicilian pizza. This is still by all means a very N.Y.C. pie. Just not the N.Y.C. street slice I have been perfecting. This is the clone recipe for the famous Prince Street Pizza!  Thanks for putting this and all the other C.B.'s together Dan. You are the glue the binds us all together!

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/05/spicy-spring-sicilian-pizza-recipe.html

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The post hasn’t garnered much attention. I hope there is more interest in hosting a Community Bake featuring pizza. If you think you might be interested, please respond letting us know.

Who wouldn’t like to make great pizza?

MTloaf definitely said it best. “When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie, that’s Amore...” Come on; everay bodie ah sing along :-D   Remember sing along with Mitch?

Danny

David R's picture
David R

My guesses:

  • Everybody here has a bread pan, not everybody here has a pizza pan
  • After a person has jumped in and made any kind of bread even just once, learning to make a new kind of bread is quite a short step. But going from bread to ... hmmm... "standard modern pizza" - is a much bigger step. New equipment (see above), new shaping techniques, new ingredients, ...
  • Talk of different ovens and so on may make it sound unattainable. (And, more generally, there's a fairly high level of "pizza nerd vibes" in the thread, which personally I enjoy and highly approve of 🙂, but which may throw some people off of getting involved.)

AND: Why not just go ahead with a small number? A new idea is not going to be popular the first time, but when it turns out to be accessible after all and worthwhile, a few more will probably join next time.

Benito's picture
Benito

I actually don't have a pan or stone to bake my pizza either.  I was planning on only making 9" personal size pizzas using my cast iron skillet.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Skillet sounds great Ben. You could use a rectangular baking pan turned upside down and bake a round or rectangular pizza. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes that is true Dan and I suppose I could transfer the pizza using parchment and another cookie sheet.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I agree a round pie may sound daunting to some. Why not throw a grandma pie into the mix? That is the pie that got me started on this journey.

 

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Not every CB has to be a blockbuster.  Everybody has issues with home baked pizzas:  How to do it SD, how to get a satisfying crust, how to get toppings cooked without overbaking the crust, what flours work best, etc. This thread here has yielded as much input from pizza afficionados as a CB might have.  Good sign. 

So why not?

Tom

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Always up for a reason to bake some pies! :)  I can do a pizza oven roundup.....I've got a Pizza Kettle and an Ooni 3, and my buddy has a Roccbox.

Just a few incentives for anyone else who is on the fence:


Let us know the details, Dan!

Rich

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Really nice looking pies, Rich. Were they all cooked with the Pizza Kettle add-on?

Care to share your formula and method for your best dough? Hope they are sourdough... but will also plan to publish a yeasted version also. We want everyone to join in on the fun.

Will plan the CB for either this weekend or the one after. I try to coordinate them to start near the weekend so everyone has time to join.

Danny

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

One or two of those may have been cooked on the Ooni 3, but I can't remember which ones! :)

All of them use my same day Neopolitan'ish dough (based off THIS RECIPE):

Flour 100% (50/50 blend of KAAP, and Caputo 00 red bag)

Water 61%

ADY .1%

Salt 2.5%

I build up my recipe for 280g dough balls, and if I have some time later, I can drop that into a spreadsheet! :)

Mix flour, water, and yeast, then let sit for 30 minutes before adding in the salt.  Mix everything until the salt is well incorporated, and knead until the dough is silky smooth (~10 minutes by hand.)  Bulk ferment at RT for 4 hours (72F), then divide/ball, and refrigerate the balls until about an hour or so before cooking.

I aim for about 750-800 stone temp in the PK (making sure the stone is heat soaked), stretch the skins, top, then bake for about ~2-3 minutes, turning every 20-30 seconds (the PK typically is much hotter in the back.)

I haven't tried any longer ferments, or natural levain for pizza, as I typically don't plan ahead and find myself making the dough the same morning that I decide to make pizza for dinner.  I would definitely work up a batch of dough from this recipe, and also one using my starter if we end up doing a CB.  What's the worst that can happen?  More pizza? :)

Rich

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Since you are familiar with the Pizza Kettle, Ooni 3, and the Roccbox, which one would you buy if you could only have one? I’ve been looking at the Pizza Party oven, but room is limited for any additional stove. 

