ComputerGuy

Making pizza

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There are many pages on the Web dedicated to making pizza. I'm amazed at the number of people who build their own pizza ovens, and spend years learning techniques. And firefights often start when discussing preferences.

Me, I just buy a four-pack of Kirkland cheese pizzas (12") frozen, then add a few toppings of my own (green olives, green peppers, pepperoni, sometimes bacon and mushrooms). The thing is, these cook in the toaster oven at 220 C, from frozen, so something is definitely up with the dough and it ain't legit. But if I then put it under the broiler for a few minutes, I get something very similar to a "real" pizza, with that bubbling-to-brown mozzerella, and the pepperoni curling up.

These pizzas have a minimal amount of sauce, and that is a drawback. But making my own sauce defeats the whole purpose. I have bought dough at WalMart (lousy at making my own), but I keep coming back to this quick solution.

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CG--are you saying first you put it in the toaster oven and then finish it off in the broiler? Would it work if a defrosted pizza with the add-ons got put under the broiler, skipping the toaster over? Also I see that Walmarts carries jarred pizza sauces. Did you know that?

Lexie

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I have a broiler in my toaster oven, so it's all the same. Actually, this oven can do everything: the only time I use my full-sized oven is turkey time, or when I need to put a skillet steak in the oven to finish it off... https://www.brevilleusa.com/the-smart-oven-r.html

The cooking goes a little weird if you defrost it first; thus my curiousity about the dough cooking from frozen in such a short time (12 min). At one friend's place, the kitchen current causes the microwave and toaster oven to cook very slowly, so I half-defrost it, and it still seems to come out properly. I think if you just used the broiler, the topping would burn before the crust cooked. Pizza likes all-around heat.

At my own place, I have a non-stick pizza tray that fits in the oven, and that provides a crispier crust.

Every so often, WalMart carries Contadine sauce (the world's worst, yet the only one available at, say, CostCo), but I haven't seen it in jars. Most plain pasta sauces come pretty close if you throw in a few of your own pizza herbs.

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I brought down a Canadian Tire PizzaQue propane oven which makes a very good tasting pizza (frosh or frozen or even store bought frozen, probably because of the baking stones inside. It works pretty much like a commercial pizza oven. I get a lot of compliments on my pizza.

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2 minutes ago, snowyela said:

I brought down a Canadian Tire PizzaQue propane oven which makes a very good tasting pizza (frosh or frozen or even store bought frozen, probably because of the baking stones inside. It works pretty much like a commercial pizza oven. I get a lot of compliments on my pizza.

There is a guy at the Saturday Farmer's market here in PV that sells whole pies made in what you describe. I was skeptical but gave it a try and was very impressed. He also does a breakfast pizza. 

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1 hour ago, ComputerGuy said:

I have a broiler in my toaster oven, so it's all the same. Actually, this oven can do everything: the only time I use my full-sized oven is turkey time, or when I need to put a skillet steak in the oven to finish it off... https://www.brevilleusa.com/the-smart-oven-r.html

The cooking goes a little weird if you defrost it first; thus my curiousity about the dough cooking from frozen in such a short time (12 min). At one friend's place, the kitchen current causes the microwave and toaster oven to cook very slowly, so I half-defrost it, and it still seems to come out properly. I think if you just used the broiler, the topping would burn before the crust cooked. Pizza likes all-around heat.

At my own place, I have a non-stick pizza tray that fits in the oven, and that provides a crispier crust.

Every so often, WalMart carries Contadine sauce (the world's worst, yet the only one available at, say, CostCo), but I haven't seen it in jars. Most plain pasta sauces come pretty close if you throw in a few of your own pizza herbs.

I have also found that adding tomato paste to a jarred spaghetti sauce as well as the herbs you mention results in a pretty fair pizza sauce. My favorite pizza here in PV comes from the Los Muertos Brewery. He buys tons of stuff from Costco but not the Contadina pizza sauce. His cooks make it from scratch. He also sprinkles a generous portion of oregano on top of every pie regardless of toppings as soon as it comes out of the oven.

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33 minutes ago, snowyela said:

I brought down a Canadian Tire PizzaQue propane oven which makes a very good tasting pizza (frosh or frozen or even store bought frozen, probably because of the baking stones inside. It works pretty much like a commercial pizza oven. I get a lot of compliments on my pizza.

Nifty idea. http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/pizzacraft-pizzaque-propane-pizza-oven-0853693p.html#srp

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I don't do pizza anymore. Somehow a switch was thrown, and it no longer interests me. I do remember this trick though, to reheat leftover pizza, heat in microwave, then into a non stick frying pan at medium until it gets brown and crispy. We gave our toaster oven away to our cleaner, we are in a mad dash to escape DAC electricity rates. Even she is smart enough not to use it in her own home - she will likely sell it. Also back to solar clothes drying, even though we have a gas dryer. Our gas use has been cut in half. I proposed to the condo committee to dedicate our grounds as "clothing optional" - but they wouldn't go for that.

