As it applies to making pizza, I’m not as metal as I used to be. I don’t try to repurpose kettle grills into 900-degree coal ovens and I don’t do all the fancy stovetop-to-broiler maneuvering, just to fake a pro-level cornicione and matching undercarriage. And until five days ago, I hadn’t made pizza in more than a year.
But then, during a session of just fucking off online when I should have been transcribing an interview, I found this thing on the Internet for $10 — and for the marginally dedicated home-pizza maker, it’s good.
It’s a 16-inch Teflon pan that conducts good heat and, because it’s non-stick, the pan is easy to clean. The pan doesn’t help with the pro-level cornicione but it will give you a crispy bottom with minimal effort, while reducing the burn risk implicit with moving a balls-hot pan from a balls-hot stovetop to a balls-hot broiler.
The Teflon pizza pan isn’t as good as a Baking Steel — which also functions as superlative griddle, especially on a charcoal grill — but it’s also not $79.
About the pizza:
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup (plus a little extra) warm water
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp instant-rise yeast
a drop of extra virgin olive oil (optional)
» Combine everything but the water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Turn the mixer to low and, using the spatula attachment, gradually add the water until it it seems doughy. If it looks like pancake batter, you’ve gone too far. When it comes together, sub the dough hook for spatula and turn the mixer to medium until there is no dough left on the sides of the mixing bowl, then go a minute or two longer. This will make the dough stretchy. Remove the dough, make it a ball and let it double in size, then split it in half and put each half in its own olive oil-wiped bowl. Stick that in the fridge until use — but remove at least 30 minutes before stretching. It’s hard to work cold dough. One dough ball will make a 10- to 12-inch pizza, depending on how thin you stretch it.
1 28-oz. can of Cento San Marzano tomatoes
3 tsp sugar
sprinkles of kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder
» Strain the tomatoes and dump them in a blender or food processor. Add sugar and salt and blend until saucy. If you prefer a less-sweet sauce, minus a teaspoon of sugar or two.
16-oz. block of low-moisture, whole milk mozzarella
» Cut two quarter-inch slabs (roughly) and slice those into six chunks.