Ahhh….pizza. My favorite food to cook, serve and eat. I’m always trying to figure out the best crust, sauce, toppings, and baking temperature. Here’s what we’re doing now:

Crust: the most consistent flour I use is King Arthur Bread Flour. Its a little pricier, but I really like it. This time I mixed in semolina, and pastry flour. But usually its just a mix of the bread flour and white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour. Its been nice to have space for our stand mixer, since the dough benefits from 6-8 minutes being kneaded by machine. I also try and let it rise in the fridge overnight if possible. And after the first rise, I divide it into a small ball for each pizza, letting that rise an hour or so.


Sauce: Well….we don’t use that much sauce. Usually we stick with olive oil, herbs and garlic, depending on the toppings. However, plain cheese or pepperoni pizza isn’t complete without a good red sauce. I’ve lately taken to combining a good can of crushed tomatoes (fresh tomatoes can be used for something else), herbs from the garden (oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, sage), a combo of crushed fresh garlic and garlic powder, crushed red peppers, salt and pepper and olive oil. Also, a touch of sugar is sometimes nice.

Broccoli raab, cheese with salami

Broccoli raab, cheese with salami


Hmmm…..who needs help with toppings. Use what you have and enjoy it! Here’s some ideas we’ve been using lately:  fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil, broccoli raab (blanched) with salami, banana peppers, and dabs of red sauce on top; local mushrooms carmelized with shallots, thyme branches, a few slices of garlic and lots of olive oil to be flavored by the vegis.


Mushroom & thyme, cheese (for my brothers), tomato and basil

Mushroom & thyme, cheese (for my brothers), tomato and basil

And of course, baking temperature. The factor of which you have least control (unless you’re rich). Our stand-by method has been to head the pizza stone up as hot for an hour, as the hottest the oven can go. This usually results in pizzas being done in about 4 minutes. In our recently acquired Big Green Egg, we’re able to heat it up to 650, and the pizzas take about 2 1/2 minutes, though even this is too long once the stone is very hot. Either way – pizza stones are essential.



1 Response to “Pizza”

  1. 1 Cynthia Stevens August 27, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    carmelized shallots & mushrooms with thyme and artichoke hearts – the absolute best!

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