I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Now I will talk about assembling the pizza. This is another of the very important and controversial steps in creating a good pizza. The guys over at have been experimenting for years trying to figure out the optimal way to assemble a pizza. The first step in assembling the pizza is shaping the dough. You must be very careful in this step, because you can screw up your pizza bigtime. I use a method very similar to the one described in The Bread Baker's Apprentice. To quote:

"Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles in flour and lift 1 piece of dough by getting under it with a pastry scraper. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a stretch with each bounce. If it begins to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue shaping it."

I don't toss the dough up in the air. It scares me. I do an additional step prior to the dipping and stretching. I carefully press the dough down once, without degassing the dough, to a diameter somewhere around 6 to 8 inches. Once my shaping is done I place the dough on a floured pizza peel.

To top, I put down a thin layer of sauce. NOT TOO MUCH. Then I put down a thin (by deep dish standards) layer of shredded mozzarella. Next I put a few thin slices of fresh buffalo mozzarella. Next I put down some pepperoni and sprinkle with some freshly cut basil. To finish the pizza I sprinkle the top with a small amount of sea salt. The last thing I do prior to placing on the baking stone is to swirl a little olive oil over the top circling from the center outward. I started doing the olive oil and salt steps after reading the book Pizza Napoletana. I have no idea whether any New York pizzerias do those 2 steps, I just prefer the way pizza taste that has been made this way.

To bake I slide the pizza from the peel directly onto the baking stone. I let it cook about 3 minutes and then slide the pizza peel back under the pizza to turn it 180 degrees. I close the door and let the pizza finish cooking. When the pizza is done you will know it because it will look like this:

The crust is browned but not burnt and the cheese is starting to bubble and brown. Baking times vary from oven to oven. You just have to watch it.

Prior to serving the dough, I brush the outer rim of the crust with just a touch of olive oil. Again, this idea came from the book Pizza Napoletana. I don't know if any NY pizzerias brush the crust, I just really like the way it turns out if you do.