Don’t you love making pizza? We know we do! When you’re crafting your next pizza masterpiece, don’t forget about seasonings. Often, when people are making pizza, they get so caught up in everything else that they forget. With so many seasonings and herbs to choose from, it can be difficult to tell what the best combination is. That’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s post. We’ll fill you in on essential pizza seasonings and herbs you can’t forget.
Without seasoning your pizza, you will end up with a piece of bread slathered with meat, cheese, and sauce. You’re too much of an artisan to make something like that. Let’s jump right in and talk about these essential pizza seasonings.
You might think this one is pretty obvious. Well, to some people, it’s not. Many prefer the taste of salt but not pepper, and vice versa. Despite this, the beauty of salt and pepper is that they complement each other well. Another thing that’s great about these baseline seasonings is that you don’t need much of either. Too much of one, and you won’t be able to taste the different flavors your pizza offers.
When we say salt and pepper, we don’t mean the kind you buy from the store that’s fine ground. At Backyard Brick Ovens, we value texture and all-natural ingredients. Fresh-cracked peppercorns serve any dish better than fine-ground black pepper. This coarse-ground pepper adds a level of consistency and flavor that the other pepper doesn’t. As for the salt, we often recommend coarse ground sea salt. Sea salt not only comes from the ocean but also offers a separate palette of flavors. The ocean provides its sweet, airy flavor to various foods. It does the same for salt.
When you pair the textures of fresh salt and pepper with the textures of your dough, cheese, meat, veggies, etc., you create a complex and masterful pizza.
Fresh basil, not dried, is arguably the most essential herb on any pizza. Please, though, do not add basil before baking your pizza! When basil gets hot, it starts to lose its flavor. Additionally, dried basil does not maintain the classic sweet, minty, and peppery taste. If you use basil on your pizza, add it at the very end as a delicious garnish, and create a pop of color.
When it comes to pizza sauce, oregano is essential. Oregano offers a traditional pizza flavor through a combination of slight bitterness and sweetness. Fresh oregano is less potent than dried. In its dried form, it offers a more pungent smell and taste.
Garlic, like oregano, is an essential ingredient in any tomato-based pizza sauce. Its pungent, spicy flavor tones down once cooked. We always use fresh garlic for the best garlic flavor. Fresh garlic provides a more diverse flavor profile that you won’t get from the jarred stuff.
Rosemary is an excellent herb for any Italian dish, and it provides an unmatched piney, sweet flavor and scent. Add it at the end of cooking or before. Be careful, though. A little bit goes a long way when it comes to rosemary. It has a tendency to overcome anything else if used too much.
Now that you know about the essential pizza seasonings and herbs, you can get cooking! At Backyard Brick Ovens, we specialize in world-class service and ovens. Reach out today if you’d like to talk about our backyard brick pizza ovens. If you want to learn more about making great pizza, we have a pizza school like no other. Check it out here.
At Backyard Brick Oven, we love authentic, backyard-style pizza. Our customers always look for ways to make top-notch pizza and find the best ingredients. In today’s post, we’ll teach you why water is important for pizza dough.
You might think that flour and yeast are more important, but that’s not true. The kind and quality of water you use in your pizza dough affects the consistency, flavor, and quality. So, read on to learn more about how water makes a night and day difference in pizza dough.
You need to think about three factors when you’re choosing what water you’ll use: pH, purity, and hardness. If one isn’t right, the whole dough-making process will not be ideal.
pH is the measure of acidity or base in anything. pH ranges from 1 (most acidic) to 14 (most basic). The best pH for pizza dough sits around 7 (neutral). This explains why New York has some of the best pizza in the world—the water is about 7.2 on the pH scale.
Water that is too acidic or basic will disrupt proper yeast fermentation. For places where water is too acidic, use more salt. Salt suppresses the acid that will break down the yeast too much. If the water is too basic, use less salt. Aside from pH, water purity is also essential.
To achieve purity, filter city water. City water supplies are notorious for having high levels of chlorine. Chlorine affects the taste of water and dough. It also affects how the dough forms. You may consider using bottled water to make your pizza dough the best it can be. Although, you should test any water you use for dough with a pH kit. This way, you’re sure the water you use has a neutral pH level and won’t affect the flavor or consistency of your dough.
Hard water has a high mineral content, and soft water has low mineral content. When it comes to making pizza, you want to aim somewhere in the middle. Water that sits around the 75 to 110 parts-per-million mark is optimal. Yeast feeds on the minerals in the water, but you don’t want too much or too little.
Hard water causes the dough to become rigid, but soft water makes it too loose. We like to aim for a dough with slight responsiveness and spring. Anything else will be too difficult to work with and won’t have the right consistency out of the oven.
Finally, you know why water is important for pizza dough. Do you have more questions? At Backyard Brick Ovens, we love answering questions and sharing our love for pizza. If you have any questions or are looking for your next pizza oven, contact us today!
At Backyard Brick Ovens, we are pizza-loving experts! So, it’s not surprising that today’s post is all about the best flour for pizza dough. There are so many different flours out there to choose from for your pizza. There’s whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, bread flour, cake flour, and Tipo 00 flour. When it comes down to it, it’s ultimately about what kind of crust you’re looking to make, and gluten affects that.
