Pizza, dough, and cooking method

45 posts in this topic

I guess first is dough since that needs to be done the day BEFORE you cook Pizza.

Having the dough slowly rise in the fridge for at least 24 hours gives you a much better Pizza Crust.


I use King Arthur "Bread" Flour for normal hand tossed or thicker crust, if I want to do a thin crust I use Antimo Caputo 00 Flour .

Both of these flours have a high protein content between 12.5% to 12.7%.


Because of the difference in water absorption I basically do not give an exact amount of water to use, I make up close to 2 cups of warm 115 degree water and may or may not use it all, I pour about 1 1/2 cups of water into the mixer and then go from there as it starts to mix I just add a spoonful at a time until I see the just right hydration point. Which to me is just when the dough starts to get sticky to the touch.


The doughs for standard or thick and thin crust are totally different for me, thin is different flour,  different amount of water, NO Oil, NO sugar/Honey and higher cooking temp. Thin is a more Neapolitan style crust/dough.


So this recipe I am just going to do the standard crust.


I always make a larger than normal amount because I like to make 4 Hamburger Buns from the same batch of dough to have within the next 2 days.


4 Cups of King Arthur Bread Flour

I make up about 2 cups of 115 degree water, I do not use it all I just add until I get the right consistency which is just starting to get sticky in the bowl and fingertips 

I add a good tablespoon of Honey to the water and stir to dissolve and give the yeast something to chew on. 

To the water I add 2 teaspoons of regular yeast to proof it, usually about 5 minutes or so.

I add 2 nice pinches of Kosher Salt which is around 2 teaspoons to the water to dissolve.

Just before I add the water to the four I add 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil, stir well and pour about 3/4 of it into flour.

The addition of the oil and the sugar/honey means you can cook this dough at a lower temp (480-490)and get a very nice crunchy, crispy outer layer and chewy center.


Turn on mixer with Dough Hook.

I add water as needed while its mixing until I get the hydration just right.

This usually takes about 6-8 minutes, though sometimes can take a bit longer I think I have the mixer (Kitchenaid) on 4.

When it starts to look and feel close I cut off a chunk and then slowly pull the dough in several directions until I can get it to "Windowpane" which is to stretch very thin so that you can almost see through it when you hold it up to the light without it tearing. If it doesn't windowpane then keep mixing until it does.


Once you get the dough properly kneaded I then cut off 4 chunks of 100-105 grams each and roll them into balls and place into a round cake pan that is thoroughly greased with olive oil, use enough oil so that you can roll the dough balls around and coat them evenly in oil.

I sprinkle usually Montreal Steak Seasoning, or Sesame Seeds, or Dehydrated Onions on top of each ball then stretch plastic wrap over the pan and put into fridge for Burgers in a couple days or so.

Take the rest of the dough roll into a ball and then slide into a gallon size ziplock bag that you have oiled well with Olive oil and place into fridge until about 5 hours before you plan on cooking your Pizza. I usually cook about 5pm so I pull mine out just before Noon and let rest on counter.


I start my Kamado at around 4pm, takes between 45-60 minutes for grill to get to 480-490 which is perfect because you want a nice slow steady rise in temp in order to get the stone fully heated through.

If you go much over 500 degrees in a Kamado or any grill when using dough with Oil and Sugar in it you are going to get one of two things.

Either a crust where you get the bottom nice and crispy and that perfect dark golden brown with just a few little darker spots and toppings that are no where near done.

OR toppings that get close to done with a full on burnt bottom crust.


Kamado's or really any other grill are NOT "Pizza ovens" in a classic pizza oven all the heat is ABOVE the stones and uses a very high 900+ degree heat that slowly heats the what are usually 2" thick fire bricks on the bottom of oven, that thick firebrick is probably not as hot as a 1" thick Pizza Stone in a 480 degree Kamado and all the heat in the Pizza Oven comes from the top down, on a Grill it is the Bottom up.

Thus on a grill you need lower overall temps in order to get the toppings nice and cooked before you burn the bottom and it is best to get your Pizza Stone as close to the Dome as you can.  this gives you as close to a Pizza Oven as you can get without building yourself a real Pizza Oven.


I set my Kamado up (happens to be a Vision grill but all are basically the same) with 2 stones, I use a 1" thick Lava Stone on the plate setter just above the charcoal.

I pretty much fill the firebowl or close to it with quality Lump Charcoal, I start it with a Weed Torch which takes between 30-60 seconds and then place 1 chunk of Pecan Wood on top for smoke,  I put both of the grates in then I add bricks on the top grate and then put  the Pizza Stone, (I recommend a 1" thick Dough Joe Pizza Stone) on top of bricks this set up brings the pizza to as close as I can get it to Dome.

It also slows down the air flow which is why it takes so long for it to get to 480-90 degrees.


This is what my Stone set up looks like.




