Author Topic: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?  (Read 5509 times)

Offline Greekman

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 3398
  • Karma: 180
  • New TSP Forum member
Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« on: April 15, 2016, 12:13:43 PM »
I have tried it many times but I have always been less satisfied with the results.

I have a killer dough recipe that rises well, but the problem is with the way the materials bake.
They are not "alive" and the cheese is not soft and runny the way as we get at the pizza joint.

I think it has to do that I am using an electrical oven with a warm air baking function. And because of this the materials shrink and sink in the cheese. Practically they are half way to dehydrating.

Thinking I should put the oven on the bottom heat only mode and drop the pizza pan on the oven bottom next time.

what do you think?

Offline Rasher

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: 2
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2016, 12:21:57 PM »
If the "warm air baking function" is basically a "convection function" that you can turn off.  You should be better off. 

I've heard that you do not want air blowing around when you are baking something that rises like dough. 

A pizza stone on a BBQ works really well if you have that available.

Online David in MN

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 536
  • Karma: 56
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2016, 01:14:57 PM »
Not that I want to muddy the water, but European pizza and American pizza can be quite different. We tend to overload the stuff with piles of meats and vegetables while Europeans tend to like things a little simpler (and better in my opinion).

A big problem you will face is oven temperature. Commercial pizza ovens burn much hotter than anything you'll get at home. But if you're getting a crust you like and the toppings are the only problem this isn't likely the problem.

Make sure you aren't overloading it. Go light on toppings. Make sure everything is room temperature (not cold) before it gets baked. Put a little olive oil on top to help even out the cooking. Make sure your cheese selection melts the way you like.

Maybe I've helped?
Livin on a thin line, tell me now what are we supposed to do?

Offline I.L.W.

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1006
  • Karma: 202
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2016, 01:27:04 PM »
Quote
A pizza stone on a BBQ works really well if you have that available.

Absolutely.

Get a large ceramic mixing bowl (16" in diameter) and a large weber grill with an extra lid (lids can be found online). Fill one of the lids with refractory cement, grease the outside of the bowl & press the bowl into it so the cement is even on all sides, and let it cure for a week, then remove the bowl, fire up the grill and set the modified lid on it. Keep the grill going for 8 hours (use scrap wood, etc). That will fire the cement. You now have a "Pizza Oven Lid" for your grill. Use a pizza stone over the grate of the grill for a stoneware base. When you're ready to bake, just make sure the stone and the lid are heated for about an hour before putting anything on the grill. Makes awesome bread. Some people recommend putting small bolts through the lid to give the cement something to grip, but it seems to be optional.

There are a million fancy pizza oven designs for the home, often costing several thousand dollars. This costs an extra grill lid, a pizza stone and a bag of cement. Maybe $60 when done, and works just as well. Redneck Ingenuity, you can find a lot of tutorials on this online.

Other than that, cheese used in most pizza shops isn't really cheese as much as it is whipped oil (more akin to a rubbery mayonnaise than actual cheese, lol). If it's Mozzerella you're after, buy the cheapest stuff you can find, or make it yourself and use it at a young age. Artisan cheeses have more enzymes like lipase which enhance the flavor but the resulting cheeses don't melt as nicely as the cheap stuff.

But if you're making your own pizza, don't try duplicating what others are doing, make your own style. I like fresh scallops, green onions, with guacamole (instead of tomato sauce), topped with Feta Cheese, cilantro, sweet basil and balsamic vinegar. The cheese will never melt, but it's still an amazing pizza. Yes, the Guacamole goes brown but still tastes fine.
A good government may, indeed, redress the grievances of an injured people; but a strong people can alone build up a great nation. - Thomas Francis Meagher

Offline The Spartan Dad

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 361
  • Karma: 20
  • one step at a time
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2016, 05:35:03 PM »
Other than that, cheese used in most pizza shops isn't really cheese as much as it is whipped oil (more akin to a rubbery mayonnaise than actual cheese, lol). If it's Mozzerella you're after, buy the cheapest stuff you can find, or make it yourself and use it at a young age. Artisan cheeses have more enzymes like lipase which enhance the flavor but the resulting cheeses don't melt as nicely as the cheap stuff.

Another point on the cheese is good authentic places will often have a deli type set up too where you can buy mozzarella directly. I prefer to do this because it's the best tasting I can find and inexpensive at $5/lb. They also sell salami (pepperoni), olive oil, and other meats/cheese. See if you can find a local place like this, that'll be the best ingredients and it'll be the same used as your favorite pizza place.

