Technically, it’s not pizza. It’s an open pie, an American pie with Gulf of Mexico seafood and white sauce. I don’t remember when I enjoyed pizza-like pie so much for the last time! The idea to use Gulf oysters belongs to the Engineer. I added scallops remembering how wonderful they are in seafood version of empanada gallega. It turned out great. We named it The Gulf of M: oyster liquor velute + scallops + gulf oysters + queso asadero + oaxaca string cheese + seaweed. I didn’t pre-cook oysters and scallops when made it for the first time, and it was soft of messy because of extra juices. But sooo gooood!
Neo-Neapolitan pizza dough (source American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza) works the best for me in this recipe. In his book, Peter Reinhart gives a lot of information and very detailed instructions, which are not repeated here and highly recommended for beginners to seek.
For the crust with paper-thin center and big puffy edges, the dough needs to slowly ferment refrigerated at least 24 hours. It should rest for about two hours in room temperature
Becoming Friends with Salamangrill
At first I was trying to limit myself to the tools I already have in my kitchen. After first experiments, it became clear getting new tools was unavoidable.
Salamangrill comes with 14″ round baking stone. I was not 100% satisfied with the results on the bottom of the pizza and decided to try baking steel. In comparison with the stone, Pizzacraft Square Steel Baking Plate takes twice less time to get really hot and quickly releases collected heat making an impressive pizza bottom. Since it is not SS, this baking steel requires some extra care in our climate. When baking pizzas one after another, the 1/4″ plate needs to be reheated every time. It would be nice to use a thicker baking steel, but Salamangrill rack won’t be able to hold anything heavier. I plan to eventually replace is with SS plate of the same thickness.
Pizza Oven Accessories
I learned that wooden pizza peel is the best for sliding the dough onto the baking stone, when metal peel is obviously better for removing baked pizza form it. There is nothing more distressing than being so close to end of making great pizza and seeing it doesn’t want to slide from the peel! Make sure you have the right tools and use semolina for peel dusting, it’s the best. I got Pizzacraft Folding Peel and Stone Brush and so far they serve me well.