Top five tricks to make great pizza at home and some super simple guidelines to ensure that you’re setup for success. I’ve been making pizza since I was in high school. I’d grab some dough from the local shops and throw it on the grill – adding my favorite toppings and cheeses. I’ve delivered it professionally, and when I was offered a job to make pizza at a small shop in Long Island, I declined in favor of culinary school. But I didn’t let that decision deter my love for the round stuff. I’ve tasted the best in Napoli and in Brooklyn, and I’m including a recipe which I believe to be the best of both worlds. In this article/ recipe, I’ll detail my top five tricks to make pizza at home. Recipe makes four pizzas but feel free to double the recipe to serve eight pizzas.
- Ingredients. It sounds cliche but you really need to start with the best products if you have any hope of delivering a good product to your guests. What would nonna back in Florence say?
- Rising your dough properly. This takes a bit of planning ahead and time. Make sure that your sourdough starter is fed the night before so you can have the best chance of creating something special the following day. I start making my dough the day before I plan to serve it – the slow and cold rise accounts for the best texture and flavor.
- High Heat. Many of us don’t have a commercial style or wood fired oven in our home or back yard. So if you don’t, Get your pan ripping hot on the stove before hand, and make sure your broiler on the top of your conventional oven at home is equally as hot. From the stove to the broiler works for us every time.
- Keep it simple. If you add too much sauce or too many toppings, you’ll be taking away from all of that work you’ve done on your dough, and it won’t caramelize properly.
- Be resourceful. It’s absolutely fine not to go out and spend 1/3 of your paycheck on gourmet ingredients for pizza night. I find that my most simple and creative pies come when I push myself to use what’s in the fridge. Great anchovies back there? Dried Oregano? Olives? You’re in business.
400g Caputo Blue pizza flour
50g Whole Wheat flour
3450g Filtered water
13g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1g yeast, soaked in a tablespoon of water
25g Sourdough Starter
1 Ball Fior Di Latte, sliced (reserve water)
400ml Pomodoro Puree
4 cloves garlic
1 Fresh Bay leaf
1 small eggplant
2 Baby Zucchini
1 Tomato, peeled
Flakey Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin Olive Oil
To make the dough, add flours to water and sit for 30 minutes for the flour to hydrate. After 30 minutes, add starter, dissolved yeast, honey, salt and olive oil. Mix thoroughly and leave covered at room temperature for four hours, or until doubled in size. After they have doubled, divide into four balls and knead to create tight little doughs. Cover with cling film brushed with olive oil and place in the fridge for 16 hours. After 16 hours, remove from fridge and allow to come to room temperature. You will see gasses forming.
Meanwhile, make your sauce. Add a couple of tablespoons olive oil in a heavy bottom pot. Mince garlic cloves with a touch of salt and caramelize lightly in olive oil. Add Pomodoro puree, bay leaf, for di latte water, a touch of pimenton picante and simmer gently for 40 minutes.
Slice eggplant and place in salted water for ten minutes. Drain and dry on paper towels. Slice zucchini thinly and cut peeled tomato into small dice, discarding seeds and membrane. Toss tomato in flakey salt, nice olive oil and sherry vinegar.
Pre heat broiler as hot as it goes and heat a heavy bottom pot on the stove at high heat. Add a touch of olive oil to the pan and while using floured hands, stretch risen dough so that it resembles a disk. Place in hot pan and spread so that it reached the shape of the pan. Add a 1/2 ladle of pomodoro puree and spread on pizza. Add fior di latte and in a spiral formation, add zucchini and drained eggplant. Swirl a few drops of olive oil into the vegetables.
Place in the top of the oven and cook for about seven minutes until the crust has risen and the vegetables are slightly caramelized. Remove from oven and carefully remove from pan onto a plate, using a spatula. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the marinated tomato in the center of the pizza and sprinkle parsley, flakey salt and freshly ground black pepper around the pie. & enjoy!
We’re happy to cater a Barcelona based pizza party if you’re planning on being in the area. Click here to get in touch.