Thursday, July 14, 2011

i *heart* pizza

One of the many upsides to the birthday is if your friends are astute enough to catch onto your whining subtle hints you'll end up with a gift you really need and want and it's probably gonna be nicer than something you'd buy for yourself...well, at least that's generally my case because I'm cheap uhmnn frugal. The pizza stone is back! thanks to my dear friend Mary, and in its honor I'm auditioning some new pizzas. I'm putting my Smitten Kitchen fave Shaved Asparagus Pizza on the back burner for a bit and venturing into some new pizza territory.
I just love the simplicity of this Tomato, Basil and Garlic Pizza.
Scratch pizza dough is a piece of cake with a food processor. has a really simple pizza dough recipe called Really Simple Pizza Dough, go figure. Go to there and get that recipe! Home made pizza is really simple and while you're there get that damn recipe for Shaved Asparagus Pizza. It's the bomb. That pizza changed my life. For now I'm sticking to the basics of these recipes and playing a bit. 
The pizza dough requires two risings, the first for about an hour (depending on the kitchens warmth) then another 20 minute rise. The pizza stone needs to be pre-heated for a minumum of 30 minutes in a 500 degree oven.
This one starts with about 2 cups of shredded mozzarella, 1/2 cup of grated parmesano reggiano, two thinly sliced tomatoes (I let the sliced tomatoes sit on a paper towel to absorb out some of the moisture), then I spread the slices out on a plate, sprinkle some slivered basil on top (about 1/4 cup packed) and then and 3 cloves of chopped garlic, drizzle a little olive oil on top, a little salt and pepper then lay everything over the cheese.
The beauty of the pizza stone is that it re-creates (well, as close as possible) a professional pizza oven with a stone baking surface that makes the crust really crisp without burning it. When the pizza is ready to go in the oven, reduce the heat to 450F and bake for 12-15 minutes. The tricky part is getting that loaded pizza onto the hot pizza stone. Make sure your board is really well floured or coated with cornmeal.
Perhaps I should start whining about a pizza slide.

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