Hi, this is me, pizza journalist Dan Tallarico. And you may be wondering how I got here. Well, it involves 8 years of work and relationship building until I was able to marry into a family that had a pizza oven in their backyard. This is me with a pizza that stuck to the peel and had to be destroyed. Oh the humanity. Also, when you're a pizza journalist you don't have to worry about how wrinkled your shirts are.
I like to blame the pizza sticking on the whole olives I tossed onto the dough. I made other pizzas that turned out perfectly, those did not have olives. Let's focus on those.
Here's the first pizza I made. No sticking, the dough is stretched perfectly and its crust is forming perfectly. You definitely want a crust that looks like a coiled snake that swallowed a couple of balls of mozzarella. Those bumps mean you'll be biting into a tasty, textured pizza.
This pizza oven is incredibly small, so you have fire in one corner and nothing on the other. It's a hot oven so someone needs to stand vigil, rotating the pizza every 30 seconds or so. If you did everything right, you'll end up with something like this:
Here's the final product. A chewy dough, spots of brown, slightly brazed basil and melted mozzarella.
There's nothing that beats a pizza you make from scratch. The dough and oven were both provided by my father-in-law, Dan Cardone. He spent some time in Italy working with legit pizzaiolos to master the craft. He even has a certificate declaring his pizza skills!
Look at that pizza - it truly doesn't get better than that.