I start pulling and pushing the dough into shape usually just after I start the Grill.

I put a little flour, (try to use as little flour as will do the job) on my large cookie sheet which I use as a makeshift Pizza Peel and then knuckle the dough allowing it to just self stretch over my knuckles to get the center started then I put on the floured sheet and start pushing the dough from center out to edges until I get about 15" and then I let it rest right there until Grill reaches about 400 degrees.


This is what it looks like at that point.


At around 400 degrees or so I have probably got about 5-10 minutes-ish before I reach the optimum 480-490.

So I start building my Pizza about now.

First thing I do is to lift one half of the dough up, fold over on itself and then spread a fairly generous amount of Semolina Flour (use plenty of the Semolina this both makes the dough slide easily and adds a nice crunch to the bottom of crust, it also gives a good buffer between dough and stone, most any burnt Semolina will remain on stone when you take the Pizza off) onto Cookie sheet pizza peel, then same on other half, then I give her a shake shake back and forth and make sure it slides nice and easy, this shrinks the diameter down from 15" to an exact 14.5"" to fit on my 14.5" Dough Joe Stone right to the edge.  (The dough will shrink more than 1/2" if it has not rested long enough)


For Sauce I usually use a combo of Enrico's which I thinly spread over most of the dough thicker near the outer edges and in the center none.

I then add to that some really nice Sun Dried Tomato Tapenade that I get from Harris Teeter I am sure there are several others equally as good.

I dab the tapenade all around, its a very tomatoey, sun dried almost sweet kick, just adds a layer of flavor without much moisture.


Sauce combo.


Here is the dough at this point.


Now I start to add the veggies, my usual Pizza I use "Sweet Yellow Bell Pepper", "Fresh Jalapeno Slices" , "Red Onion" "Fresh Cremini Mushrooms" and Napa Bistro Garlic Stuffed Olives that I slice up. I find this is a perfect combination for my wifes and I taste.


Here it is with veggies, and always I add my veggies on top of sauce first,  then cheese on top of veggies, and then meat on top in that order. This cooks the veggies perfectly.


I then add my Cheese, I use the best fresh Mozzarella I can find which is usually from Costco, I use fairly large pieces and scatter them around evenly.


I then add a copious amount of the finest Pepperoni I can find, which is "Uncured Applegate Farms Pepperoni" its large diameter very good pepperoni that I get sliced fresh at Wholefoods, this pic shows Pepperoni and grill at 480 degrees.

I also sprinkle a good dusting of Feta crumbles on top of Pepperoni.


Here it is on top of Pizza Stone just before closing lid.


Now it becomes a game of peekaboo, I keep an eye on it through the top vent until I start to see at least some browning on pepperoni then I crack open the lid just enough to reach in with a spatula to lift up dough to check the bottom, I do this until it reaches that perfect golden brown with just a few dark spots, this means the perfect very crisp layer. Also in these last couple of minutes I close the top vent completely this builds up the heat under the dome and finishes browning/melting the toppings.

At 480 degrees, with oil and sugar in dough with stone as close to top as you can get you should get the bottom of crust perfect crisp and the toppings nicely browned and done while the inside of dough is nice and soft with a slight chew.

I then slide the pizza on top of my cookie sheet using the spatula to push, that I now have a metal cooling rack on top of it so that the Pizza crust stays crispy until the very last piece. Any water, excess moisture drains to the cookie sheet which I have placed a couple of paper towels on to catch whatever falls.  This way crust stays perfect just the way you came off the stone.


I slice it up, then add either fresh Basil and or Fresh Spicy Greek Oregano on top, plus a few dabs of Basil Pesto around the crust.


crunchy, chewy, crispy, as good as it gets.



I Literally can not even eat delivery Pizza or Costco and all the other Pizzas that we used to like anymore.

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Looks good!  Thanks for posting your method, certain there will be some helpful details in there for some folks to learn from.

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Sounds good and looks good. I switched to weighing my ingredients for the dough. It makes it easy to reproduce the next time. My neopolation pizza I do at 65% hydration.

Mewantkj likes this

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Thanks for this post, as I am about to try my/our first pizza on my Primo XL.

Welcome, hope it helps.

I have a feeling the Primo XL might work exceptionally well for Pizza once you get it dialed in.

Post how it comes out

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That is about the finest Kamado pizza I've seen and what I would love to produce. That crust and the way the cheese melted is picture perfect to me, nice tutorial.

Nunyabiz likes this

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Question: why no sauce in the middle of the pie?

Less moisture, center of pie has a tendency to be a puddle so I skimp on that center few inches it keeps the center crunchy.

Meatlover and Violet like this

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That is about the finest Kamado pizza I've seen and what I would love to produce. That crust and the way the cheese melted is picture perfect to me, nice tutorial.

Thanks, Mr Cue

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