We’re fortunate to be surrounded by fabulous eateries in our West Seattle neighborhood. We discovered Pizzeria 22 shortly after it opened and were delighted to meet its owner, Cary Kemp. We tasted his pizza, cocktails and all the wonderful treats that emerge from his wood fired oven. Cary absorbed the culture of pizza’s birthplace, Napoli, Italy, while working in a pizzeria there. He learned to appreciate the heart and style the Napolese put into their handmade, wood fired, thin crust pizza. Naples is known internationally for its history, art, architecture, music, but most of all for its Neopolitan Pizza! Lucky for us, he ventured back to Seattle to share his craft with the happy locals in our neighborhood!
This week Cary Kemp, owner and head chef at Pizzeria 22, treats us to a lesson in Pizza making for the home chef. Having made over 10,000 doughballs himself, he’s got lots of insight and subtle techniques for making terrific dough. While we can’t replicate his wood fired oven pizza at home, we can make a wonderful “Pinched Pan” style pizza and get great results by following a few of Cary’s simple tips. Gather your friends around the kitchen table and make one of the most popular foods on the planet! Pinched Pan Pizza – Napoli style!
Tips for a great Pizza at home:
- When making the dough, be sure to use enough salt for taste and not too much flour. Dough should be slightly sticky when you form it into a ball to rise.
- Rising time and cellular structure development are both important to ensure your dough has the ideal character and texture. You’ll get best results if you allow your dough to refrigerate overnight (after its risen – doubled in size – in a bowl covered with a cloth and put in a warm place for 3-4 hours.
- Dough should be room temperature when you pinch it into the pan. Cold dough will be harder to work with and will not give you ideal cooking results.
- Letting your sauce rest overnight will improve flavor, allowing the oregano and pepper flakes to infuse their flavors.
- Don’t put too much sauce on the dough before baking. Over saucing will result in undercooked, limp crust.
- Avoid putting fresh vegetables on the pizza before cooking. Sautéed or roasted veggies cooked slightly al dente work best. If you like fresh ingredients like prosciutto, basil or tomatoes, add them onto an already cooked crust that’s been baked with just herbs, olive oil and cheese.
Learn more about Pizzeria 22 and Cary’s Kemp’s 365 days of Pizza blog.