Brick Oven Pizza

I like pizza baked in brick ovens the best, and I have learned to make it at home.  My grandma took me to the home improvement store and we bought some unglazed quarry tiles in the tile department.  When you bake the pizza on these tiles instead of a pan, the crust goes really crisp and the pizza tastes like the pizza in the restaurants.  You need to soak the quarry tiles in water for about an hour before you line the oven rack with them.  The moisture in the tiles creates steam in the oven and the crust gets even crisper.  If you don't have time to soak the tiles, you can throw in about 1/3 cup of water and immediately shut the oven door to make the steam.  Make sure you have an adult nearby when you're using the oven.  These pizzas are really fun to make at a slumber party because everyone can make and bake their own!

Ingredients Needed:

Flour, salt, olive oil, water, and yeast for the dough

1 jar spaghetti sauce like Prego or bottled pizza sauce

Mozzarella Cheese

Pizza toppings like pepperoni, olives, pineapple, sausage

Parmesan Cheese (not the kind in the green container)

  1. Automatic Bread Baker if you have one; it makes the dough very easily.  If you don't have one, a mixer with a dough hook.
  2. Pastry cloth and rolling pin; miniature rolling pins are easier than big ones.  You can go to a hardware store and ask them to cut you a dowel that is 1 3/4 to 2" in diameter and 9"long; that is the perfect size for rolling individual pizzas
  3. Unglazed quarry tiles (see picture)
  4. Oven Peel (see picture) and cornmeal which makes the pizza roll off of the oven peel
  5. Spoon for spreading the sauce

How to Make Homemade Pizza

 

If you are using an automatic bread baker, pour in the water and olive oil, then add the flour, salt and yeast.  Turn the machine to the dough setting and let it run.  Check it after about 5 minutes to make sure the dough is just right--if it is runny, you may need to add a little more flour; if it is too stiff, you can add a little more water. 

Look inside to see if the dough is well-mixed.  You don't have to let it run the full cycle.  Once the dough is well mixed and doesn't look like it has any lumps, you can take it out and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.  Then it's ready to divide and roll into pizza.

If you are making the dough in the mixer, attach the dough hook, then pour in the water.   

Add the olive oil.

Add the yeast and turn the mixer to low;

With the motor still running, add a cup of the flour;

Then add the salt. 

Now add the rest of the flour to make a soft dough; it should not be sticky though.  Let the machine run on low until the dough looks smooth; about 10 minutes.

Remove the dough hook and cover the bowl with a dishtowel.  Let it rest 20 minutes while you are getting the sauce and topping ingredients together.

When the dough has rested, put it on a lightly floured pastry cloth and form it into a ball.  If you don't have a pastry cloth, just put a little flour on the countertop.

Now cut the dough into 8 equal pieces.  Have your adult helper there while you are using a knife.  First cut the ball of dough in half.

Then cut each of the halves in half

Now, cut each of the quarters in half; you will have eight pieces of dough.  Pinch each piece of dough into a circle.

Roll each of the dough rounds into a large circle about 8 inches in diameter

 

Line the middle oven shelf with the quarry tiles. 

Set the oven temperature to 500

I know that's really hot, but in restaurants their ovens are between 700 and 900!  The hotter the oven, the better it is.

Sprinkle the oven peel with cornmeal.  If you don't have an oven peel, you can use a cookie sheet turned upside down.  The cornmeal makes the pizza slide onto the tiles in the oven.

Put a piece of dough on the oven peel; make sure it has cornmeal under it so it will slide.  Now spread it with sauce. 

Now put some cheese on the sauce.  Make sure you don't put too much or the cheese will slide off the pizza and get all over the tiles.  Then put your favorite toppings on the cheese.  I like pepperoni, but you can add anything you like on your own pizza.

Now sprinkle the pizza with Fresh Parmesan cheese.  Make sure you don't use the kind in the green container.  It is really dry and yucky; if you don't want to grate it, you can buy packages of grated Parmesan at the grocery store.  See the picture of ingredients if you want to see what the package looks like.

Now carefully slide your pizza onto the tiles in the oven.  This took me a little bit of practice.  It is easiest if you hold onto the handle then put the oven peel at the back of the oven.  Then shove the peel with your wrist so that so that the pizza slides onto the tiles.  If you are afraid of getting burned, then have your adult helper do it.  My grandma had me practice a few times just with a round of dough and the cornmeal before we heated the oven. 
   

Shut the oven door and let the pizza cook until it is bubbly and crisp.  If you like softer crust, don't cook it as long. 

When the pizza is done, you can take the pizza out of the oven with a big spatula or use the oven peel.

I like to put the pizza on a cooling rack so the crust doesn't get soggy.

This is what your pizza will look like.  I can't wait to eat it!

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