Dan

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

There are a lot of parameters that would play into that question, Danny, not the least of which is how long I would be in the dog house if I even considered buying another outdoor cooking "appliance"! :)

Assuming that we want to stay within the realm of the truly portable setups, I'd probably go with the Pizza Kettle.  I'm a charcoal fired grill and bbq nut, so I am very familiar with how to fire these, maintain a good fire, etc., and I love the product I can produce in them.  This choice for me also means that I can utilize the Weber kettle footprint that I already have on my patio, which makes my wife less likely to be displeased with my growing arsenal of grills.

I do find the Ooni to be quite a bit more portable, and would consider their new gas oven, the Koda, if I was looking for a super portable pizza oven (20 lbs with stone.)  I find the Ooni to be very finicky with the pellet burner, but my neighbor is getting the gas burner for it, so will try that out soon.  I think all of these small ovens are a compromise, however.  They don't have enough thermal mass to hold lots of heat, so you do have lag time between pies, which would be less of an issue with larger units.  If portability wasn't as much of a concern, and this was a hypothetical discussion, I would strongly consider the Pizza Party or the Ardore gas model from the same manufacturer.

All of these have been reviewed somewhat extensively by the pizza-crazy crowd over at pizzamaking.com, so lots of personal experience to take a look at there.

Hope that helps confuse you some more! :)

Rich

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Rich my perfect solution would be a wide mouth insert (similar to your PK) that would fit a large Big Green Egg. It would be the perfect solution to all of my needs, and nothing extra to store!  I considered the Pizza- Porta but it only bakes small sized pizza. I really like a 16” pie, minimum 14”.

I do love my BGE...

Danny

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

I know nothing about it, Danny, but there's the Pizza Porta attachment for the BGE.  Have you found/looked at that one yet?

Rich

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I looked a Pizza-Porta. The only drawback I can see is the width of the door is only 14”. But that is much better for me than the 12” of other models.

I may look i to tweaking the BGE as is. The only bad thing, as you know, is the tremendous heat loss when the top is opened.

Excited for the Pizza CB. We should all learn new things when everyone shares their ideas.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Rich,  Dan asked me to throw in my opinion.  To me, one of the critical issues is getting a good pizza oven is having a proper balance of top and bottom heat.  IMO, it is difficult to get a good pizza out of a  grill, including a Kamado style, because you have tons of bottom heat and not enough top heat.  There are some who have made boxes that sit on a grill to divert some of the heat to the top -  while it is no longer available, the Mighty Pizza Oven did a pretty good job with heat balance.  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mightypizzaoven/mighty-pizza-oven-2-mpo2   if you look towards the bottom of the kickstarter page, he has some good diagrams on the methods of transfer of heat, and how the heat is channeled in the MPO -  under Reach Higher Temperatures faster.  

Willard came up with the best solution when he came out with the Twostone oven, and that concept was knocked off when Blackstone came out with the Blackstone Pizza  -  Patio oven,   now discontinued. though rumor has it they will be introducing a new model in the near future.  https://www.blackstoneproducts.com/shop/pizza-oven/  

I have the Blackstone, and it is a joy to use.  I also have the Ardore, https://www.pizzapartyshop.com/en/portable-gas-fired-pizza-ovens-ardore-spacesaving/outdoor-gas-pizza-oven-ardore.html  which is a little bigger than the Roccbox, and also makes a great pizza, though it requires a little more work than the Blackstone.    Here is a video comparing the Ardore and the Roccbox, I didn't watch the whole video, but my understanding is that the roccbox makes a smaller pie than the Ardore. 

If you have the space, and were looking to buy a pizza oven, I would look for a used Blackstone - that would be the cheapest solution, and it does a great job. If you have the space and can afford the full sized Pizza Party, that would be a great option.  If you wanted to go with smaller pies, the Ardore does work great.

  I have not seen enough reviews on the inserts to form any opinion,  https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=58026.0   but in theory, if they allow enough hot air to get to the top of the pie, they could work well.  If I was looking to buy an insert, I would want a feature that allowed me to adjust the top to bottom heat, like the Mighty Pizza Oven did with its top vent.   

 

 

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Thanks for elaborating on the subject, Barry, I think you are right on.  For the most part, if you are not choosing to invest (or can't) in an actual pizza oven (with all of the appropriate design and thermal mass that entails), then you are really left with a variety of compromises.  However, in most cases, with a bit of effort and patience, you can produce very good pizza out of many of these "compromises", which is a good thing, as many of these are priced so as to allow entry into the fray by more people.