It's funny, we live in the middle of nowhere and this place has some of the best pizza I've ever had, including from plenty of places in NYC and Jersey. The owners and staff all immigrated from Italy and somehow ended up setting up shop here.

Offline I.L.W.

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1006
  • Karma: 202
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2016, 06:30:06 PM »
Yeah, I'm in NY and there are still very segregated immigrant communities here. The Italian and Polish neighborhoods are where you shop for Deli stuff. The Jewish and French for baked goods. The Irish neighborhoods have the best farm market produce, the Black and Asian neighborhoods have the best fish markets. The Germans for pork, the British for lamb. Some people think it's just stereotyping, but cultures really do have specialized foods.

Tragically, our Mexican cuisine out here is lacking actual Mexicans to prepare it. It's all prepared by Canadians, and they mean well, but it's a travesty. They use Vermont Cheddar cheese in their burritos... because if there's one thing Vermont is known for, it's burritos, lol. Serious, ask for a fish burrito with "Queso Fresco" and they'll come back with a "Case of Fresca" soda ;)  It made the first 4 years in this state a living hell, I had real mexican food flown in from down south to get my fix, lol. Of course when I was down south, NY deli meats were prized for their rarity. If you knew someone who knew someone who was traveling back east, you'd send them with a cooler and a wad of cash to return with real hotdogs instead of that "ballpark" crap. $15 for a 6-pack of hotdogs, and I'd order 10 packs without blinking.

Ok, I'm derailing the conversation, but more on point, if you live in an area with different cultural communities, it's all about knowing where to go for authentic ingredients. Some might think I'm being bigoted for saying this, but I' look at the ethnicity of the person selling the food. I'm not buying Mushu from a white guy named Steve, or Corned Beef in an Indian market, lol. I'll get my Barbeque ribs from a heavy-set black man with a Louisiana accent, not a 90lb Ukrainian woman. I won't win any awards for culinary political correctness, but at least I eat well.

Sometimes authentic ingredients aren't available, so you have to find something close, or go to great lengths to get the good stuff. That is particularly true of cheeses. However, Mozzarella, Provolone and other soft cooked cheeses are probably the easiest cheese to make. That's one you can do at home with just a couple gallons of milk, a cheap packet of enzyme + culture, and a bit of salt. Often there is enough fat left in the whey after making it you can also get a small batch of ricotta at the same time. If high quality authentic ingredients aren't available or are over priced, you can always make it yourself. It takes a bit of learning to get something really good, but with practice you can easily rival the high priced artisan ingredients.
A good government may, indeed, redress the grievances of an injured people; but a strong people can alone build up a great nation. - Thomas Francis Meagher

Offline Frugal Upstate

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1093
  • Karma: 54
  • aka Jenn Fowler and Jenn @ Frugal Upstate ;)
    • Frugal Upstate
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2016, 08:28:13 PM »
Just me, but I like to partake my crust for about 8 min at 350, remove from the oven, then do toppings & return to a hotter oven --425 or so-- to bake.
Check out my blog: Frugal Upstate 
Frugal-Sustainable-Prepared

Offline Greekman

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 3398
  • Karma: 180
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2016, 12:18:40 AM »
that is to be explored.

regarding local materials and cheeses, we are Good. rivaling france and italy with a large number of indigenous kinds.
Among them is Kaseri, a yellowish, rather soft, a bit salty cheese with a distinct flavor and a champ for runniness when melted.
talking about a foot long stings when you take a piece of.
http://www.zarpanews.gr/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/kaseri.jpg

so....was i correct that i should avoid baking pizzas in convection air?

Offline I.L.W.

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1006
  • Karma: 202
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2016, 03:27:40 PM »
Yeah, convection baking doesn't let the moisture escape, it just recirculates. Basically, you end up steaming it, with a bagel-like texture. You need it dry and extremely hot. A lot depends on the oven. I've never seen a good pizza from an electric oven. They're edible, but not great. Gas is a lot better, and wood fired is the best. If the oven has a gas bottom broiler, using a stone deflector plate would work.

You could try reducing moisture over all. Make sure any wet toppings are well strained (if using canned olives for instance, make sure there is no juice). Tomato slices work better if partially dehydrated, somewhere between "fresh" and "sun dried". You may even find that adding dried tomatoes will help, as they get reconstituted by the ambient moisture and allow the crust to cook properly. You could even pre-melt some of the cheese, or just make sure it's very finely grated.

