I am not a pizza maker. Sometimes I make pizza at home for fun / research but would never consider myself a pizza maker. My method changes every time and I’m not married to one recipe or another. I try to get my hands in the dough on a regular basis by baking bread every week because it’s more portable and lasts longer than pizza, but every once in a while I need to get back in the game and throw some toppings on that dough. That’s what happened last weekend. And the stars really lined up because somehow it turned out to be the perfect pizza making night.
1. It was a Friday. I mean, that’s PIZZA DAY!
2. I had painted myself into a corner by making wayyyyy too much dough (24 balls at 280-290g each). That meant I had to invite a ton of people or else risk being stuck with a ton of unbaked dough. I’ve made as many as 12 pizzas in one session, but I was looking at DOUBLE that amount.
3. I somehow had 10 pounds of mushroom crumble (a mix of crimini, button, portabello, and shiitake) to play around with.
4. Jon Ezzo, of Ezzo Sausage, was driving around NYC with a car full of pepperoni and offered to drop off three bags, each a different variety, for my pizza making delight!
5. Although it was Memorial Day weekend, most of my friends were staying in town so enough people showed up to eat the bounty!
[Thanks to Angelis Nannos for taking the photo I posted above.]
Here’s the Ezzo (pronounced EASE-oh) pepperoni. They’re based in Ohio and make some killer products. This was the first time I played with it and only got into the “supreme,” which cups and chars. This stuff was developed for pizzerias in Buffalo, NY but is quickly becoming popular all over the country.
Above is a pie with the curly-cuppy-charred pepperoni. Below is a white pizza with mozzarella (fresh and low moisture) and fresh garlic. It’s my ode to Totonno’s, which makes my favorite white pizza on Earth.
The dough formula I used was a bit of a mess. I had a bunch of different flour I was trying to use and this is what I ended up with. The dough was a little tough to work with and baked tougher than I would have liked. I’ll lay out the basic blend before I explain how I made 4 variations based on the same core mix.
FLOUR: 50% King Arthur Bread flour, 25% Caputo Tip 1; 25% King Arthur All Purpose
WATER: 67% by bakers’ percentage
YEAST: 0.5% IDY by bakers’ percentage
SALT: 2.5% by bakers’ percentage (delayed by 25 minutes)
Each batch had a different amount of oil, ranging from 0% to 3%. I really liked the 3%!