One thing that I really like about my PK is that I have the top steel added to it.  With this addition, I get pretty good top heat, to go with the bottom heat in the kettle (actually, sort of side heat, as I keep the briquettes out from under the stone.)  I can even "dome" a pizza with this setup, if the top isn't moving along as quickly as the bottom.  Ultimately, I'm pretty happy with a 2-3' bake on my setup, which produces a style of pie that I (and my family) like.

.....and then there's all the mods you can do to your home oven, which is another rabbit hole altogether! :)

Rich

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The Pizza-Porta seemed to be my best option. I didn’t want to get another something that would take up more space, like a Pizza Party. Although the largest pie it will handle for a large Big Green Egg is 14” (wanted 16” pie) it should fit the bill. They were sold out but the owner was nice enough to sell me a demo. I should receive it Tuesday. I plan to report my findings during the CB.

Have plans to add some apple or pecan smoke to the cook. I love smoked things. WOW! I could smoke a pork butt and top the pie with pulled pork. Now that would have to be special.

Rich, have you tried bread on your pizza kettle?

Danny 

Benito's picture
Benito

Delicious looking pizza pies Rich.  Wish I had a wood oven, but that wouldn't work living in a condo.

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Thank you, Benito!  I spent a lot of time at pizzamaking.com! :)  Wood ovens and condos are definitely not a safe combination.  Some quarry tiles and/or a couple of good stones in your home oven will work, though! :)

Rich

Pizzafreak's picture
Pizzafreak

Hi!

is the kettle pizza oven wood Fired? Or gas? Looks very interesting.....

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Roma, the KP uses charcoal and wood fired in a Weber kettle bbq (22".)  I make a semi circle of unlit charcoal, spread a full chimney of lit charcoal over that, then add a couple small wood splits about 10 minutes before I'm ready to launch my first pie.  I'll add more charcoal and wood as necessary to keep the heat up.

Since I'm a Weber guy, this was the most sensible pizza oven addition for me since I could utilize the footprint of my existing kettle (rather than adding a dedicated pizza oven.)

Rich

David R's picture
David R

The origin of pizza is flat bread, period. "Flat bread, baked with garnishes or extras on top of it" was the second step, and the one that made it famous. If my mom had invented that pizza, she would have called it "nothing but glorified bread". 🙂

Some styles of pizza are still "all about the bread", while others have taken the original idea in new directions that focus on something else - I'm sure if the originators of pizza were time-travelled to the present and given Chicago-style deep-dish pizza (without telling them what it was) they'd say "This is great! What's it called?" 😁 But that doesn't matter anymore, it's all pizza, some of it being "old school" and some of it being 500 different kinds of "new school".

"The best pizza" can be anything you want. Just avoid declaring "the one true pizza", because if your "one true pizza" isn't a plain piece of bread, then you're off base.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Good afternoon, Dave. I hope you're doing well this evening. While your reply is logical and believable, I beg to differ. I happen to have it on good authority, that back in the fourteenth century, on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, in the Puglia region of Southern Italy there stood a monastery, that housed an order of Franciscan monks. These monks were known for the loaves of bread far and wide. There was this one Monk, a rather portly and lazy fellow, by the name of Brother Petezza. One early morning, it was Brother Petezza's turn to keep vigil over the fermenting dough. Well, don't you know that this portly fellow fell asleep! When he awoke the dough for the day's bread was ruined! Now, Brother Petezza may have been slow on his feet, but he was quick of mind! Realizing he would be sent to the catacombs for the rest of his days for his misstep, he came up with a plan. He stretched the spend dough as thin as he could. He then searched the food stores and found, tomatoes and soft cheese that were also nearing expiration. He topped all the "skins" with the tomatoes, cheese, and dried sausage. he gave them a quick bake in the wood-fired oven and set them out on the long tables in the garden. When the rest of the monks returned from grazing the sheep on the mountainside, they witnessed the very first Petezza party! This, my friend, is gospel truth!

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

tomatoes are from the New World and was only introduced to Italy in the 16th Century.

So of course pizza is no older and traditional pizza is quite "plain" with bread being the main part and toppings being the condiments.

