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Old 01-15-2010, 09:55 AM   #11
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I like to prebake my crust then add the toppings and return it to the oven til cheese melts.
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:29 PM   #12
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One thing you might do is take a look at the cheese you are using. Some burns more easily that others. Provolone burns more quickly than mozzerella. I spent years learning to make decent pizza in a home oven and finally got it figured out - here's what works for me in an electric oven (gas is trickier). I don't precook the crust - there is no need and I avoid browned cheese.

Use an aluminum pizza pan that has been seasoned to be black on the bottom (this takes time)
Cook in 450 degree oven on bottom shelf.
Use oil and corn meal under crust (on pan). Grease pan, then sprinkle with cornmeal.
Use fairly dense (dry) dough
Assembly order matters! Add sauce (I use plain canned tomatoe sauce) sprinkle on dry seasonings, add cheese and finally toppings. Put the wettest ones on last. For me this means mushrooms and sliced onions.
Do not center load the pizza. This means no toppings (except cheese) in the very center.

About toppings: Use only mozzerella, I use fresh mushrooms which I fry in a dry pan first to remove moisture. Onions are sliced paper thin - not diced, same for peppers. I love artichokes on my pizza. I use canned but press liquid out in a clean towel.
If you lilke Parmesan cheese add it after you pull the pizza out of the oven.

Cooking: Hot oven - that is fully preheated. Don't open the door to check!

Here's my big tip.... When the pizza seems fully cooked on top (but not really brown) open the oven and slide the pizza off the pan directly onto the bottom rack. Yes - you can do this and yes, it messes up your oven a little... cook for 60 seconds more. Shove the pan back under the pizza and remove from oven. Then slide the pizza off the pan and cool on a wire rack for a few mins. This will prevent the bottom of the crust from steaming and getting soggy again.

This will give you a crispy bottom crust every time and a well cooked pizza.

Practice is fun.... you may need to do it several times to tweak for your oven :)
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:35 PM   #13
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It also depends on what type of oven you're using, too. Restaurants have big, commercial ovens that distribute heat far better than your average household oven that's ten years old.
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Reduction13 View Post
It also depends on what type of oven you're using, too. Restaurants have big, commercial ovens that distribute heat far better than your average household oven that's ten years old.
That's the reason you should use a pizza stone... to provide an evenly heated surface, preheated for 30 minutes. Also, most ovens, electric and gas, can reach 500 degrees, and that's all that is needed to produce a very nice pizza in 8 minutes!

...from either the middle or top shelf.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by LadyCook61 View Post
I like to prebake my crust then add the toppings and return it to the oven til cheese melts.
I don't always prebake the crust.. If I roll out the dough real thin, it would not be necessary.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:24 PM   #16
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Thumbs up Pressure cooker pizza

Im using my pressure cooker a lot lately and 2 days ago i decided to try pressure cooker pizza!
Boy how i was surprised.
Is not a restaurant pizza but was really good...different and simple.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:42 PM   #17
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...
Mushrooms, for instance, DO NOT contain a lot of water, at least not enough to make a pizza soggy.
...
FYI--Mushrooms are 90% water per The Kitchen Answer Book by Hank Rubin.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:50 PM   #18
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FYI--Mushrooms are 90% water per The Kitchen Answer Book by Hank Rubin.
Actually, mushrooms are mostly air.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:46 PM   #19
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Actually, mushrooms are mostly air.
According to whom?
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:39 PM   #20
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Mushrooms on Pizza

Mushrooms are 90% water. When they are dried, they will dry to approximately 1/10 of the original weight. In pizza, you could try adding mushrooms the last five minutes of cooking if you do not want to have to wipe up the puddles that can be created by adding mushrooms in the beginning. You could also dry saute the mushrooms on a high heat or just saute and drain them on a paper towel before assemblying the pizza. I guess you could also add less stuff....but....forget I said that. One note: Mushrooms ARE pourous so do rinse them quickly and dry them on paper towel if you want to reduce liquids.

In reading this thread, the one thought that went through my mind was: in all of the years of cooking mushrooms, I've never once ended up with a pot of air after they are cooked.

~Kathleen
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