Happy My Pie Monday! We've got a stunning selection of homemade pies from Slice'rs old and new in today's lineup. See them all in the slideshow.
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Welcome to our brand new pizza index! Over the years, our staff and readers have worked to build a treasure trove of pizza recipes and techniques, ranging from regional classics to home kitchen adaptations and twists. Have we covered it all? Absolutely not—that would take all the fun out it! One of pizza's greatest qualities, at least in our humble opinion, is how difficult it is to pin down or define. Ideally, this list will continue to grow and evolve indefinitely. In the meantime, we've done our best to organize our existing pizza resources to make things a little easier for all the home cooks and aspiring pizzaoli out there. Have at it, Slice'rs!
Any pizza lover and observer of Sicilian New Years' traditions may know sfincione, the true Sicilian pizza made with onions, bread crumbs, caciocavallo cheese, and a ton of olive oil. It's pretty delicious any time of year, but especially appropriate for new years, when delicious, simple, hand-held, booze-spongey foods are at their apex of popularity. Not only that, but it's pretty dead-simple to make.
Happy My Pie Monday, everyone! Looks like Slice'rs went toppings-happy this week, scattering bright purple onions and bright purple beets on their pies, piling them with roasted garlic, capers, and sausage...yum! Check out the slideshow for a look at homemade pizza from TScarborough, dhorst, Teachertalk, BoRaynolds, and our own Adam Kuban.
So many creative and delicious-looking pies for this week's My Pie Monday! There's breakfast pizza, grilled pizza, Southwestern pizza, and even deep dish. Check out the homemade pizzas from the kitchens of Mike Senese, aaroneatspizza, Jim Z., ESNY1077, olsonmatt, BiereBeer, Bill CBP, lisatyc, Brigitte T., Adam Kuban, and dhorst.
The key to great NY-style sauce is the balance between sweetness, acidity, heat, with a definite herbal backbone and a texture that's thin enough enough to spread, but thick enough to keep your pizza from turning soggy during the de rigeur fold-and-carry.
Fermentation is a fascinating thing. It's what gives a great pizza crust (and all yeast-leavened breads, for that matter) its light, airy structure and distinctive complex, slightly sour taste. But what's the best way to ferment dough? This week, I try to find out.
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.
Trying to decide whether to simply dispose of some old, unused, naturally leavened pizza dough or to incorporate it into my starter, I chose option three: adding the old dough to a yeasted pizza crust. You don't need dmcavanagh to tell you that slow-rise dough has a superior taste; the difference in flavor is evident from the first bite. As dough ferments, yeast converts starches to sugars, building a complex flavor and priming the crust for caramelization. By adding mature dough to the usual suspects (flour, water, salt, and yeast), however, you can achieve similar results relatively quickly.
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.
Having had great success with dough recipes from Peter Reinhart's American Pie, I expected his sourdough crust to be as tangy and aromatic as the best examples of this superior variety of bread. My toppings would have to be equally assertive and delicious to create balanced and harmonious pizza. Here's what I used....
Many Slice'rs, myself included, use various pizza hacks to approximate the heat of a wood oven in a standard gas or electric home oven. The other night I wanted to try something different. I wondered what would happen if I accepted the limitations of my home oven instead of trying to overcome them.
Known as dou miao in Mandarin, pea shoots got a flavor somewhere between peas and spinach and have a crunchy chewiness that's a dead ringer for something Italians are pretty dang familiar with already. "Hey, the texture of these pea shoots reminds me of sautéed broccoli rabe." And then my grease-addled brain instantly made the leap to ... pizza topping!
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.
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.
[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....
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.
I got this email from Foolish Poolish last night, with the subject line, "You might find this interesting." Well, FP, I think the Slice'rs would find this interesting, too, so I hope you don't mind me sharing it. And, how apropos, given the NYT story that ran this morning. Observe and learn! —The Mgmt. [Photographs: Foolish Poolish] Here is a dough ball. The dough was mixed from just 160g flour and 100g water (no leavening) and left to rest for 20 minutes.During that 20 minutes, the broiler has been directly heating a pizza stone sitting xx" away from the heating...
The New York Times's Oliver Strand gets his fingers in the flour in a story about homemade pizza today. Does this signify a new "pizza moment"? I hope so. But let me qualify that a bit. Parallel to the surge of new pizzerias, there's been a DIY pizza movement quietly building momentum in kitchens and backyards everywhere. So while I say that the publication of this Times article may signify a "new pizza moment," in truth this DIY pizza moment has been happening all along. What's new is that it's finally getting the attention it deserves.