Pizza is one of those things you have to tinker with to get it just right, and no two cooks ever come up with the same type of pizza, even if using the same ingredients. Within fifteen miles of my home, there are seventeen pizza parlors, and I could order the same thing from each one of them and still tell a notable difference just in the way it was cooked.  The most basic commercial pizza ovens start around $6000 USD (~5300 EUR). However, you can often pick up restaurant equipment very cheaply used. Restaurants operate on slim profit margins and cooking and running a successful business are two completely different skill sets, many new restaurants fail in their first few months, and equipment can be found at auction for a fraction of it's regular cost. Even still, you would need to eat a lot of pizzas to cover that cost, lol.
A good government may, indeed, redress the grievances of an injured people; but a strong people can alone build up a great nation. - Thomas Francis Meagher

Offline Greekman

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 3398
  • Karma: 180
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2016, 04:01:55 PM »
I think my problem is too much drying action by the oven.
And we talk different technologies.

Ovens here use circulated hot air. And part of it is excausted. And my partilular model air ciciculation is maintained for soem time, even after you turn the oven off. So if you leave non-watery food in (liek chicken wings or burgers) you will fidn them a loot drier after 1-2 hours

Offline allofthemonkeys

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 373
  • Karma: 13
    • Dutch Oven A Day
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2016, 10:23:22 PM »
I also like to par cook veggies like onions and peppers before throwing them on my pizza, like others said, less humidity
The doctor told me when I was born that my chances of getting out of this life alive were slim.
Check out my YouTube Dutch Oven A Day and dutchovenaday.com.

Offline valley ranch

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 34
  • Karma: 1
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2016, 09:54:33 PM »
For a stretchy cheese Armenian String Cheese, Mozzarella will do. There are other cheeses that will do.

One more thing, some people put the doe in the oven without the topping for a short while, than put the topping on and put it back in the oven.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 10:00:28 PM by valley ranch »

Offline Greekman

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 3398
  • Karma: 180
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2016, 05:54:43 AM »
what is that Armenian String Cheese liked? reardign texture, color and saltiness?

I will admit Idonot knwo anything on the Armenian culture, other than the dark shades of common history.
Regards,a greek cousin...

Offline valley ranch

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 34
  • Karma: 1
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2016, 07:14:45 AM »


Greeting, Here is a picture of Armenian String Cheese, I would be very surprised if you've not tasted this. It melt well, Mozzarella was made using this a blue print.

I'm happy to meet you and will drop by to chat, now and then, when I see a post or thread you are involved with.

God bless you Greekman, both you and your loved ones.

Richard
« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 07:23:29 AM by valley ranch »

Offline DMG

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2016, 10:58:10 AM »
I have tried it many times but I have always been less satisfied with the results.

I have a killer dough recipe that rises well, but the problem is with the way the materials bake.
They are not "alive" and the cheese is not soft and runny the way as we get at the pizza joint.

I think it has to do that I am using an electrical oven with a warm air baking function. And because of this the materials shrink and sink in the cheese. Practically they are half way to dehydrating.

Thinking I should put the oven on the bottom heat only mode and drop the pizza pan on the oven bottom next time.

what do you think?

We make pizza a lot and here is what we have found.
-The 50/50 mozzarella/provalone blend from Sams club works great
-Get the oven as hot as possible and turn off the convection
-A pizza stone helps
-Get every ingredient to room temp. If the cheese is frozen microwave it enough to soften it but not melt it
-Do not let the dough rise. Just make the dough, flatten it on the pan in the shape you want and let it sit for a few minutes while you get other ingredients ready. A thin layer of olive oil on the dough is optional. We don't do it any more.

Offline Greekman

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 3398
  • Karma: 180
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2016, 10:59:57 AM »
Quote
Do not let the dough rise

hmmm And i do exactly the opposite.... but we Greeks love our pizzaw thick like a slice of bread

Offline never_retreat

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 909
  • Karma: 33
  • I am the Great Cornholio I need TP for my bunghole
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2016, 08:11:06 PM »
Turn the convection off.
Get a stone of some sort.
Get it as hot as you can, Standard deck type pizza ovens are usually set at about 550 degrees F.
Negotiating with obama is like playing chess with a pigeon , the pigeon knocks over all the pieces , shits on the board, then struts around on the board like it won the game.

Offline Greekman

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 3398
  • Karma: 180
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Homemade pizza. What am i doing wrong?
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2016, 10:13:12 AM »
All! have I told you about my story with pourable pizza?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMvUZ9jkvJ4
One just needs to refine the "baking" process of