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james 08-15-2007 10:03 AM

Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters
Chad sent me a message with a good idea for a sticky thread. He pointed out that as he has recently finished his oven and started making pizza he is making mistakes that we all must have made. So, to help the next generation of pizza makers, this thread is dedicated to common mistakes, and what went wrong for you as you were learning. Jump in with the things you did wrong when you made you first pizza disaster, and how to avoid it.

BrianShaw 08-15-2007 10:11 AM

Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters
Using a rolling pin.

Richie 08-15-2007 10:15 AM

Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters
Too many ingrediants, I try to limit the guests to 3.

james 08-15-2007 12:23 PM

Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters
Letting the kids make a bunch of pizzas at once, so that when it comes time to put them in the oven they are all stuck to the peel.
Sad kids.

james 08-15-2007 12:24 PM

Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters
Dough too thick. Dinner party guests at DIY parties tend to not get the dough thin enough -- and then it puffs up like a biali.

El Puaco 08-15-2007 01:32 PM

Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters
#2 pizza stuck to the peel just enough that the toppings slid off the pizza and on to the floor. I learned that you need to use a fair amount of flour and keep the pizza movable when you approach the oven. Pretty easy clean up though. Just raked a few coals over the floor area and let it self-clean.

Richard 08-15-2007 02:38 PM

Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters
Do not get distracted - cooks very fast and you need to be turning pizza so that one side does not burn

Bacterium 08-15-2007 09:10 PM

Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters
lessons learnt:

if the dough won't stretch out nicely....let it rest for a few muinutes

If you do get a paper thin area of the dough, plug it (cut a thin bit from spare dough). It sounds a bit rough but its better than toppings going through that area and sticking to your hearth or peel.....which stuff up the next one you handle as well.

and now for a silly 1 ........when cooking drink your beer in a won't see its empty and will keep forgetting to get another your guests can't see it either (and get you another one) :D

Unofornaio 08-15-2007 10:33 PM

Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters

Originally Posted by james (Post 13785)
Dough too thick. Dinner party guests at DIY parties tend to not get the dough thin enough -- and then it puffs up like a biali.

Sorry off topic---Anyone selling Bialis in your area James? I know If I want em I have to make em.

Oh and Pizza Disasters hmmmm... Well since its been 3 years since I have made my own the closest I can call a disaster is not checking the box before the delivery guy leaves...:rolleyes:

But seriously, Id have to say careful of too many toppings especially too much sauce. If your family and friends do like a lot of toppings a good spot for that pie is by the door as it is generally cooler.

janprimus 08-22-2007 08:55 AM

Re: Common Mistakes, Pizza Disasters
My first time firing the oven was flawless.
Every pizza was gorgeous and cooked to perfection.
The second time, the learning began. ;-)
I center loaded the pizza with too many toppings and did not flour the peel nearly as well as I should have and I had an impossibly cute 20 year old woman hanging on my every word and amazed with the first pizza that had come out that day. It was a good one. The second too big center loaded pizza looked great going in the door, but when I gave it that shake to get it off the peel, the toppings kept going and the crust stayed right where it was. My sweetheart laughed and I cried "Oh Nooooooo!" then I joined in the laughter. The pizza finally came off the peel but with a couple of big wrinkles in it and the toppings that had landed on the floor were sizzling and smoking as I tried to get them our with the peel. We were all having a big giggle about the whole thing. Good thing I had more wine eh? After liberally dousing my insides with some good syrah, I got the pizza out of there and it was still delicious. I scarped up the rest of the gunk on the floor and then spread the coals all over hte floor again and left it to burn clean for 10 minutes. I brushed the coals back away again and gave a wee scrape to one tough spot and we started cooking again. It was all great from there.
Until the next firing... We had another couple over and I had made some outstanding focaccia with EVOO salt and rosemary on it and then they made a pizza and I brought them out to have them help me cook it. It was beautiful, but the top was not very browned< I like those speckles from the high heat> so I put the pizza on the peel and held it up toward the dome to brown it a bit and this one slid like greased lightning off the back of the peel. I will tell you this, one of the corollary's to Murphys law included something about a slice of buttered toast always landing buttered side down works for pizza as well. It did a rather graceful slow motion flip with a quarter twist and landed face down on the hearth right at the door. I scooped it up and flipped it over moaning and laughing at the same time. My guests were sympathetic and even insisted on eating the pizza that looked so bizzare. In truth, it was fine, it was just ugly. sigh... Oh well, now I know a few things not to do.

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