Pizza

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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.

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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

Toppings:

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.

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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.

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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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