The Free The Pizza Summer Tour 2022 has been bringing pizza to the people around the Eastern seaboard. We’re presently in Cape Cod, where a friend we’ll call JD requested one of my signature pizzas: shrimp and garlic.
I’ve known JD for well over a decade. I know some things about him. And I know that he hasn’t asked for some other toppings on that pizza that he would enjoy.
For instance: he loves overtly spicy food that can tear the head off of mere mortals, causing pizza sauce to gush from the open neck hole. With that intel, it felt like time to introduce JD to Pizza De Los Camarones Al Diablo: Pizza Of The Devil Shrimp. (Yes, it’s a Spanish name. It sounds more dangerous than its Italian counterpart, and is also more friendly to the American tongue.)
Someone on a Facebook pizza group recently asked for recommendations for an indoor pizza oven. Unleash the enthusiastic dogpiling! This oven! That oven! Another oven! Here’s a list of ovens from Google! Only one person commented not with an oven recommendation, but with a question:
“Why an indoor pizza oven instead of just buying a steel?” Everybody else was jumping on with oven intel. But nobody was interested in qualifying the question.
It's shocking the number of people who've never tried making pizza in a home oven and will tell you that you're never making pizza in a home oven. Don't believe them...
The reason I'm sharing my answer to a question on Quora is because it's going crazy there, and maybe you need to see it. The question was, "Why does homemade pizza never taste the same as pizza from a restaurant? Am I missing some secret ingredient or method?" I read the answers people had given this person, and I was appalled. It was a parade of negativity and ignorance. Only a couple of voices offered something worthy, and those answers were incomplete. So, I wrote the following...
You can make homemade pizza that tastes fantastic. My homemade pizza tastes better than a lot of pizza restaurants. (That’s one of the reasons why, after 20 years of doing it, I’ve written a book about how to do it.) It also seems most of the answers to this question are from people who apparently never make pizza at home, and know only why they can’t make pizza at home. Even a chef told you it’s not possible. If it’s not possible, explain this photo:
So, the Big Problem O’ The Day was dough. The weather was hot and humid. The dough had blown and was crawling out of the container. An otherwise delightful pizza was soft and squishy, not the crisp and crunchy product we normally desire, and I was pondering ways to solve this. I was digging into insights from the late, great Tom Lehmann, the industry-famous Dough Doctor.
And then the call came: “I’m afraid I have unfortunate news…” This call was pizza-related, but bigger than just dough.
Blaine Parker is the award-winning author of the new, unusual and amusing how-to pizza book, Free The Pizza. Also known as The Pizza Geek and "Hey, Pizza Man!", Blaine is fanatical about the idea that true, professional-quality pizza can be made at home. His home. Your home. Anyone's home. After 20 years of honing his craft and making pizza in standard consumer ovens across the nation, he's sharing what he's learned with home cooks like you. Are you ready to pizza?
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