New Jersey: Farmers' Markets
Escape Montclair: Montclair, NJ [CLOSED]

Pizza making: at home

I've been using my patented dual-oven approach to pizza making for about 6 years now (accept no imitations). As I've documented, this entails leveraging two standard (electric) ovens to minimize baking times (quick bakes are preferable for pizza). The results are about the best I can expect from a standard electric oven, and I'm very pleased with the pizza.

Yesterday's dinner party (that sounds pretentious: people were over for dinner) introduced a wrinkle to this process. Having to make 8 pizzas in somewhat rapid succession dictated that I couldn't use two ovens for one pizza: I'd have to bake two at the same time.

Instead of skipping around all day long, as I generally do on pizza-making days, I was kind of moping, knowing that my patented dual-oven approach had to be abandoned for this cook.  On top of that, my dough wasn't springing to life as much as I was hoping. I used less sourdough starter than usual, and ta boot, didn't get the dough out of the fridge as early as I should have. I generally want the dough out of the fridge 12 hours before baking.

All of the concerns ended up being for naught, because while these weren't the best pies I've made, they were, in fact, f*cking amore.

Dough stuff

The dough was 63% hydration, with 5% sourdough starter. I did the typical autolyse step (mixing about 1/3 of the flour with the water and letting stand for 20 minutes). Then added the salt, starter, and remaining flour, and mixed until it was just coming together. No need to mix too much when you're putting it down in the fridge for a few days (3 days is standard for me).

Oven stuff

The ovens were, as usual, preheated for over an hour, at 550, each with a stone about 3-4 inches from the top (second rack, in mine). Once the ovens got to temp, the oven doors were opened to cool the air down, and closed again so the oven would continue to heat. And repeat. This process gets the stones good and hot, since the air cools down quickly, causing the oven to cycle back on, adding more energy to the stones.

The stones were about 640 degrees for the first pies (and slightly less as the pies went on).

The pizze were done in about 3.5 minutes. Not wood-burning oven times, and not even the dual-oven times, but pretty damned fast. A surprisingly even cook on the bottom and top, as well.

The pictures are not pretty, as I snapped quick shots with my phone, but here are the pies in their full-sized iPhone glory:

Margherita. The baseline.

  • Pomi strained tomatoes
  • s/p/o
  • Mozzarella di Bufala (from Fairway)
  • EVOO
  • Fresh basil
  • (and the halved cherry tomatoes that I forgot...I always forget something)
  • Finished with Parmigiano-Reggiano.


Carbonara. The undisputed standout, and for good reason. (more details here)

  • Guanciale, sauteed earlier, and its fat (from Fairway)
  • A ton of coursely ground cracked pepper
  • A bit of low moisture mozzarella
  • A bit of Mozzarella di Bufala, since I had some
  • Red pepper flake
  • A really good amount of Pecorino Romano. A lot.
  • At two minutes shy of completion, 2 eggs
  • Finish with fresh parsley



  • Pomi brand strained tomatoes
  • S/P/O/fresh thyme
  • Basil
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Pre-sauteed sausage
  • Low moisture mozzarella
  • Peppadew peppers
  • Finish with Parmigiano-Reggiano


Pepperoni. Almost American style. Forgot to take a picture right out of the oven. Forgot to focus, too, apparently.

  • Pomi brand strained tomatoes
  • S/P/O/fresh thyme
  • Basil
  • Low moisture mozzarella
  • Sliced jalapeno
  • Pepperoni (from Zoe's Meats, at Fairway)
  • Finished wit Parmigiano-Reggiano

Aw, yeah.