Detroit Eats

Musings of A Detroit Based Food Fanatic

Neapolitan Pizza at Home

with 14 comments


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     Everyone enjoys pizza. It’s America’s favorite takeout food found in every city and every town. I grew up on East coast style. Paper-thin with pepperoni or sausage. However you like your pizza (Chicago deep dish, Detroit Square etc.) one of the best ways to enjoy is to make your own. If you just want to buy a pre-made crust and add you topping the more power to you but I prefer getting down with the dough (make from scratch).  Toppings can be, of course, very personal. Pizza dough is a canvas. I have made pizza from all sorts of leftovers (BBQ chicken and even Pot Roast or whatever I find in the fridge, within reason).

     In making pizza at home there are several things that can be done to help you create a quality product.

The Dough

1. I really don’t recommend par-baked pizza crust. All you are doing is making bread with sauce and cheese.

2. There are dough ball available in some supermarkets. The quality varies but at least you get to work the dough.

3. Stop by your local pizza shop and ask to buy a ball of dough. Not a bad way to go.

4. Make your own from scratch. It’s not as hard as you think.

Dough Recipe

3 cups  bread Flour

1 package instant yeast

1 tsp sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup warm water

              Pizza Stone

The best tool you can get for making pizza is a pizza stone. It distributes the heat in your oven evenly and absorbs the moisture from your crust leaving it crisp. A variety of store carries them.

Directions

1. Put yeast and sugar in a cup. Add 1/2 cup of water.  Mix well. Wait for the yeast and sugar to activate (it will bubble).

2. In a large mixing bowl, add the olive oil, flour, salt, 1/2 cup of warm water. Add the yeast/water/sugar mix (step 1) and stir until mixed (a stand mixer with a dough hook can help with this but it can also be done by hand.

3.Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and turn the dough out onto it. Knead the dough vigorously until the texture is smooth. If dough is still too wet add additional flour to the surface and work into the dough.

4.Place the dough in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. For best results Cover lightly with plastic. Let the dough rise until doubled in size. Punch down the dough let rise again for 30 minutes. 

5. Cut dough in half. Recipe will make two 14-inch pizzas.

6. Sprinkle surface with flour and flatted dough by hand. Use thumb and forefinger to spread dough in a circular manner. Spread to about 14 inches. Do not use a rolling pin or you will squeeze out all the air and your dough will be tough.

     You are now ready to top and cook your pizza!

     Sprinkle cornmeal on your pizza peel. It will make it easy to slide you pizza onto your stone. If you don’t have one a large cutting board (or sheet pan) will do. Transfer your dough to the peel. Working quickly, add your sauce toppings and cheese. Remember! Too many toppings and cheese and you pizza will become unmanageable. Place in a preheated 500-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes (or until well browned). The cornmeal should make it easy to slide your pizza onto the stone. 

     What topping is my favorite? Believe it or not a meat eating guy like me like a roasted veggie pizza. My toppings are onion, roasted pepper, artichoke and tomato.

Tell me about yours…. Bon Apetit!

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Written by Ed Schenk

January 16, 2010 at 11:13 am

14 Responses

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  1. The pizza looks beautiful, will try some of your tips the next time I make pizza ! My favorite toppings are bellpeppers, mushrooms and jalapenos.

    Usha

    February 10, 2010 at 10:59 pm

  2. I absolutely love my pizza stone! As for toppings– I love Margherita pizza. I only make it during the summer when we get the toms and basil straight from our garden–
    I wish it were summer because I am wanting some now!!

    April

    January 30, 2010 at 8:43 am

  3. I love chicken, onions and peppers with parm and mozz cheeses.

    I had someone tell me that if you use a baking stone, heat up the stone and then put the pizza on it to bake. It will give you a little bit firmer crust on the bottom. It worked for me.

    I have such trouble getting the dough to spread out. Does it just take a lot of practice?

    Diana

    January 22, 2010 at 8:44 am

    • My stone is in my oven at all times. I lost a stone because it heated too fast (temp change).

      Ed Schenk

      January 24, 2010 at 12:51 am

  4. Wow, that’s a great looking pizza! I’m going to change the link on my pizza dough to yours, which seems much easier to make. You have a great site – I look forward to returning!

    • Thanks for stopping in. Glad you enjoyed the post.
      E.S.

      Ed Schenk

      January 21, 2010 at 12:48 am

      • It take practice and patience. Your dough needs enough gluten so it doesn’t tear and that’s why All purpose flour doesn’t work as well.
        It’s difficult to explain how to spread the dough. It is something better shown.
        If the dough doesn’t want to spread (tightens up) let it rest a bit

        Ed Schenk

        January 23, 2010 at 1:22 am

  5. that is a beautiful pizza. on mine i like radicchio and pancetta as well as the items you mention….maybe i would omit the tomatoes. Also when i make the sauce i like to add pureed roasted eggplant to it. Great website

    kevin hill

    January 20, 2010 at 7:22 am

    • Thanks for stopping by.
      The crust is just a template for us to create our own works of art.

      Ed Schenk

      January 20, 2010 at 7:36 am

  6. So this morning, I made my dough, part baked my crusts to be frozen and then came across your blog saying not to part-bake 🙂

    Next time, I’ll make real pizza 🙂

    Kitchen Butterfly

    January 18, 2010 at 4:37 am

    • I was really refering to products like Boboli (or other commercial crusts).

      Ed Schenk

      January 20, 2010 at 11:09 am

  7. Thanks for sharing your technique, and for visiting Savory Tv. I’m a former Detroit girl!

    On my pizza I love toppings of fresh basil and mozzarella, and the key to me is to not overload with too many or toppings or too much sauce.

    Cheers!

    Heidi from Savory Tv

    January 17, 2010 at 2:10 am

    • Thanks for stopping by.
      Your right, Its the balance between sauce, cheese, crust and topping that makes a great pizza. More than 1 or 2 topping and your crust gets soggy.

      Ed Schenk

      January 17, 2010 at 4:16 am


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