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Making pizza at home


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#1 Rail Paul

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:27 PM

The Newark Star Ledger's Pizza Patrol visited 1,000 pizza shops in New Jersey during the past year. This team of pizza eaters rated and discussed a huge number of places, and came to many conclusions. They also spoke with many highly opinionated pizza makers, some of whom make great pizza.

Santillo's in Elizabeth is an example of both qualities.

QUOTE
"Pizza makers started going bad," he says at another point, "when they starting using aluminum pans (to rest the dough). The dough gets sweaty. Once it gets sweaty, it goes bad."

You don’t want sweaty dough, that’s for sure. What else? The choice of flour (Santillo generally uses flour from Ferraro’s, Roma or GDS Foods) is not as important as what you do with it: using the right amount of water and yeast, covering the dough and letting it sit for several hours, using quality sauce. Santillo uses Bonta Pizza Sauce ("the most expensive one on the market"). A 6-pound, 11-ounce container — enough to cover 12 pizzas — costs about $25.

He doesn’t swoon over San Marzano tomatoes, as many pizzeria and Italian restaurant owners do. He thinks California tomatoes are better; Bonta sauce contains vine-ripened California tomatoes. Those fabled Jersey tomatoes? Don’t ask.

"Jersey has the worst tomatoes, at least the canned ones," Santillo says.

For cheese, he uses a whole milk mozzarella aged at least 30 days. "If you don’t age it 30 days, you’ll have problems, it doesn’t melt right," he explains. A whole milk mozzarella contains a higher butterfat content, which translates to more flavor.

"You can do anything you want with the cheese," he says. "You like American cheese, put on American cheese. But that is not the Santillo way."

His pizzas take 6 to 8 minutes to cook in the brick oven, where the temperature ranges from 500 to 750 degrees. Pizzas cooked in the typical home oven should take about 12 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 550 degrees. Put in pizza, and then immediately dial it down to 500.



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#2 Rex1965

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:30 PM

I just purchased a pizza stone; it should arrive by Friday.

I will try to share my experiences with my first homemade pizza.
"We are gawna make the most amazing angel food harvest cake, for Kwanzaa" - Sandra Lee

#3 Daisy

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:36 PM

QUOTE(Rex1965 @ Jan 27 2010, 02:30 PM) View Post
I just purchased a pizza stone; it should arrive by Friday.

I will try to share my experiences with my first homemade pizza.

Some good info about making pizza in this thread.
http://mouthfulsfood...p...51&hl=pizza

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The mistake one makes is to react to what people post rather than to what they mean.---Dr. Johnson
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#4 Rex1965

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 01:00 AM

QUOTE(Daisy @ Jan 27 2010, 02:36 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Rex1965 @ Jan 27 2010, 02:30 PM) View Post
I just purchased a pizza stone; it should arrive by Friday.

I will try to share my experiences with my first homemade pizza.

Some good info about making pizza in this thread.
http://mouthfulsfood...p...51&hl=pizza


Thanks, Daisy. Maybe they should merge the threads? smile.gif
"We are gawna make the most amazing angel food harvest cake, for Kwanzaa" - Sandra Lee

#5 voyager

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 06:39 PM

Had friends in for pizza last night.    Altho our standby dough and sauce recipes have sufficed well enough, I was particularly pleased with last night's efforts.   

 

I winged the dough when multiplying our usual amount and in doing so wound up with a very hydrated dough which rose magnificently and was a breeze to shape.    OKAY!   Especially welcome when making pizzas for a group.

 

And I followed a new sauce recipe, one from the Il Fornaio Baking Book.     Essentially pureed fresh tomatoes (called for fresh San Marzano, but dream on,) fresh basil leaves, tad of tomato paste and olive oil.   I used an immersion blender.   Left to mellow with several crushed garlic cloves added.  (NOT cooked.)  Gorgeous thick and fresh tasting sauce.     Worked great with guests' "piled on" pizzas and was wonderful on my simple Marguerita.  

 

Also made one with just olive oil and za'atar.     Interesting but better as an appetizer than main.


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#6 Sneakeater

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 07:48 PM

I can get fresh San Marzano in season.  Is it possible there's something New York actually beats California at, produce-wise?


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#7 voyager

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 08:47 PM

Sure is/are.   You can start with ramps and fiddleheads.


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#8 Sneakeater

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 08:57 PM

Well, yeah.  THAT stuff.


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#9 joethefoodie

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 09:52 PM

I can get fresh San Marzano in season.  Is it possible there's something New York actually beats California at, produce-wise?

 

Fresh San Marzano?  From Valle del Sarno? Or San Marzano grown locally?



#10 Sneakeater

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 09:59 PM

Grown locally.


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#11 Sneakeater

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 10:00 PM

I don't think they're Romas.  I think they're really San Marzanos.


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#12 Sneakeater

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 10:00 PM

Hey, they grow Sangiovese in Texas.


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#13 voyager

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 12:13 AM

Okay.   I'll tell you my dirty secret.    No, no San Marzanos here.    And not even really great properly farmed and ripened tomatoes.   Just a handful of supermarket cluster tomatoes that had sat on my counter for a week or so.    Plush to the touch.   And following my mother's advice, I added a tablespoon of sugar to the (say, a pint) mix.    Suddenly your bastard tomatoes brighten and sit up.   

 

This was really some of the best pizza sauce I have either made or tasted.   So, go figure.   Or follow Mary Poppin's advice.


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#14 joethefoodie

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 11:01 AM

Okay.   I'll tell you my dirty secret.    No, no San Marzanos here.    And not even really great properly farmed and ripened tomatoes.   Just a handful of supermarket cluster tomatoes that had sat on my counter for a week or so.    Plush to the touch.   And following my mother's advice, I added a tablespoon of sugar to the (say, a pint) mix.    Suddenly your bastard tomatoes brighten and sit up.   

 

This was really some of the best pizza sauce I have either made or tasted.   So, go figure.   Or follow Mary Poppin's advice.

 

That's one secret out of the bag.  A splash of (good) balsamic can help too. A sprinkle of oregano.  But the real key is to not cook the sauce (or to not recook the sauce if using high-quality canned).  It cooks plenty, in the oven, atop the pizza.



#15 joethefoodie

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 11:02 AM

I don't think they're Romas.  I think they're really San Marzanos.

 

Yes, I know the ones you get. They're certainly a nice, summer tomato treat. Meaty almost.