The idiot is back with a pizza question.

bmorepanicJanuary 5, 2014

Ok - new range, oven works & everything.

Trying pizza again. I'm having some issues about the toppings and getting them done correctly. I'm having tri-state vegetable toppings (not done, dried out, or done).
I'm not having crust or flavor issues.

Obviously, I'm doing something wrong. I don't cut the toppings correctly, don't use correct amount of sauce, don't bake it correctly or assemble it right or something.

The last time, I tried an adaptation of the baking steel way just by using the pizza stone (let it heat at 500 for a long time like 45 minutes. Put the pie on the stone and then changed to the broiler. Woah. Pie done in 4 minuets. Little too done, actually.

Will move one rack position away the next time, but resulted in some cooked and some not cooked toppings and no dried out ones. It was just onions and mushrooms, the crust was nicely browned underneath and a little bit of a bath tub on top.with melted cheese swimming around, taking a dip in the tomato sauce with the veg.

If you know what I'm doing wrong, that'd be cool. If not and you happen to have pictures of assembled but not cooked pies to look at, they would be perfect.

Thanks!

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lizbeth-gardener

I think the broiler is the problem. I bake mine for 15-20 minutes around 450 degrees on a lower rack.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 10:49PM
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teresa_nc7

I agree with lizbeth, I have my pizza stone on the very bottom rack, preheat it for 30 minutes or more to 450 and bake the pizza for probably less than 15 minutes --- 20 min. would be too long in my oven. Then again, maybe I make my pizza crust thinner - that choice is up to the cook.

Teresa

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 11:10PM
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bmorepanic

Yeah, I should have said the topping thing happens even without that broiler thing. Happens quite a bit actually - like every time.

I could go on, but it will start to sound like a Doctor Seuss book. I have baked it there, 400, 450, 475, 500, 550. I have baked it everywhere; changing the time a bit with temperature.

Cheese on the tippy top and cheese beneath (but not at the same time).

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 11:13PM
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lizbeth-gardener

Can you post a recipe you are using? How much sauce and how much cheese (grated?) and what kind are you using for what size crust? Are you slicing the mushrooms and onions?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 12:24AM
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sleevendog

Maybe most important is what style pizza you like normally and try and duplicate that.
Some like a wet thick style deep dish. A gooey mess. I prefer a thin crisp crust and minimal toppings where the cheese starts to bubble and toast a bit brown.
If the top of your crust is wet with a crisp bottom, not done at the same time, i would move your steel to the middle of your oven. You could even put your dough in for 2-3 minutes, take it back out, then add your toppings. Back in to finish with it switched to broil.

Try sweating your veggies first. Saute your onions for 20 min on low heat, add mushrooms and simmer for 20 more minutes...turn off heat and let rest to release more moisture. Any veg could be added to this mix. Red pepper slices, etc.
I will sometimes prep the night before and fridge all my toppings. Also nice to quarter tomatoes and roast in the oven on parchment with onions, garlic and other veggies for an hour or more to concentrate flavors and also release moisture. Dice, chop, or blender for a rich tangy sauce that is not so watery and less sauce is needed.

Here is a link that might be useful: mushroom and onion saute

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 7:50AM
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teresa_nc7

I agree with lizbeth, I have my pizza stone on the very bottom rack, preheat it for 30 minutes or more to 450 and bake the pizza for probably less than 15 minutes --- 20 min. would be too long in my oven. Then again, maybe I make my pizza crust thinner - that choice is up to the cook.

Teresa

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 12:05PM
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bmorepanic

Pre-cooking the toppings is the only thing that has ever completely cooked the toppings. Again, the broiler is sort of beside the point. The undone toppings happen either way.

I try to make pizzas that are about 12" x 14" - or there abouts - maybe up to 14" x 15". I'm trying for puffy rims down to flat centers. I've not practiced enough to make a specific size.

Onions are as thin as I can get them sometimes even transparent, mushrooms are cut about an eighth inch. If I use anything else like peppers, it's always cut. I have been putting toppings under the cheese lately, except for meats, if any, are on top of the cheese.

Cheese is hand cut or hand grated. It's not an affectation as much as we don't do enough pizza to need a machine. I use less cheese than most pizzas I've seen.

