100 Pizzas - 2021

Pizzas 1 - 57 - 2020

What a wild year 2020 was. It was the year of the word bizarre. I said that word more times than I could possibly count. One of a small number of highlights though, was this pizza journey. After all when one spends an inordinate amount of time in their apartment, they might as well learn something about cooking. Keep in mind, there is a spell there where I got pretty lazy and didn't have much to write in addition to the bakes. So like 44 - 70 you are just getting some photos of pizza.

I moved pizzas 1 - 57 to this page. Adventures in 2021 and my thoughts on what I've learned can be found below!

The End is the Beginning

Before officially finishing, I felt a significant sense of accomplishment as 100 pizzas loomed on the horizon. One thing is clear to me having wrapped the 100 pizza project. I kept on getting better and better. More creative, more sense of freedom, and more fun. I truly learn by doing, and doing is the very thing that liberates my hesitancy and reluctance. I’m fortunate that I’ve not had to single-handedly eat all 100 hundred pizzas, but could share most with family and friends. I want to highlight some of the things I’ve uncovered so that you can land here and quickly glean how you can make an excellent at-home pie. I look forward to all that is ahead, pizzas or otherwise.

The first thing I’d suggest is that you make your own sauce. You can head out to Trader Joes or Whole Foods and get either frozen dough or ready to bake dough, but the way that you can make your bake unique is with your sauce. Most recipes I started out with mentioned adding one or two cloves of garlic. I’m a garlic masochist, and if I had my way I'd basically just eyeball 6+ cloves in every sauce batch. Julie doesn't like that though so I have to tone it down and that probably may not suit you whatsoever anyway! So what I am suggesting is that you just work to create your very own sauce. Authentically you. Once you’ve blended up your sauce, give it some time in the fridge before judging it completely. It will change over the course of a few hours! My recipe is usually:

  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes. At the moment, I prefer the brand Rega San Marzano, but I’ve used several brands and they are all great. I am still searching for the perfect can of tomatoes.
  • 3-6 cloves of garlic
  • A splash of Franks hot sauce
  • A bunch of oregano (eye balled)
  • ½ teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt (and add more if it needs it after a taste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • If making your own sauce is all that you can manage, you will have already dramatically upleveled your bakes. But if you have some extra time, then get your hands dirty and start making your own dough. Like the sauce, you can experiment endlessly with flours, hydrations and the like. And making a 24-hour dough just completely changes the game. I’ve not settled on my dough recipe definitively, but it works for now. And when I go out and eat other peoples pizza I’ve started to think that maybe mine is actually good. Which is a cool feeling to have.

    My last bit of advice for you at this stage is to be gentle but not timid. To create structure in your dough the gluten needs a firm hand. To shape a beautiful circular pie, you need to be somewhat gentle. To create a tasty bit of food art you need some love and care. So give yourself the freedom and flexibility to actually have fun. If you fuck up, make a calzone! No sane person will complain about melted cheese on bread no matter how it looks. I’ve done a few Calzones on this journey and it’s fine. Life goes on and you can try again. In the beginning, though, I was so obsessed with getting it right so that the pizza looked good. My first calzone made me physically and emotionally mad. What a waste of energy that was, forget about that. This journey is about learning a craft and growing along the way. Celebrate the mistakes. I remember the third calzone incident (October 2020), I cried out with excitement and joy when I screwed up the transfer from peel to stone. I exhaled and was actually relieved. I laughed at myself, and Julie grinned and gave me a big ol hug and a kiss. I look back on my reaction fondly because it meant that I’d learned to love the process more than the result. That is a lesson we can apply to anything in life.

    August 2021
    98 - 102 - August 19th

    Wow. A project completed and the feeling of accomplishment having a skill solidified for life. We put together a Cacio e Pepe pizza for the first time and it was a hit.

    #98 - Cacio e Pepe
    #99 - Cacio e Pepe
    #100 - Classic Pep
    #101 - Margherita
    #102 - Prosciutto, Onion, & Sweet Pepper

    93 - 97 - August 8th

    We could have ended the project here. I was inspired to make a Corn Pie and it was absolutely incredible. I was so pleased..

    #93 - Corn and Pesto Pie
    #94 - Classic Pep
    #95 - Prosciutto and Arugula
    #96 - Cheese with White Onion
    #97 - Classic Pep

    July 2021

    Let's eat more salad.

    June 2021
    90 - 92 - June 20th

    Dad was craving pizza, and a good piazzolla son obliges. We baked two of the now famous feeling hot and honey and one BBQ Chicken. Feeling like this project is hard to finish! It’s been over a year since the first bake, and I think it’s fair to say it’s been such a journey.

    #90 - Hot n Honey
    #91 - BBQ Chicken
    #92 - Hot n Honey Revisited

    May 2021
    84 - 89 - May 14th

    The Smiths come to town. My sister, the beautiful little lady that she is, is dating an equally beautiful (inside and out) gentleman, Connor Smith. I call him The Doctor. He’s not a Doctor. We had the pleasure of meeting his folks here in Park City and they let me prove whether I’ve learned anything on this journey with a bake of some tasty pies! The BBQ Chicken has been a fan favorite since we tried it out in Gig Harbor so we leaned on that as the centerpiece of this bake.

