'cooking' on Serious Eats

The Pizza Lab: Bringing Neapolitan Pizza Home (aka 'The Skillet-Broiler Method')

Perfect Neapolitan pizza at home is a myth. It's a golden ring that can be strived for but never quite achieved. So where does that leave the rest of us home cooks? The ones who want to throw together a quick, really good pizza that doesn't require jury-rigging the oven? Lucky for us, really-really-good-but-not-quite-authentic-Neapolitan-pizza is not an unattainable goal. All you need is a skillet and your oven's broiler. More

How to Grill Pizza Indoors

If you've got a backyard or deck and a grill, grilling pizzas is a natural in the summer. After lighting up the grill, hot, crisp-chewy, perfectly blistered crust is just a few minutes away. But what if you, like me, recently moved from a decked-out Brooklyn apartment to a Manhattan high rise with no outdoor space? The answer seems obvious: Grill the pizza indoors on a grill pan. More

Basil on a Pizza: Before or After Baking?

Dom DeMarco scissoring fresh basil onto a pizza at Di Fara. And, yes, we know that pizza is burned! [Photograph: Adam Kuban] Pizzablogger's informative email about Neapolitan basil got us at Slice HQ thinking about the many ways basil can be added to a pie. Do you like basil added before the pie goes in the oven so its flavor mingles with that of the sauce or added after the pie comes out of the oven so it doesn't wilt? And how do you like 'dem leaves—whole or cut into a chiffonade?... More

Broiled No-Knead Pizza (No-Knead Pizza 102)

Because these pizzas are so thin, it's possible to overcome the limitations of a home oven and generate extreme heat long enough to bake the pie to blistery perfection. I find that the easiest and safest way to achieve this level of heat is Heston Blumenthal's broiler method. Blumenthal superheats a cast iron skillet, inverts it, places the pie on the underside of the skillet, and slides it under the broiler to cook the pizza with bidirectional heat. More

How to Make No-Knead Pizza Dough (No-Knead Pizza 101)

The best and worst thing about this dough is that it's wet and sticky: Water develops the gluten proteins in the flour, causing the dough to stretch beautifully when the yeast produces a high volume of gas in the heat of the oven. It's undeniably hard to roll out, but considering that rolling out the dough is the only difficult step in the entire process, this strikes me as an eminently fair trade-off. More

Fleischmann's New Pizza Crust Yeast

[Photograph: pizzacrustyeast.com] Fleischmann's has introduced a new pizza crust yeast. Have any pizza-makers out there tried it yet? The breadheads over at The Fresh Loaf seem to like it. Fleischmann's product site for the new yeast makes it clear that it's aimed at people who want to make pizza quickly. You simply stir it in (no need to proof), knead, and stretch it out. It contains dough relaxers so you don't have to let it rest before shaping. Have you used it? Let us know what you think.... More

How to Make Grilled Pizza

For my money, grilling pizza is by far the best way to cook pizza at home. The basic theory is easy. Take a round of pizza dough, expose it to the intense heat of a grill, flip it, top it, char the bottom, and serve. Because grills can reach upwards of 600°F and emit radiant energy like a motherfu**er, the pizzas bubble, crisp, and char in about 45 seconds flat per side. That's timing that rivals the hottest wood-burning oven, and just like those pizzas, the result is a crust that is soft and chewy in the center, with a crisp, crackly shell that's deeply charred in spots. More

Good Idea: How to Really Reheat Pizza in a Skillet or on a Griddle

[Photograph: Ideas in Food] I've reheated leftover pizza in a skillet before, but I'd never thought of flipping it and cooking the cheese side, too. Aki and Alex from Ideas in Food came up with this simple "why didn't I think of that!?!" way to reheat slices. Quote: I could simply flip the pizza over. The crust would brown and the cheese would not only melt, it would become crispy and caramelized like a frico, making the leftover pizza into something possibly better than the real thing. Wish I had some leftover pizza in the fridge to try this... More

Video: Heston Blumenthal Makes Pizza

Reader Z. B. emailed with links to the following videos, saying, "Wonder if you've seen this? Interesting idea with the tomato vine and upside-down skillet." I've actually seen the upside-down skillet thing when Nick Kindelsperger wrote about this broiled pizza hack for Serious Eats last year. It's a cool trick that British überchef Heston Blumenthal, came up with, using the skillet as a superhot base to cook the pizza on. But the tomato vine trick is new to me and pretty cool. Readers, Blumenthal posits that much of the flavor we associate with tomatoes is in the vine, and... More

In Videos: Jamie Oliver Makes Pizza

This series of videos shows Jamie Oliver making pizza. They're fairly interesting because Oliver has cooked around the various regions of Italy, each with its own specific way of doing things. Instead of slavishly sticking to one culinary canon, however, he finds a way of making pies that fuses all the good stuff that works for him. And check out his killer wood-burning pizza oven. All that, after the jump.... More

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