Steeling my resolve

I tend to collect obsessions as I get older. Many of them involve cooking. One that has evolved over the years is pizza making. I started making my own pizza dough over 5 years ago, but I have slowly refined the recipe to settle on one that is fairly reliable.

Making pizza at home is great because not only can you tailor it to your personal tastes (I find many pizzerias too greasy), but you can guarantee that the pizza will be fresh.

My general approach is to make the dough one to two days in advance and let it’s flavor mature in the refrigerator for a couple days before using it. I add a simple sauce, Maplebrook Farm mozzarella, and a few toppings.

For the past several years I cooked the pizza on a stone in my maxed out oven, giving it at least an hour to warm up. This has worked very well, and improved even further once I added convection. The pizza cooks in about 6 minutes, and the results are great, though the crust has never been as crispy as I would like.

Recently, I discovered the Baking Steel, a quarter inch thick, 15 pound behemoth that replaces the stone. The idea is that steel transfers heat to the dough better than stone. To my surprise it worked rather well. I’m still experimenting, but it definitely added a crispness that I was missing before. Next up is trying the elusive Neapolitan style, which has never worked well for me in the past.

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