One of the best birthday gifts we ever gave was to one of our oldest and dearest friends was a pizza oven. Not your plug and play pizza oven but one that had to be cured for days before it was ready to use. He has always been a good cook so it is not surprising that he has mastered the pizza oven.
We went there a few weeks ago and had multiple pizzas. It was so good and fun that I was inspired to do it at home. I went out and purchased a really inexpensive pizza oven. One that you would take on a camping trip. It was a fantastic purchase.
I made the pizza dough in the morning although you really should make it the night before to set in the fridge but it was still delicious.
Take 1 1/2 cups really warm, almost hot water and sprinkle 1/4 tsp. of yeast on top. Let that sit for about 10 minutes and the water should turn foggy and feel a little thicker. If it doesn’t do this, the yeast isn’t active. Then add 2 tsp. olive oil and 2 tsp. kosher salt. In the mix master, put in 4 cups flour (the key is using Napoli 00) and pour the water mixture over the top. Mix with the kneader for 10 minutes at medium low speed. The dough will form a ball and completely pull away from the bowl. After 10 minutes, take the bowl off the mix master and put a damp towel over the top and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then, put the bowl back and knead again for 10 more minutes. Once this process is over, take out the dough, fold it over to make a ball, cover with olive oil, put into a new bowl, cover with plastic wrap ( tightly ) and put in the refrigerator over night. In the morning, pull the dough out, fold it in half and put back in the refrigerator for 4 hours to 24 hours. About 2 hours before you are ready to use the dough, roll the dough out, just a little, and cut it into 4 equal pieces. Make each piece into a ball and set on a floured surface ( put it on a cutting board ), each piece far away from each other to grow. Put a damp cloth over the four balls and let sit until you are ready to use. At least 2 hours in advance so the dough can rise.
On the side there were ample meats from pepperoni to sausage. We also had burrata and mozzarella (mozzarella I shaved which makes it much easier to use), arugula, basil, chili peppers, okra, jalapenos, grilled red onions, ricotta, hot spicy honey, olive oil, salt, oregano and more.
Everyone made a pizza at one point. There were 12 of us and we went thru 11 pizzas. Impressive.
It was so much fun. This will definitely become a summer activity….including dessert