I tend towards fresh mozzarella, fontina or fontendella with garbage provolone as filler. Sometimes Parmesan if it melts. Under a cup of cheese altogether for a small, probably just over a cup for a larger one.

Sauce is spread thinly with the back of a spoon. I'd guess two or three heaping tablespoons for a larger pie and one to two for a smaller one.

Any meats are precooked completely after turning into small bits.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 2:36PM
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klseiverd

Not a pizza MASTER but have no complaints. You're never gonna get pizzeria results from home oven... imo.. unless you're luck enough to have a wood fired oven outdoors.

Really would like gooey cheese, but it always seems to brown during the 15+ minutes in oven about as high as it can go. Had a snow day on Friday... and that meant pizza. Tried something a little different. I press out dough on parchment, spread sauce around and then into oven on a perforated pan for about half the bake time. At the half way point, topped with copious amounts of favorite cheeses and back in for rest of time. Think I like the way the cheese melted but didn't get really brown.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 5:46PM
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foodonastump

I'm wondering if the fresh mozz is your problem. It can be very moist which could result in some of your toppings soaking in a puddle.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 6:41PM
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bmorepanic

klseiverd - no, I am not that fortunate. But I feel great to have an oven after a long time without one. I'm just trying for good pizza. Partially baking the crust might help

Foodonastump. Huh. I didn't think about that but maybe that is part of puddle formation and the unevenness of the cooking of the toppings.

What do others do for cheeses? I'm not italian (like you couldn't tell), but we have a neato italian deli up the street.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 9:30PM
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bulldinkie

Bake crust a few minutes.can't stand Chewey dough .I like to slice. Like onions etc thin.I brown my beef first.if there's some things like peppers I throw them at the end a few minutes before it's done.I put everything on mine. Bacon pieces,beef,onions,slice ham,cheese,make hot oven.I have an again stove I put mine right on oven floor.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 8:26AM
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LKZZ

Pizza stone.
450 degrees.
~ 15 minutes.

(I sauté my veggies first).

I have best luck with Stromboli's...excellent.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 12:07PM
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teresa_nc7

Try provolone cheese sometime; I just tear up some slices and lay it on top of the pizza. Muenster and brick cheese are good on pizza also. To my taste, mozz doesn't have much flavor to it, even fresh mozz, if I could even get it here.

Teresa

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 12:48PM
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bmorepanic

Thanks to all who replied. I have some different ideas to try.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 6:10PM
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ann_t

You might try the method I used to make pizza last night.
In the past I've always baked my pizzas on a stone. The stone was on the bottom rack. Oven set to 550ðF. But yesterday I tried a new method.

The stone is placed near the top of the oven, eight inches from the broiler. The stone is preheated for at least an hour and just before the pizza goes into the oven, the broiler is turned on for five minutes to boost the temperature of the stone. Then the oven is reset to 550ðF and the pizza slid on to stone and baked for five minutes. Then the oven is set to broil and the pizza continues to bake under the broiler for two minutes.

This pizza is just like the pizza from my favourite pizzeria. Only thing missing is the flavour that a wood oven imparts.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 7:04PM
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sleevendog

Ha, i was just posting your recipe from your blog.
Just about the best i have seen without a wood fired oven.
Perfect blister. Nice char.
I also like my stone closer to the top, top third of my oven.
We plan to make that bread recipe tomorrow.

Just about any cheese should work if your dough is good and firm. Firm meaning 'sturdy'. I do like my crust a bit more thin but that is just a personal preference.

Here is a link that might be useful: perfect pizza

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 7:23PM
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ann_t

Thanks Sleevendog. I prefer thin crust pizzas too. It is hard to tell from the pictures, but that crust is quite thin. Just the out side crust is puffy. The next time I will make slightly larger pizzas so that the centre is larger and the outer crust isn't quite as wide.

I agree that just about any cheese will work. I used fresh mozzarella. That is my preference. And I prefer a really hydrated dough. Not what I would call sturdy or firm.

~Ann

This post was edited by ann_t on Fri, Jan 10, 14 at 19:37

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 7:34PM
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