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www.pizzamaking.com

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The couple of times a year we do pizza we use a huge casst iron skillet on the stove top, the Kirkland cheese pizzas all doctored up and that sprinkle of oregano at the end just before we shove it in main oven.  To supplement the sauce we use Newman's Own marinara and I freeze the reamining sauce in 1 cup portions in snack baggies - they fit nicely flat in the freezer.

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I have found that the inexpensive tiny cartons of Mexican pasta sauce taste pretty much the same as Newman's Own, if you feel like trying them, especially if you add your own oregano.

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40 minutes ago, ComputerGuy said:

I have found that the inexpensive tiny cartons of Mexican pasta sauce taste pretty much the same as Newman's Own, if you feel like trying them, especially if you add your own oregano.

Yes I buy them in the large packaging at Costco and they are very handy to have around for many last minute additions.

oops, just realized what I'm buying is just tomato sauce and you are referring to pasta sauce. Oh well it still works for me with herbs added also.

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Pretty much the same thing, though... most of my pasta sauces are just a tomato sauce with herbs or spices added.

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Thanks CG, picked up the Kirkland pizzas and used your recipe tonight. Not perfect but I learned a lot. Ordered a pizza pan from Amazon so the next should be even better. Looks like my toaster oven is hotter in the back so need to rotate the pie. A great idea when you don't want to go out. Had extra sauce ready but not needed.

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I sometimes use that non-stick pizza pan for my toaster oven (online, Betty Crocker, perforated). It tends to make the crusts crispier. Thinner pizzas, like the premade but uncooked CostCo pizzas, really need a pan under them, else they fall apart.... but the crust is very thin and the pan makes it almost like a biscuit by the time it's cooked.

I am fine with just putting frozen pizza on the grille that comes with the oven. I also have purchased the pepperoni pizzas from CostCo; they are 13" instead of 12", cost more, and have a much thicker crust. I prefer the more normal crust thickness of the cheese pizzas.

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1 hour ago, ComputerGuy said:

I sometimes use that non-stick pizza pan for my toaster oven (online, Betty Crocker, perforated). It tends to make the crusts crispier. Thinner pizzas, like the premade but uncooked CostCo pizzas, really need a pan under them, else they fall apart.... but the crust is very thin and the pan makes it almost like a biscuit by the time it's cooked.

I am fine with just putting frozen pizza on the grille that comes with the oven. I also have purchased the pepperoni pizzas from CostCo; they are 13" instead of 12", cost more, and have a much thicker crust. I prefer the more normal crust thickness of the cheese pizzas.

I make my own pizza dough; it's so simple and works so well that I'm quite happy.  

For the sauce, I use one little tetrapak of La Costeña seasoned tomato purée, adding oregano as you do.  

I have one of those perforated pizza pans and honestly, I don't care for the crisp crust it gives my pizza.  I really wanted a pizza stone, but one day, the light bulb went on in my brain: "Cristina, you have a 14" clay comal (griddle).  Try that and see how it works!"  

I put the comal in the oven when I turn the oven on to pre-heat; by the time the oven is hot, I've stretched out the dough (on a piece of parchment paper), added the sauce, added whatever toppings I want, and put the cheese on.  Take the comal out of the oven, slide the parchment paper/pizza onto the comal, comal and all back into the oven, and bingo: in just a few minutes, hot pizza with a crust that's just how I like it: puffy around the edge, thin in the middle.  That comal cost me a paltry 35 pesos and works as well as any pizza stone in the world.

Home-made Pizza 27 nov 2016.jpg

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Smart. I have a pizza stone, but it is too big for my (admittedly large) toaster oven. I will look around for a clay comal; great idea.

Here's our own on the stone with homemade dough (the dough thanks to my brother).

Pizza-(4).jpg

Something exciting happens when the cheese starts to cook brown: the flavour goes crazy.

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More Liana, how do you get the cheese to brown so nicely?  Do you have a broiler or do you use a super high temperature? 

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I know you were asking More Liana, but yes, definitely that requires a broiler, unless you have a true pizza oven. Perhaps Snowyela can answer if the PizzaQue can actually do that... what I've been reading suggests you just leave the pizza in longer, but that would result in overcookedness, I would think. (NOTE that the lighting differs in our shots... mine has a straight-on flash, thus giving the cheese a washed-out look. Perhaps this one shows off the brown

ing "in a better light"...

 

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Pizza-(3).jpg

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With a little practice and playing with the flame adjustment knob it's fairly easy to achieve a nice brown color on the cheese. I usually have to do third or 1/4 rotation turns during baking to avoid burning on the rear side though. I can usually do 7 to 10 twelve inch pizzas fresh or frozen an hour, so it's obviously fast cooking  CG and More Liana both put on a lot more cheese than we usually do however. We like a medium thickness crust. Next time I make some I'll try to take photos if I think of it.

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20 hours ago, gimpychimp said:

More Liana, how do you get the cheese to brown so nicely?  Do you have a broiler or do you use a super high temperature? 

I have no broiler.  My oven heats to a little over 550ºF.  

And YES, Computer Guy, your pizza looks marvelous.  I'll be right over.

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Your results are pretty impressive, ML, particularly with no broiler. And all this talk of pizza has me overdoing my share this week already...

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