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Margherita-heim Pizza


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What started as an innocent thread in The Cooler about how much I like to clean my grill spiraled into being taunted about my sourdough starter by none other than @ckreef...   I know, it's hard to imagine one of my posts running off the tracks, but it happened (shocker)...  So, I wasn't planning on a pizza cook today, but once the bear has been poked there is no going back...  Ironically enough, the taunting happened just as I was planning to clean Big Joe from last nights cook.  So I went ahead and took care of that and made sure to sweep the rim of the firebox so as to not face taunting over that as well from @CentralTexBBQ.  I'm thinking this was a solid "B" effort - except I didn't take the tray guide out this time (I just dumped the tray) - so might actually be down to a "C-"...  

 

So here we go with my Sourdough Starter Mama Mia Pizza Challenge Kickoff Cook.

 

I started my starter awhile back.  I exercised extreme patience the whole time and didn't get frustrated at all.  It really was a shining moment for me.  I parked the starters in the fridge (I had experimented and done one that was primarily a bread flour feed and one that was more of a mixed bag with bread flour, whole wheat and rye flours.)  When I fed them this week, I reserved some of the whole wheat /one to leave out.  I had fed it last night.  And after the taunting this morning I figured it was finally time to put it to use.  Googled sourdough starter pizza dough and landed on a King Arthur page within minutes.

 

About a cup of starter:

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Added 2 cups of bread flour and 1/2 cup of whole wheat and 1/2 cup of hot water and 1/2 tsp of instant yeast.  I kicked myself realizing there was a selection for measurement by weight that I didn't notice until later.  Kneaded it and parked it for a few hours while I took a morning nap (everyone else was still asleep anyway).  

 

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Woke up to more taunting in the Mama Mia Pizza Challenge Discussion thread since I had made my announcement there that I was doing a cook.  Apparently @daninpd doesn't have the gift of patience like I do as I think he was unimpressed with my nap delay...  

 

Setup Big Joe for pizza.  Hadn't ever done pizza in the Big Joe before.  I was really confident and comfortable and cozy and happy with my Vision pizza setup... but since my husband has sold it (still not picked up - killing me having to keep looking at it knowing it's not mine), I figured I better get confident and comfortable and cozy and happy with a pizza setup for Big Joe.  A couple of huge chunks of lump in there from a bag of Fogo Super Premium...

 

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Wanted to let the Joe come up to temp and heat soak really well.  Went in and did some more prep.  Decided I better make my sauce for a challenge cook - had not ever done this before, but there have been a number of posts about it recently.  Added just a touch of sugar and red wine vinegar as well that is not pictured.

 

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Then cut up my tomatoes and... what's that you say????  Why yes... an Anaheim pepper.   Not exactly traditional, but here's why....  So I don't love basil.... actually, I don't really even like basil.  I don't dislike it, but truth be told, I would rather not have it on my Margherita pizza.  So, I decided in order to maintain that classic Margherita look, I would sub in some sliced Anaheim peppers.  Perfect for me.  

 

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By now Joe was cruising right along and it was time to make my pizza.

 

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Assembled with my sauce, tomato, anaheim pepper and fresh mozzarella and just a sprinkle of an Italian blend shredded cheese.

 

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Launched onto the Big Joe pizza stone setup.

 

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Trucking right along....

 

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Nice crust....

 

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About ready to pull....

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And done....

 

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Now here's where I miss my Vision setup.  I just didn't get the browning on the cheese on top that I like and I think that's because I wasn't riding as high in the dome as I do on my (sad face - it's not mine anymore) Vision.  

 

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Definitely a very nice thin, crisp and sturdy crust.

 

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And a plated shot...

 

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And that's what happens when you poke the bear...  

 

 

 

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That's a great looking cook and a really nice storyboard with your pictures.  And my wife would tell you that while I wasn't given the gift of patience I was granted the gift of sarcasm.  Like all superpowers it must be employed with great restraint.  To avoid getting shot.

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4 minutes ago, daninpd said:

And my wife would tell you that while I wasn't given the gift of patience I was granted the gift of sarcasm.  Like all superpowers it must be employed with great restraint.  

 

Sarcasm, huh???  Never would have guessed it. Lol ;)

 

I might need to look into that restraint thing you mentioned....

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1 hour ago, ckreef said:

Excellent on the fly pizza cook. Maybe I shouldn't poke bears at challenge time - LOL. Great entry. 

 

 

Thanks!  Kinda glad you poked the bear. Felt good to be the first entry early in the month. Glad I had everything on hand to execute on my threat.

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48 minutes ago, gotzero said:

Looks good! I am going to blatantly copy this setup on the big joe. In addition to getting higher, it will allow more square inches of air opening after the deflector.

 

I would be honored to have my setup copied - go for it!!!!! 

 

I actually contemplated my setup for quite awhile this morning. I’m really glad I have those ceramic spacers - it ended up working out really well. I think I bought them when I ordered small stones for Akorn Jr.  I have a few different sizes... They definitely come in handy.  I’m thinking about using a smaller diameter pizza stone and shooting for higher in the dome.....  really want to replicate my Vision and Akorn Jr results that rely on the radiant dome heat being reflected back down 

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23 minutes ago, KismetKamado said:

 

Thanks!  Kinda glad you poked the bear. Felt good to be the first entry early in the month. Glad I had everything on hand to execute on my threat.

 

You know we're expecting another entry or two out of you before the months end. You got plenty of time and a few more categories to explore. 

 

:)

 

Just sayin........... 

 

 

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3 hours ago, ckreef said:

 

You know we're expecting another entry or two out of you before the months end. You got plenty of time and a few more categories to explore. 

 

:)

 

Just sayin........... 

 

 

 

Dang it... I already did one cook, isn't that enough???  

 

I might try something else... maybe... but no guarantees.  Myself and the family aren't big fans of anything other than a thin crust.  I could do a @ckreef cracker crust cook (btw, that is what drove me to create a Kamado Guru account in the first place - wanting to search and find the recipe), but not sure what else other than that I would do... I guess I could do something with a thicker crust and just make everyone deal with it.... I don't know... now the bear isn't just poked, but it's conflicted as well... :)

 

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Truly fine pie, Kismet, at my house we love Margherita pies. Your set up is almost identical to mine using an AR in my Egg. The split stones do a great job at 600-650. The dome configuration in the Vision is just about identical to my Egg. In fact all of my Vision AR gear fits in the Egg as well. The vision dome tapper is different giving you less height, but if you get the pie up into the dome it will work the same.  As far as needing to get the pizza higher to benefit from the reflected heat down onto the toppings and crust. You could just lift it higher with longer kiln blocks or you can cook on the bottom stone and get the heat reflection from the stone on top. Very impressed with your pie, sauce, and your impromptu cook. Fine job.  

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