(I think it is not entirely inaccurate to think of a direct-to-PDF link as like hotlinking an image from someone's site instead of linking to the site.)
The oven has a refractory cement interior and floor, with a layer of insulation top, bottom and sides. The whole thing is coated in stucco. The door is around 6 inches thick and also insulated. This gives it a tremendous thermal mass.
The only significant area of heat loss is around the door. It is a remarkable piece of engineering.
Sure, those are worthy trade-offs in some instances, but as far as quintessential pizza goes, Neapolitan is as close to the real deal as you can get
Sicilian pizza is less authenticate than Neapolitan? Happy Joe's taco pizza is inferior to either? All a matter of taste.
If you’re in SF go for doppio zero! If you’re in London go for made in italy, donna margherita, franco manca
It’s all the same goodness of a deep dish: creamy cheese on the bottom, sauce on top, crispy crust all the caramelization you could ask for. Just (I think) a better ratio of crust to stuff, and lighter.
Previously I'd only had the thick doughy crust they make at places like Patxi's here in Palo Alto. Not really my thing.
Lou's is exactly like you describe: a thinner crust made with barley so it is crisp and crunchy. My favorite is their spinach.
Here is the weird part. We order six frozen pizzas from their website and they overnight them in an insulated box with dry ice and detailed instructions. You take the frozen pizza out of the foil pan, wipe any condensation off the pan, oil the pan with good olive oil and put the pizza back in it to bake. I recommend baking a little longer than they say so the crust gets nice and crisp. As long as the sauce on the top isn't burning, you're good.
Yes, shipping frozen pizzas across the country may not be the most environmentally sound thing to do. But for an occasional guilty pleasure, I suppose we could do worse.
Does anyone know of a place on the SF Peninsula that makes Malnati's style pizza? I would love to be able to get it locally.
LOL - the exact opposite, actually.
Neopolitan is thin instead of deep-dish. The idea is to blast it at like 900 degrees, but only for 1-2 minutes, so they keep it thin so it can actually cook in that time.
That said, Chicago style 'deep dish' is a personal favorite too. In fact, it's been a while since I made some - maybe I should go find my spring-form pan again :)
Warning: funny and rude. But IMHO makes good points.
It is interesting that people find cultural change so offensive. Is the term food protectionism?
Currently on a Koda-16 which gets up to 900f in about 20 mins, yet is so well insulated - 45 minutes later there’s still snow sitting on top of it. A pizza usually takes about 90-120 seconds for me.
The thermal mass is important - the pizza stone at the bottom on this model is thicker than my last one, and while I could cook several pizzas, the ones in the middle took longer because I didn’t let the stone heat up again after the last pizza. Noticeable difference if there was no “rest time” between pizzas. Some friends have tried “metal pizza stones” which also retain heat really well (like 1/4” steel plate type of thing) apparently works well in hone ovens.
I use mine also to sear sous vide steaks. Works out fantastic.
In the mean time I use a 1/2" steel plate in my home oven. Our oven goes up to 550F and the plate can hit ~650F under the broiler. Still a long ways from 900F but it can bake a very decent pizza in 3-4 minutes, with minimal heat loss (heat loss would be more of an issue with a thinner plate, I assume).
Also no worries about cracking if a launch goes badly and I end up with sauce leaking off the pizza--I broke quite a few pizza stones that way.
Having said that, it does take a significant amount of the trunk, so.. meh.
It was a bit dense for me in parts, but isn't it a very standard bread cooking trick to stick a cast iron pan in the oven to give it more thermal mass?
I'm also quite curious about these cooking temperatures, I know I'm never going to hit those in my electric stove, and I do cook deep dish pizzas longer at a lower temperature so they aren't goopy dough on the bottom. I wish I could try cooking them hotter, they still come out like crackers at 475F sometimes.
I'm curious, regarding your note about pizza stone temperature, do you make the pizza dough stretched and topped and then... put it on the already hot stone? How do you get the dough from the place you topped it to the stone without it falling to pieces?
