The wife and I have this pizza making exercise down. It used to be a big production with lots of dirty dishes, but now it’s a very casual affair.
We typically make three pizzas. It’s takes a decent amount of charcoal to get the oven going, so it makes sense to make the most of it. Although we can make the oven hotter or cooler for different styles of pizza, we’ve pretty much settled on a hybrid New York/Neapolitan dough with a NY-style sauce and a whole milk, low-moisture mozzarella/provolone blend (about 60:40). We actually strayed from that tendency for these pizzas.
We almost always make a couple of classics and then experiment with the third pizza. We’ve made buffalo chicken pizza, basil pesto pizza, white pizza, and just about everything you can imagine. This weekend, we experimented with a copycat Chipotle barbacoa pizza.
Let’s start with the classics. This is a non-traditional Margherita with Italian sausage and roasted garlic. The high-moisture mozzarella melts and blends into the cooked sauce, giving it a creamy flavor ans texture. This is pretty close to Neapolitan-style, but it differs in several ways that are important to purists but not to me.
This next pizza is arguably my favorite to make. It’s a knock-off of Davenport’s Pizza in Birmingham, Alabama. Where the previous pizza was minimal, this one is a bit excessive. It’s a pepperoni and basil pizza with sliced provolone and Italian sausage. The pepperoni and basil go under the cheese and the sausage cooks on top. I love the way provolone cheese browns in the oven.
Here’s a bonus shot of the oven. Check out those flames licking up the back and over the pizza. I’m burning the last of the cherry wood used to make this mirror.
Finally, we have the Chipotle barbacoa pizza. This features a spicy enchilada sauce as a base and is topped with the cheese you find in quesadillas. It’s topped with caramelized onions and peppers and braised, shredded beef. This could have been a little spicier for my taste, but it was a very good first attempt.
Check out how light and airy the dough is. The bottom has a nice crispness without being too crunchy. The thicker part of the dough—known by Italians and American hipsters as the cornicione—tears apart with ease. If you ask me, this hybrid style draws from the strengths of both New York and Neapolitan pizza.