Hello, my name is Joe and I am obsessed with Pizza!
You probably already figured that out. 🙂
I am a husband, dad, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, vinyl record enthusiast, audiophile, blues man (yes I am), and of course PIZZA lover!
Who doesn’t love pizza? As a kid I would eat whatever pizza I could get my hands on, the local pizza place, the pizza my parents brought home, Elio’s frozen pizza, Stoufers french bread pizza, etc… However, as I got older I became sort of a pizza snob, it was right around the time my wife and I started dating. We started going to the all of the highly ranked pizza places in New York City and Brooklyn.
This was back in 1998, and it was before the Neapolitan style pizzeria explosion happened in New York City and Brooklyn. We visited Lombardis, Johns, Famous Joe’s, The original Patsy’s, Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn, and of course Di Fara’s.
However, our pizza experience all changed back in 2006 when we tried best the pizza we have ever eaten Una Pizza Napoletana in the East village! The experience was amazing, his whole pizza place was run by just three people. I had never eaten authentic Neapolitan style pizza until that night.
Our two “go” to pizza places were Delfiore Pizza in Patchogue and Umbertos of New Hyde park.
All of our family and friends would act like we were crazy for driving over an hour to get pizza!
If you loved pizza all of your life, what made you wait until now at the age of 40 to start making pizza? Great Question? I owe it all to the Paleo diet!
For those of you that don’t know the Paleo Diet is based on the sole or predominant consumption of foods presumed to have been the only foods either available or consumed by humans during the Paleolithic era. Essentially you can eat lean meat, vegetables, fruit, eggs, and nuts.
Because of my diet I started to really love cooking and barbecuing, it become my new hobby. I purchased a Big Green Egg barbecue, and I absolutely became obsessed with grilling and learning new techniques, etc. I purchased a pizza stone and started making pizza’s on the egg. My wife and I always made pizza in our kitchen, in addition to the oven I started making them on my barbecue. One of the main advantages the Big Green Egg has over kitchen ovens is I could get the pizza stone to over 800 degrees. As many of you know, your kitchen oven only goes up to 550 degrees.
Up until this point I never made my own pizza dough, we always went to a local pizza place and bought dough. I never thought of making my own dough. I was intimated by the process and thought it was too hard.
My daughter and I love soft pretzels, I remember reading some posts on the Big Green Egg Facebook group page about people making soft pretzels on their egg. They looked Delicious! I went to the Big Green Egg Website and found their recipe. They came out delicious! The recipe calls for making the pretzel dough from scratch. I made it and it was so simple.
Then I thought to myself, I bet I can start to making my own Pizza dough. The rest as they say is history.
I purchased a dedicated pizza oven called the Roccbox. This was a game changer, this little amazing oven replicates a wood burning oven and easily reaches 950 degrees. I was now able to make real Neapolitan style pizzas! 🙂
I started out by trial and error, by making pizza for my wife and daughter, my family, and friends. The good thing about pizza is that even bad pizza tastes good. Some of my very first pies were anything but round, LOL.
I was getting serious about making pizza. For any of you that know me, If I decide to do something I do it right (some would call it crazy). I researched the best flour to purchase for making traditional Neapolitan style pizza. The research was pretty easy there really is only one, Caputo 00 flour of Naples, Italy. I called the main US distributor (I told you I don’t fool around) and found a local distributor that was only 10 minutes from my house that offered cash and carry. The only problem was I had to purchase a 55 pound bag!
I experimented with different fermentation times from 1 day to 4 days at 37 degrees. It was amazing at how different the dough re-acted with these different proving times. I finally settled on a 3 day cold fermentation rise.
My family and I took a pizza class with the great Roberto Caporuscio and his daughter, Giorgia Caporuscio, at Keste Fulton in New York City. It was like Disney World for me, checking out all of the ovens and thinking one day I would love to own a neighborhood pizzeria.
I also re-confirmed that the ingredients is what makes a good pizza. Unfortunately many of our local pizza places do not use the best ingredients and you can tell by the quality of their pie. I will not use anything but the best!
All of my family and friends kept urging me to bring it to the next level. So I did, I created the handcrafted Neapolitan pizza stand, Until the Dough Runs out.
To be continued….
Now, go eat some PIZZA!