I just wanted to share this with you guys. A 17 girl who started working for me about 9 months ago could be one of the best I have ever had. I like her take on pizza as most people don’t put much thought into it. Some of her measurements are wrong but her enthusiasm is there.
As common pizza eaters, we don’t seem to realize the complexity of these triangular slices, formed from what was originally a circle, that comes to us in a square box! We seem to ignore the process of many things we consume, but no one seems to even question the origin of this giant circle commonly on our kitchen table. With this question in mind, people should at least know the basics of how a pizza is made. So be prepared to start out small to create something big.
Before getting started make sure you have plenty of space, your hands are washed, and that your hair is tied back. Also make sure you have plenty of flour present, as well as the paddle, the sauce, ladle, and of course the cheese. Now there are plenty of different pizzas out there with different ingredients, but this will teach you how to make a traditional 16 inch cheese pizza. So the dough was originally a 19g ball, but after giving it time to rise in a chilled area it is now circular, larger and flatter. What your gonna do first is soak the flour in dough, on both sides and on the edges in order to have the texture smooth and dry rather then an oozy, wet texture. Keep the dough up-side up (this will be the top of the pizza), and begin pounding out the dough with your left hand on top of your right (or vice versa) using the force of all your fingers next to each other and the palm of your flat hand to pound and flatten this quarter of the dough. Whatever you do, do not put your fingers directly on the edges: this is the key to a perfect crust. After flattening that part, rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat. Do this to the other half of the dough until the dough is flatter, wider, and has a smooth flat surface. Don’t be afraid to flip it and do this to the bottom to until it’s all equally the same thickness. (Believe it or not, you are able to pound out the dough blindfolded; you should be able to feel which parts need to be flattened not see it.)
Right now you should have a perfect smooth, floury circle about 10 inches in diameter. But your trying to get it to be 16 inches, and pounding it out won’t do the trick at this point. What you have to do now, is slightly cuff your hands and lock your wrists then gently lay the dough on your slightly cuffed hand and throw it back and forth between your hands/forearms. You must catch it along the crust of the dough, get a good grip each time, and rotate it throughout every throw in order to get the crust equal in thickness. After this the dough should be about a 12 inches in diameter, so now what you have to do is gently place the dough underneath your fists, and slowly rotate it along the crust. (When you get real good, you can be like those big Italian guys throwing it in the air, but start out slow.). When it seems big enough, put a dash of flour on the paddle and spread it, then place the crust on the paddle. If the crust is bigger then the paddle, squish is together to fit it. If the crust is smaller then the paddle continue spinning it with your knuckles. Your dough should now be a perfect flat pizza crust, and is ready for the sauce and cheese!
To apply the sauce, you want an even layer and distribution of it. In order to do this, it’s best you use a ladle with a flat bottom. Fill up the entire ladle with the tomato sauce (it should be about a half a cup) and pour it in the middle of the crust. Spread the sauce in a circular motion to get the even spread, and leave about an inch of space for that delicious pizza crust. After this add a generous amount of Parmesan cheese for some extra taste. Now it’s time for the mozzarella cheese, now don’t expect to put a lot on because it’s barely a handful. Place the cheese on it very evenly, and do not put too much; you should put an amount on where you’re still able to see the sauce. When you’re done you’ll realize that making a pizza was all about being even: even crust thickness, even spread of sauce, and even amount of cheese. This process is still not finished, you have to put it in the oven perfectly to maintain a circle and avoid an ovular shape. To do this, you don’t want half the crust to come off easily then the second half to get a grip on the paddle and stretch. So what you have to do is place the nose of the paddle on the brick of the oven, and keep it on a slant. Then you’re gonna jerk it back and forth until it no longer has a grip on the paddle and you can just slide it off.
About halfway through of it being cooked, pull it out of the oven and spin it 180 degrees so that the whole pie gets evenly cooked. After about 8 minutes of it being in a 500 degree oven, it should be that perfect golden brown color along the crust, and the cheese should be perfectly melted and mixed within the sauce. Pull that pie out of the oven, put it in that square box, cut it into those 8 triangular slices and serve it to someone who was completely unaware of that entire process.