Wheat flour has naturally occurring gluten content that affects the consistency of pizza dough. Take cake flour, for instance. Cake or pastry flour is extremely fine and has a very low gluten content (around 8%). Low gluten content makes pastry flour a soft flour. Bread flour is a strong flour and has the highest gluten percentage out of all flours, sitting at around 12-14%. Finally, all-purpose flour is a mixture of soft flours and strong flours.
Gluten makes dough elastic when water is added. This elasticity is what gives the bread a chewy texture. That’s why bread that’s chewier often has a higher gluten content. It makes sense, then, that gluten is low in cakes. You’ve got to have that crumble!
This flour is like the name says—all-purpose. It’s used for a wide range of recipes, but it can be tricky for pizza. All-purpose flour dough has a tendency to tear easier than other flours. If you’re wanting to make a Sicilian or deep-dish crust pizza, it’s a great flour! While you can use this flour for New York-style and Neapolitan pizza, it’s not ideal, but it will work in a pinch.
This is most often the one that people reach for when they decide to jump into pizza dough making. This flour is more forgiving than all-purpose. The texture you will achieve with this flour is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. With bread flour, you will definitely be closer to the classic pizza texture everyone knows and loves.
While bread flour dough won’t tear easily like all-purpose, it does like to spring back due to the high gluten content. Consequently, this makes it difficult to shape and stretch before putting all your toppings on top.
At Backyard Brick Ovens, we love Neapolitan pizza. The texture is unmatched. With the thin center and light, puffy crust, what’s not to love? 00 flour is a go-to for tons of pizza experts like us for a reason. The gluten content in 00 flour is optimal: 12 1/2%. This is the finest grind of flour you can buy, and it creates a dough that’s chewy and not like chewing on a piece of rubber. When you use 00 flour pizza dough in your pizza oven, it rises in the middle and puffs up just right on the edges. Great for high heat cooking!
Finally, you understand gluten and what kind of flour to use for your next pizza—it’s time to get cooking! Are you sick of your oven that can barely get over 500ºF? If you’ve been thinking about getting a pizza oven, we’ve got you covered. Backyard Brick Ovens has world-class ovens for everyone who loves making and eating pizza, like us!
Is it the sauce, cheese or dough or all the above? I always feel that’s it all the above but today lets focus on the tomatoes, a little history and some pizza sauce.
It is believed that the history of tomatoes can be traced to the Aztecs, back to 700 A.D. The Fruit was brought to Europe by earlier explores and has been there long before the inception of the pizza in the late 1800s. It became the main part of the 3 ingredients used for the first official pizza known as the Margarita Pizza Originating in Naples Italy. The “pizza” was created in honor of the Queen and it represented the Italian flag colors: mozzarella cheese for white, basil topping for green, and tomato sauce for the red.
Italian Plum tomatoes are truly ideal for making a great pizza sauce. Actually, the best tomatoes for pizza sauce is considered to be San Marzano Tomatoes . Grown in the region of San Marzano Italy and cultivated on hillsides with Mt. Vesuvius’ soil. The ultimate tomato off the vine!
But, since everyone doesn’t live around Vesuvius, it’s good to know that canned San Marzano tomatoes are available in most supermarkets . Why are they considered to be the best ? Because of their bright red color, slight gelatin around the seeds, pear shaped and thick walls. They are Sweet to the taste, low acid , and have little quantity of water and seeds in general.
Pour the can of tomatoes into a bowl. I crush them with my hands, or you can use food mill to get a beautiful velvety textured sauce . Either way it works well. If your tomatoes have a lot of liquid, (and some times they do) gently squeeze the plumbs so that they rerelease some of the water before crushing or milling them and discard the water.
The juice that they are packed in should have some good body and also not be to thin. There are a lot of brands of San Marzano tomatoes some are better then others some more watery as well. It is best to try a few and find the one you love best!
I like Basil in my sauce not oregano. The oregano is to strong and over powering to mix with the sauce.
Now Your pizza sauce should taste sweet and delicate use it lightly and your pizzas will have a beautiful flavor.
There is nothing like a great calzone and you can make it any way you like! The secret is not to cook too hot even though you are working with wood! The reason being is that the dough will be cooked before the middle is cooked so I like to cook with a warm oven and a small fire. Try not to make them too high spread the ingredients out so they cook!
Want to learn how to cook great pizza? Sign up for our free pizza making course for backyard brick oven cooking. Visit our Website , Love Life and Get Cooking. You will be prompted to sign up for our free pizza course and receive email videos of two guys who live and breathe pizza! What’s better than free pizza? Nothing except a free pizza course of course!
I have the extra-large Neapolitan oven and I am pleased with the quality of the oven. It is well built and very heavy, I had to make a hoist to get it onto the cart. I cooked 10 pizzas and 2 loaves of bread on the first day that I used the oven and got great reviews from my family and friends. I am looking forward to cooking different types of recipes in the oven. Scott was great to work with, I highly recommend Back Yard Brick Ovens to anyone looking for a wood fired oven.
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