Cooking in the Time of COVID-19: Tom made Pizza for Dinner using his Ooni Koda

We’ve been taking turns in the kitchen while we wait this virus out and for the first time we have been able to cook without looking at the clock. We can cook the way we used to when the kids were little, when there were no appointments, no schedules, no eating and running out the door. We are taking the time to slow ourselves down and savor our food. Last night, Tom fired up the oven and made pizzas.

       A little bit on his oven. This oven came to live with us when I went to Trinidad for my cousin’s wedding. Leave Tom alone long enough you will comeback to something new. It was not just the oven but it was a station on the back deck for said oven.  It heats to 900 F and takes about 90 seconds to completely cook. So when there are guests, pizzas are made and served on after the other and no one is left waiting to eat. If you don’t have a gas fired pizza oven you can still use this recipe to make light crusted tasty pizza. All you have to do is heat your stove’s oven to the highest temperature. Ours at home is 500 F and in 10 minutes we were able to make a pizza just as enjoyable and tasty as the ones in the Ooni Koda.

I have to give Tom props for taking on baking the way he has. I am no good with dough. I don’t like mixing it, kneading it and I certainly can’t toss it without wrecking it.  He also makes his own tomato sauce. He is not an “eyeball it” cook like I am and I do admire his precision when it comes to measuring and timing and texture. Do here you go – here is Tom’s Pizza that you can easily make during this time of social isolation. Please enjoy and please stay at home. Let’s get through this pandemic one day at a time, one meal at a time ~ Daniella and family.

DOUGH

To make the dough for 4 pizzas there are just 5 ingredients:-

500 grams ’00’ flour (SUPER finely ground flour)

300 grams water (pizza dough is always 60% water to whatever amount of
flour…so if you only want to do 300 grams of flour to make a couple of
pizzas, then 180 gms water)

1 teaspoon of active dry yeast

10 grams salt

10 grams olive oil

Method:- Put the salt in the flour, and mix it. I got this really inexpensive mixer on Amazon called Aicok and it had great reviews in spite of it’s low cost. The point is, cooking and cooking utensils don’t have to blow the budget. Doing the research can get you great brands you may have never heard of, but their reviews are fantastic and the price is affordable.

Next, heat your water for 40 seconds in the microwave, and it should be between 110 and 120 degrees F, basically WARM to the touch.Add the yeast to the water, and mix it up, making sure to keep the yeast in the water as much as you can. Leave it for 15 minutes.  It should bubble or foam.

 

Let the flour and salt start mixing in the mixer at the lowest setting…then pour in the water/yeast mixture. Add the olive oil. Use a silicone spatula to occasionally keep the dough in one ball, and not sticking to the bottom. Let it knead for a good 10-15 minutes.

Bring that ball out as intact as you can onto a well floured surface. I like using a Limnuo silcone pad when kneading dough. No sticking, you use less flour on it’s surface and less mess ergo happy wife but any clean flat floured surface would do just fine. Roll the ball of dough around and knead it a little just to keep its shape.

       

Lightly oil the inner surface of a big container. I like to use a stainless steel mixing bowl. Make the dough into one big ball (haha) and put it into the container. Oil the top of the ball  and then cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

SAUCE:

1 big can of San Marzano tomatoes FROM DOP.  You can get this in the international section of WalMart.

    

       

 

Use 2 cloves of garlic.  Peel them, and finely slice them. Coat the bottom of a medium sized pan with olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the sliced garlic. In about 30 seconds it will start to get really fragrant. Add the whole can of tomatoes and add ONE dab of tomato paste.

 

Good pinch of red pepper flake and Oregano. Let simmer on LOW and let it go for a good 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

      

Once it’s at your desired thickness, blend that sucker, and put it in a container and put it aside until you’re ready to use it.

 

DOUGH again, then PIZZA:

The DAY you’re going to make pizzas, take the dough out of the fridge and let it acclimate for an hour or so. On a well floured surface, cut the dough into 4 equal sections (they should be about 200 grams each). Using flour and rolling with your hands, make them into tight balls.The surface should be without any cracks or lines.  Any dimples or imperfections should all be at the bottom and pinched together in a ‘navel’ that can close itself up.  Put them to rest in a lightly oiled container, trying to keep them separate.

Now, prep your ingredients.

I recommend using a GOOD mozzarella and/or goat cheese.  Do NOT use pre-shredded cheese, as that’s usually coated with a starch so it doesn’t stick together in the bag.  Better to freshly shred, or slice your cheese.

If you’re using toppings, remember this is going to be a THIN crust pizza, so they need to be cut THIN too.

   

When it’s time to make the pizzas, put the pizza stone in your oven (if you don’t have a pizza oven) and put that to the highest it can go…likely 500 F. Flour your surface again, and take one of the dough balls. Stretch it out into a pizza dough. You’ll have to look up the techniques to do
this, and find the one you like best. There are a bunch on Youtube.  I suggest starting with OONIVERSITY on YOUTUBE with their simple  doable steps.

Once stretched, put it on a pizza peel that has a generous amount of semolina flour spread on it. Make sure the pizza dough freely slides around on it.

Now, you need to sauce it pretty quickly, and add your mozzerella (or GOAT CHEESE…GREAT option!) and toppings. LESS IS MORE…and quicker is better. If you take too long, the dough will stick to the peel, and that’s not fun.

Slide that thing onto your pizza stone and just WATCH it.  Once you see
some decent ‘leoparding’ spots on the dough, you can take it out and see
if it’s completely done…if there are some lighter spots, turn the
pizza that way and put it back in for about half a minute. Bring it out, give it 30 seconds or so to cool, and cut – DONE. HAVE FUN. EAT. ENJOY. STAY HOME. KEEP COOKING ~ Tom and family.

Check out the pizza creations we have made.

 

   

 

 

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