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.
326gbread wheat flourKing Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour preferred (14% gluten)
1 1/2tspkosher salt
1/2tspSaf Instant Yeast
for white sauce (2 pies)
1tbspwheat flourall-purpose, King Arthur
1/2tspsaltadjust to taste
1/4tspblack pepperfreshly ground, adjust to taste
for topping (2 pies)
10eachoystersGulf of Mexico origin, shacked
6ozOaxaca cheesesplitted into thiner threads
2tbspseaweeddry (e.g., aonori)
1tbspclarified butterfor pre-cooking seafood
2tbspsemolinafor dusting peel
Dissolve salt and honey in water. Combine all ingredients and make a slightly sticky, soft, and supple dough. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Form each into a ball, brush it with some olive oil, and place inside its own zipped freezer bag. Keep for them 15-30 minutes in room temperature, then put in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Remove the balls from the refrigerator 2 hours prior to making pizza.
for white sauce
When buying fresh shacked oysters, make sure to get enough oyster juice. Strain oysters and reserve the juice.
Melt 1/2 tbsp clarified butter on medium heat and half cook oysters for about a minute, stirring. They will release some juice. Add it to strained fresh oyster juice and reserve. Reserve half cooked oysters for later use.
Slice scallops across in half. Melt 1/2 tbsp clarified butter on medium heat and half cook scallops for about a minute, flipping. They will release some juice. Add it to collected oyster juice and reserve. Reserve half cooked scallops for later use.
Mix seafood juices and milk. Melt butter, add flour and cook it for about a minute, stirring. Whisk in half of liquid mixture, than whisk in the rest. Bring to simmer, season, and cook whisking for about 15 minutes. Adjust the taste, strain, cool down to room temperature.
for baking in Salamangrill
Place baking stone or steel on the rack and move it to the highest position (closest to the heating element). Turn on the high heat. Preheat the stone for 4-5 minutes.
Make one pizza at a time. Divide seafood and cheeses into two portions. Shape half of the dough on the counter and transfer to the peel dusted with semolina. Spread the sauce and sprinkle with shredded Asadero.
Move the rack with hot baking stone to the lowest position. Carefully slide the pizza from the peel onto the baking stone. Arrange seafood and strings of Oaxaca.
It should take about 4 minutes to bake. Turn it 180 degrees after 2 minutes of baking to ensure equal heat distribution. When done, sprinkle with dry seaweed. Repeat with the second pizza.