Pretty sure that I’ve documented this before, but Google’s letting me down. Where last weekend was berry centered, this weekend was a having dinner with friends type of thing. This pizza iteration turned out really well. It’s somewhere on the spectrum of what I’ve been making for a while, but it all came together and worked well in the new (to me) oven.

No offense to Chicago types, but my ultimate pizza is a thin crust, with a nice bready rim that could be artisan bread. The center can’t be cracker like, but should be stiff enough that the toppings don’t end up in your lap if there’s an unsupported inch or two. Pagliacci’s is the closest I’ve come on the West coast to that ideal, and they tend to do it a little better than I do. (I’d welcome a recipe should they wish to share.)


4+ hour lead time or so. Makes three squarish crusts that are about 15×11″ (the rough size of parchment paper and the stone). Rule of thumb, 1 pizza is about 90% of the mess that 3 are, and about 1/3 as good.

  • 5 1/2 c Flour total, 1 whole wheat pastry, 1.5 bread, the rest all purpose.
  • 1 meduim potato, cubed, boiled, and mashed with enough water to make a moist cup or so of mashed potato
  • 2 tsp yeast, proofed in 1c warm water + dash sugar
  • Total of just less than 2 c water, including proofing liquid
  • 1/4 cup oil or so, unmeasured

Add flour, potato, and oil in the kitchenaid mixer, while running slowly drizzle in proofed yeast and water till it’s a moist dough that’s making wet sounds. Keep it kneading in the mixer for a few minutes, it tightened up a bit to a nice smooth dough that was a little sticky. Inside of the bowl was clean, all the ingredients were in the ball of dough, which was kneading as well as I’ve seen it knead before.

After 5 minutes or so, pull it out and knead by hand for a few minutes. then pop back in the mixer and mix in 1 tsp salt, then form into a ball and let rise in a covered, greased bowl for a while. Make sure to oil/grease the surface of the dough so it doesn’t dry out. Spary canola oil is good.

Let it rise in a warmish place for an hour or so, then turn it and let it rise again. Divide into three balls, knead a couple times then form into small thick rectangles. Place in three oiled bowls (I used the mixer bowl here as one, so they don’t need to be wide) and oil the surface again.

An hour or so ahead, take one rack out of the oven, other on the second slot from the bottom with a pizza stone. Heat the oven to 475*. This needs to be done ahead of time to make the stone nice and hot. Feel free to make apple pies or whatever in the time before this. The oven is going to be hot for a while.

*This doesn’t need to be precise, but does need to be really hot. I’ve done it anywhere between 450 and 550, but this is where things were on this oven this time. I’ve also done it hot, then lowered the temp 50 degrees on adding the pizza so that the stone was hotter than the rest of the oven. I’m not sure how much it helped, and it’s hard to do reliably when doing more than one pizza.

When ready to make one pizza, have a piece of parchment paper ready and get one dough rectangle onto a floured surface. Gently stretch the dough to shape, making a thin topping area and a thicker crust. Lift and transfer onto the parchment paper. This is far easier if it’s done quickly and smoothly, without letting the dough get the idea that it can foul things up by not behaving. It’s much better if you don’t have to resort to balling it back up and rolling it out.

Parchment is key here. It’s easy to slide onto the peel and off onto the stone, and it keeps the soft dough from sticking to anything. It’s also easy to cleanup and doesn’t get in the way of the heat conduction.

Add toppings, being careful to control the water content. Seed tomatoes, drain artichoke hearts well, that sort of thing. Don’t overload with cheese, for this size pie, 3/4 lb cheese is overdoing it.

Slide onto the stone using a pizza peel, leaving the parchment paper underneath. It will keep the pizza from sticking even if there is a leak in the crust. Cook until the crust is golden and the cheeze is starting to show brown bits. I set the timer for 12 minutes, but I check before that and normally let it run a minute or so longer. There’s a cooking speed balance here between crust and cheese, the hot stone cooks by conduction far faster than you could cook if you had an air gap. This timing will not work if you don’t have a stone, the stone is cooler, or use a pan or pizza grate.

When it’s done, take it out, cut it, and let it cool for a few minutes to avoid scarring your mouth and tongue.


Rule #1, No tomato sauce. It’s just not necessary.
Rule #2, Don’t skimp.
Rule #3, Do what makes you happy, this is what works for me.

Pizza #1

  • Mushrooms, crimini, sliced, in two layers, one under the mozerella, one over.
  • Mozerella
  • Goat Cheese, 4-5 oz. Crumbled over the mozerella
  • Chipotle powder. To taste.

This is my favorite. It needs wall to wall mushrooms, some of them protected from drying by cheese, some dried a bit by the heat. And the smoky heat and goat cheese. mmmm.

Pizza #2

  • 1 Pear, thinly sliced. On the bottom of the stack.
  • Gorgonzola. Crumbled, don’t skimp.
  • Most of 2 Caramelized onions. (one red, one yellow this time)
  • Walnuts
  • Mozerella over everything.

This was everyone else’s favorite. Salty sweet and crunchy.

Pizza #3

  • 2 tomatoes, desedded and diced.
  • Fresh basil, 10 leaves or so, finely chopped.
  • Mozerella
  • Garlic, slowly (1hr+) cooked in olive oil till soft and brown. Whole cloves.

This wasn’t anyone’s favorite, but was still good. Probably better than what you can get at any of the island pizzerias. Perhaps it’s better to lead with this one so that I get more of the one with the mushrooms.

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