Friday, January 27, 2012

It's (Almost) Winter - Time For Pizza

I’ve had it with this “winter”…alleged winter, that is. You see, every year I wait with baited breath for winter to come around – and the reason for that is because when winter finally comes around, I feel like I can at last crank up my oven without fear of becoming a victim of heat stroke in my own kitchen.

As much as I like to bake, it doesn’t happen much during the warmer months (which around here used to mean from June to October, but now appears to run from March to the following January), for the above reason. 

Now this whole philosophy of not baking when it’s too warm to turn on my oven applies especially to pizza.  Because when baking pizza, your oven needs to be heated as hot as it can go, and preheating for at least an hour before any baking is a necessity too…that way, the pizza stone (you have one of those, right?) in the bottom of your oven can get properly hot.  In this case, properly hot (for a home oven) means around 550°F.  Most home ovens only go up to 500°F or 525°F, but I’ve played around a bit with the electronics in my oven, and can push it to 550°F.  Yesterday, after an hour's worth of preheating took place, I turned on the broiler for an extra jolt, so that by the time I slid the pizza into the oven, the stone read 604°F, per my trusty laser thermometer.  Not ideal for pizza, but pretty hot nonetheless.

The dough was made using Jim Lahey’s no-knead pizza dough recipe. Fermented in the fridge for 48 hours, topped with San Marzano DOP tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and a few curds from Saxelby’s, and a sprinkle of Italian oregano. First, the upskirt…

From the top…
It's not as good as Totonno's and it's certainly not Keste. But who the hell wants to go out for those; after all, it's winter.


  1. Hi Mitch, what kind of stone do you use? Not particularly please with the one I have.

  2. @youthlarge - I've got a really nice, large square one that works great. Key is to heat it up for at least an hour right on the bottom of the oven...