David R's picture
David R

Brother Tendency-To-Fart* (peto -> peti -> petezza -> pizza) is less convincing than Brother PitaBread (pita -> pizza), unfortunately. 😁

(Or perhaps fortunately - "Pizza equals The New Improved Pita" I can readily accept, but "Pizza equals Tendency-To-Fart" doesn't necessarily sound all that great.) 🙂

* It may be more appropriately "Fartishness" or "Fartworthiness" - I'm not familiar enough with Italian to know for sure. 🙂 (Using the few words I do feel in command of, "dolce" = sweet and "dolcezza" = sweetness, so probably "peto" = fart leads literally to "petezza" = fartness. 🙂)

Pizzafreak's picture
Pizzafreak

Yes! I’am definitely boarding this pizza train!! Tnks!

i bake my pizzas in my home made wood fired brick oven. I feel it’s very forgiving. I use 12% 00 flour. Also add 20% wheat gluten and some semolina. The end result is crispy base and a soft interiors.. pretty happy with the result. My only concern is over kneading the dough... I have a feeling I sometimes over knead the dough...my windowpane test tears in the corners....so I knead it more... and it goes on and on....

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...
Pizzafreak's picture
Pizzafreak

Tnks,! Watched them both.. good info

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...
Pizzafreak's picture
Pizzafreak

Mushroom and broccoli flatbread/pizza.. baked in my brick oven.....crispy crust...
dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Pizza for dinner tomorrow.

I'm using a variation on Forkish's overnight pizza dough. I'm using Caputo Blue Label 00 78% and Fine Durum flour 22%. About 62% hydration.

David

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Great David. Please try to photograph and document for the CB. Your input is always valued. Most of us need all the help we can get :D

Danny

meb21's picture
meb21

I'd love to participate - I love pizza!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My dough was based on Forkish's "Overnight Pizza Dough with Levain" (or something like that). Except, I didn't want to wait for overnight, so I made 80% of the called for dough and spiked it with a 1/4 tsp of IY. The flour mix was around 75% Caputo 00 pizzeria and 25% fine durum from Central Milling. One pizza was just tomato sauce and mozza. The other also had cremini mushrooms.

The pizze were baked on a baking steel at 500ºF Convection for about 9 minutes each.

The crust was not my personal best for flavor, but wife and granddaughters found it acceptable. (As in gobbled it up!)

David

Benito's picture
Benito

That crust looks great to me David.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Like bread, I find short ferments for pizza just don’t excel in taste. I know of no shortcut that surpasses time.

The cornicione is absolutely gorgeous.

I am surprised to see the color you got on the crust. Did you add Diastatic Malt or sugar to your dough? I called Orlando Food Sales (US importer of Caputo) and asked about adding diastatic malt to the Pizzeria flour in order to duplicate their Americana. I was told that there were more differences between the 2 flours. Pizzeria is for super high temp ovens and Americana is formulated for ovens that don’t cook as hot (home ovens), although it is a commercial flour.

But, boy! Both flours are super fine and produce such a delicate gluten network. I tried using their flour for long term warm fermentation but it failed miserably. Still stuck on Morbread for that.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

In general, I agree regarding long fermentation and flavor, yet one can get really good flavors with food flour and a 3-4 hour Bulk Fermentation. 

The dough had starter - a bit of WW and Caputo 00 flours. The final dough was 00, durum salt and water + starter.

I was not overly impressed with the coloration of the crust. I get more char with AP flour than with 00.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I love the scorching on the crust. Is it the convection that gives you that color, at only 500F @ 9min.? What part of the oven did you use, upper rack,bottom or middle?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

See above reply. I put the steel on a rack in the middle of the oven. Convection does help. They say it boosts the effective temperature by 25ºF and cuts the time. I don't know about the latter, but the temp. boost seems real.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

With my pies I am trying to replicate the true Brooklyn N.Y. pies I grew up with. Hence the 18" size.  At that size the back of the pie is very close to the oven wall. I took care and spun the pie twice to not have it become overly burned in the back. When I make 16" pies the rim is sitting on the steel thus it browns quicker. These 18" cook at up wards of 550F for 12 minutes. We ( the wife and I never liked under cooked pies) Seems like a regular occurrence from our now seldom used delivery place.