Friday, July 2, 2010
i have a quasi obsession with pizza. making it perfectly at home has been a struggle of mine for at least 4 yrs. i work hard on perfecting dough, figuring out toppings, sauces etc. in turn every time i make a pizza at home i am essentially putting 4 yrs of research and development on trial. i would love to post all of my opinions, and experiences, but it would take pages and bore you all to death. what i will tell you is that everyone should be making their own pizza at home. it is a great way to clean out the fridge of leftovers, as almost everything will go on a good pizza. you will need a stone of some sort, but with some searching you can find unglazed tiles at your local hardware store that will work just fine, i have cooked them on sheet pans in the oven that are upside down as well. it needs to be hot, i will usually let my stone pre-heat in the oven, stretch the dough, and take the stone from the oven then quickly sauce and top it, then back in the oven it goes. i like 550 degrees cause it is as hot as my oven will go, but hotter would be better. just about any bread dough will work, but you will have to work on the perfect balance of crispy and chewy as desired. as for toppings keep them simple and few. overloading toppings will just make everything soggy, especially when you go overboard with cheese, and clutter the dough and sauce (which are the real reason for showing up). to prevent this i usually slice the cheese rather than grate it, and just go with a piece in the middle, and a few around the sides. as for sauce i like to roast some tomatoes, garlic, and onions, then puree them with some fresh basil. again very simple but effective. oddly enough i have never attempted to grill a pizza, but it is in the future for me. last night i did a provolone, mozz, and parm for the boys. BBQ shredded chicken, potato, and caramelized onion, and the last was tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella, and gorgonzola. they were all fantastic, and the crunchiest i have ever made. someday i would die to have a real wood fire in the yard for pizzas and such, or an oven in my house that would get hotter than 550 degrees. for now this is the best i can do, the cool thing about making your own pizza is that it is never bad. just could always be better. my family loves it, and the smells and warmth involved are very comforting. it can be a relatively quick meal, or a long drawn out fancy process, either way give it a shot.