Eating pizza is a national pastime. Making pizza? It’s one of the best ways get the entire family involved in cooking. Plus, getting your hands on dough can be calming and creative.
Of course, recreating restaurant pizza in a home oven is never as easy, considering few of us have the kind of blazing industrial hearths that effortlessly turn out crispy crusts. My oven never seems quite hot enough, my broiler stinks, and I never remember to preheat the pizza stone for a full hour before baking — considerably more than the 10 minutes recommended on my stone’s user manual. Also, the first dough never bakes right while the stone is still finding its heat-transfer equilibrium. All the reason to make more dough than you need!
What I really needed was Philly’s pizza maestro Joe Beddia. He talks through all the nuanced details in his excellent book, Pizza Camp: Recipes from Pizzeria Beddia (Abrams Books, 2017), with wisdom designed to lead home cooks on the path to pizza success, all the better with practice. It might not be long now before I line my oven Beddia-style with terracotta tiles.