Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Glorious Pizza - Alton Brown

Recently I watched Alton Brown's Episode Flat is Beautiful Part 1 Part 2 again over on You-tube.

Alton Brown is so family friendly. My teens used to watch his show faithfully during our family package cable years. I loved the result... Kids who were interested in cooking and not just because of my influence.

The thing that I love about this method of pizza making is the do ahead nature of the thing. Having a bowl of dough in the refrigerator when the dinner rush comes is so nice. Cut a piece off, shape it on the pizza peel, toss on the toppings and toss it into the oven.

If you take the time to watch A.B.'s videos you'll learn all that you need to know to get started.
My recommendation would be to stay away from Alton's recommendation of an unglazed quarry tile from a building supply unless you feel pretty secure about the tile not containing lead. Do your homework. This is the reason cooking in terracotta flower pots is not recommended either. (In this day of recycling they can be made with crushed reclaimed materials. Use caution. For me 20.00 was worth avoiding the risk.)
I picked up a square pizza stone for 20 bucks at Bed Bath and Beyond. (If you have a coupon you'll do even better.) I bought an aluminum peel hoping the pizza would slide more freely. But, after using both a little wood peel at my Mom's house and my aluminum peel for 14.50 plus 10 bucks shipping (Mine came in a broom box so the shipping is reasonable) it's all in how much cornmeal you toss on the peel and keeping your pizzas 12" or under.  Let the a pro toss bigger pizzas.  Large pizzas stick inevitably to your peel. (Let your preference help you decide which peel to buy. I personally really like my aluminum peel, but you choose.) *Update-The only con I have found with my aluminum peel is it have over time rubbed a little bit of aluminum off on my stone and I have a small nick in my work bench from clumsy handling.* Make sure your crust will move before adding your toppings. The very first pizza I tossed onto my stone taught me this lesson. Let's just say after my stone cooled thoroughly I had to use a plastic pan scraper to remove a little bit of cheese from the stone. ((Smile)) If you struggle, try putting the pizza together on parchment. Parchment is your friend.

My little chef and I had personal pizzas for lunch today. He enjoyed the pizza and enjoys helping even more.

If you make Alton Brown's recipe it will make two 12 inch pizzas. I prefer to double the recipe for my brood. Add some salad and you've got dinner.

Note: I have listed Table salt here. The original recipe calls for Kosher Salt. In order to substitute Iodized or Non-Iodized Table Salt the measurement needs to be reduced.

2 Tbsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp table salt (or 1 Tbsp Kosher)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup water
2 cups Bread Machine or Bread flour
1 tsp Saf instant Yeast

Blend together until combined and then using dough hook on mixer mix at medium speed for 15 minutes.
Cut in two. Rest in lightly oiled covered bowl in fridge overnight or up to 6 days. Or make some now.
Trust me the dough is better the next day.


  1. We will have to try this! Looks so yummy! We all love reading your blog. Thanks for the posts...

    Everyone at JAM's house!