Expert Advice

Tips from Mama Santa's and Samosky's Homestyle Pizzeria

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Samosky’s Homestyle Pizzeria
EXPERT | If you can impress the Italians, you must be doing something right. Samosky’s Homestyle Pizzeria owner Jason Samosky’s pizza accolades include a top-five placement at the world Pizza Championship in Italy. Stateside, he’s won the American Pizza Championship gourmet division three times.
HOMEMADE PIE | “After your dough rises, use either a dough docker or a fork to take the air bubbles out,” Samosky advises for an even crust. “Press the underside of your fork row by row into the dough to deflate it. But don’t deflate your crust — the dough along the edges. That you want to be round.”

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Mama Santa’s
EXPERT | No Cleveland experience is complete without a two-hour wait for a homemade pizza at Mama Santa’s. The name of the Little Italy landmark is synonymous with a good pie, and it’s no wonder. Owner Danny Scaffidi has been cooking up cheesy delights since starting at the family restaurant 40 years ago at 15. “By myself, I’ve made just short of a million pizzas in my lifetime,” he says.
HOMEMADE PIE | Scaffidi “pre-burns” new pans to keep dough from sticking. That allows for an extended stay in the oven, resulting in a crispier crust. “We cook ours for 20 or 25 minutes,” he says. “How long do they do it at {a chain}? Ten minutes, maybe?”
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