What kind of stone could it be that a cast iron pan wouldn't be both higher thermal conductivity and also higher heat capacity? Are you using temperatures too high for cast iron?
There are plenty of demos and tips on "how to launch a pizza"
> Are you using temperatures too high for cast iron?
No, not at all. So why not use cast iron?
IDK, when cooking pizza inside a kitchen oven some people do use cast iron plates. They're a fair amount more expensive than the ceramic "pizza stone", and heavier, apparently they work very well. google "pizza steel".
In a custom-made pizza oven, ceramic floors are the only type I've seen. I guess iron just isn't necessary in this case? The whole interior gets heated up to 450-500C. If you're building a dome outdoors out of concrete and brick, then thermal mass is there because of regular mass?
Steel or iron in a 450C oven would burn the bottom of the pizza before the top was anywhere close to done. It works well in home ovens at much lower temperatures (say 250C).
I've been making pizza often since I was five, for many years weekly for dozens of people, and the center of the bottom is always the hardest to get cooked nicely without burning the top.
If this fixes that I can maybe avoid prebaking the crusts, that was my workaround previously. This sounds way better!
If you are cooking in your kitchen oven, you also have a second option: a sheet of baking parchment.
I like the idea of learning to launch it though, I'm already sad that I can't toss the dough without dropping it so that seems like a just slightly easier skill that depends more on getting the dough to the right consistency. Seems like it will be fun to do anyway.
If you are making pizza "weekly for dozens of people" then equipment such as pizza peels and/or a pizza oven might be ideal for you?
You use a pizza peel . Put the pizza on the peel (some people put the stretched dough on and top it while it's on the peel, some people top it first and then transfer it to the peel), put it in the oven, and then slide the peel out from underneath.
Flour/semolina or corn meal helps keep the pizza dough from sticking to the peel.
It’s much cleaner than the way I used to do it, which required cornmeal and often resulted in crooked transfers, misshapen dough, and lopsided toppings.
There isn't. There are 3 operations: launch, turning and extracting, and different styles of peel are "best" for each.
A smooth wooden peel (or perforated metal) is good for launch.
A "turning peel" is a thing, smaller and rounder.
A metal peel is best for extracting - don't use your launch peel, you don't want it to get hot, or the next pizza will stick.
This guy covers some of it: https://youtu.be/n8F8YdxA5jA
Edit: As other similar response mentioned peel seems to be the more specific word for paddle.
cast iron pans are great, but a pizza stone can be much thicker than a skillet, so you can get a lot more heat capacity. not sure about the conductivity, but some "stones" are made of steel anyway.
You cook it on the hob for a few minutes to cook the bottom, constantly shuffling the skillet round to get that random charring, then a few more minutes in a pre-heated oven as close to the broiler as possible.
Great for deep dish pizza as well, if you're into that.
Has anyone tried this technique? Won't you still get further leopard-spotting or outright burning of dough around the cornicione during this, from heat irradiation?
Sumptuous results once I acquired a wood burning oven capable of 850F.
Sadly a typical domestic oven won't do this.
> sure you mean
Yes I mean it. For a good Neapolitan pizza, yes you want 450C, C for degrees Celsius. Or around 850F
Or even a bit higher: "Ultra-High Heat 500˚C (900F) - the temperature you need for crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside perfect crusts." https://uk.ooni.com/
FYI, it only really reaches 500C at the back corner, the stone is closer to 450C at the centre.
Yes, a regular home kitchen oven can't reach that: mine tops our at 300C, as long as you don't open the door and put something in. Then it's more like 250C
That's why it's good to have a specialised oven, either a brick and cement dome, or a "portable" Rocbox or Ooni.
A home oven just can't make a good Neapolitan pizza because it doesn't go hot enough.
But the legs fold up. A strong adult could put it (and the gas) in the boot of a car and drive over to a friends' house and set it up there.