    That said, I think the Italian Sausage stole the show. We bake the raw sausage on the pizza and I can tell you with certainty that this is the way to do it. I’ve only done sausage once before and under the guidance of Joe Beddia, we made raw sausage balls and put them on the pie to bake. The juices seep into the cheese and every bite is magnificent. So despite some apprehension from mom about raw meat on the pie, we did it again and added some sliced peppers (Julie is a genius) and the pizza was a hit.

    #84 - Classic Pep
    #85 - BBQ Chicken
    #86 - Italian Sausage
    #87 - Grain Free Pepperoni
    #88 - Classic Pep revisited
    #89 - BBQ Chicken revisited

    76 - 83 - May 9th

    Mothers day munchies! My siblings and I were able to get vaccinated and so we decided to surprise my Mom with a gathering at our parents home in Park City for Mothers Day. This meant that my older brother Greg and I were able to bake pizzas together for only the second time since this journey began. You see when this whole thing started, Greg was leveling up his baking skills as well and we shared a dream of opening a shop one day. That dream doesn’t seem too far-fetched now a year later which I think is the unique thing about time and practice. You can turn something into a reality with a little patience and hard work.

    We’ve joked about what we might do in terms of a shop, but the vision is something trendy in Silver Lake that does coffee in the AM and Pies at night. Sounds fun right? Shoot me an email if you’d like to join in. The point is that I’m nearly 100 pizzas in and Greg and I got to bake together again. Family rules and I count myself very lucky to be close to mine. This bake basically pulled together everything I feel like I’ve learned along the way. I’m making my dough without a recipe book and my sauce from memory. It’s cool to be at this point.

    #76 - Hot n Honey, the show stopper
    #77 - Classic Pep
    #78 - Veggie, No Cheese
    #79 - BBQ Chicken
    #80 - Classic Pep revisited
    #81 - Hot n Honey revisited
    #82 - Grain Free Pep
    #83 - BBQ Chicken revisited

    April 2021
    71 - 75 - April 25th - 27th 2021

    Back to the bake in Gig Harbor

    #71 - Margherita
    #72 - Veggie Supreme (Zucchini, white onion, mushroom)
    #73 - Heavy Metal (Meatlovers)
    #74 - BBQ Chicken (Secret sauce from bbq2u)
    #75 - BBQ Chicken (Secret sauce from bbq2u). Had to make two the first was so yummy.

    March 2021
    68 - 70 - March 12th - 14th 2021

    Our last pies in the Dogpatch. The end of an era as Julie and I look for change. We felt that we got everything that we could out of our space here and the time to move on is now. David came up from LA to help us eat pies and pack up.

    #68 - Veggie! Broccoli, artichoke hearts, sliced kalamata olives, red onion, Pepperoncinis
    #69 - Coppa - Standard stuff. Super yummyyyy
    #70 - Hot n Honey - The last pie in the condo. Kinda wild, we made 70 pizzas in about a year here. This was the now classic Hot n Honey. Had to be.

    February 2021

    Let’s be honest, we needed a break from the pandemic and we needed a break from eating pizza. Julie and I kept busy in February mostly getting ready to move out of our place in SF and live a somewhat nomadic lifestyle while we still had the luxury of working remotely. The pie baking picked back up in March. We did however consume some za from our favorite classic pizza parlor in SF, Goat Hill. I also started working on my pizzaiolo look. What do you think?

    January 2021
    64 - 67 - January 28th -30th 2021


    #64 - Veggie! Broccoli, artichoke hearts, sliced kalamata olives, red onion, Pepperoncinis
    #65 - Coppa - Standard stuff. Super yummyyyy
    #66 - Veggie Medley - We just loaded a bunch of stuff from the fridge on here! Artichoke hearts, pitted kalamata olives, Coppa, Peppered Salami
    #67 - Pancetta - Flashed the pancetta in a skillet. Peppered the pizza sauce

    59 - 63 - January 16th -17th 2021

    Baking pies at the Mayacama. We actually used a BBQ to cook these ones but this was one of my favorite bakes of the project. My best friends, in a beautiful setting. Fun times were had by all.

    #59 - Hot n Honey
    #60 - El Classico
    #61 - Hot n Honey
    #62 - Pep & Jalapeno
    #63 - Veggie! Broccolini, artichoke hearts, sliced kalamata olives, red onion

    58 - January 6th 2021


    I froze a dough ball back in November as a test to see if it was possible and would even be edible later on. I am happy to report that while I chose to craft a calzone, it remained a tasty treat! Inspired by a post I had seen, I pulled the dough ball out of the freezer and let it sit in the fridge for a day. I rolled it out like I would when prepping a pizza and then just added my accoutrements to half the pie. I threw in fresh mozzarella, asparagus, grilled white onion, grilled mushrooms and topped with oregano and some olive oil. It turned out pretty darn good!

    Here is the calzone: