Last week @_d_m_c (Dave McNamee) asked:
@slice, where in NYC can I find the best raw pizza dough for purchase?
For at-home pizza-making, I'd say just do your corner pizzeria. Without crazy-ass oven, even bestest dough may not make much diff
To which @foolishpoolish replied:
Without crazy-ass oven, even bestest dough may not make much diff [really?]
Got all that?
My first instinct was to tell Dave that without a crazy-ass pizza oven, it probably wouldn't make that much difference where you got the dough. That any difference would be negated by home-oven preparation.
But I should probably amend things here, in a forum longer than 140 characters.
It was presumptive of me to assume Dave had average home-pizza-baker skill level — like I do. I don't know if he does or not. Assuming so, I thought that if, like I sometimes do, he failed to stretch the dough out enough or mishandled it, he still might not achieve the desired effect.
That was wrong. For all I know, Dave may have worked in a pizzeria at some point and knows his way around a doughball. And, given that most average corner pizzerias cook the pies at temps that an average home oven can get close to, there's no reason I'd see that he couldn't achieve respectable results at home — as long as, going into it, he didn't get his hopes on achieving absolute copy-cat levels.
Then again, if a home-pizza-maker like Foolish Poolish can make something like this ...
...then there's hope for the rest of us.
So my new advice to Dave would be to simply go to a pizzeria whose pizza you like, one that has a flavorful crust that cooks up crisp-chewy, and see if they'll sell you raw dough. Chances are they will. And from there, it's just a matter of practicing your game to make something that makes you happy.
Emailing further with Foolish Poolish, however, led to a new wrinkle in this issue, one that sort of flips the script. FP said:
Thinking about that "pizzeria dough" tweet, I recall a thread on Pizzamaking.com about a guy who took his own dough to a pizzeria to have it baked and noticed a big difference just from the oven. So you're not wrong in your response. That said, I guess there's no harm finding dough from a pizzeria as long as you're not expecting to duplicate the pies coming from that place. Could make for an interesting article/review come to think of it...
Of course, before the comments start rolling in, there's always the advice: "Why not make your own?!?"