Some of you may think this is partly a food critic’s blog. It does seem to be that way sometimes, doesn’t it? Both Andrea and I have a love for good eats. Since we are newly married and don’t have the enormous budget it would take to support being restaurant critics, we like to make our own food, then review it. I am especially the critical one! I really enjoy making some things. Since we have been in PA, I have tried making a few things from pretzels, to Italian Beef, to donuts, and now to pizza.
And it’s not just any pizza that I tried to make today–my evening off from work. I adore wood-fired/brick oven pizza! The greasy kind that is made in bulk in rotating ovens at CiCi’s buffet is just what I DON”T want to make–those are pretty easy, and taste sub-par to me. If I am going to take the time, I figured, to make pizza at home, I want to do it right. The problem is that brick oven pizzas are not all that easy to make.
Several months ago I was curious on just how those few-and-far-between places that make brick oven pizza do it. I found out that it took a VERY hot oven (500+ degrees), a pizza stone, and a peal (a big pizza spatula). Today, as we were out at the store, I saw it–A real pizza stone–included with a little wire rack and pizza cutter for only six dollars. What do you think? I just passed it up? Not!
We got home in the late afternoon and I all of the sudden wanted to make it for dinner. I researched a couple of recipes online and pretty much found what I wanted. It took a 550 degree oven, and all of the normal pizza ingredients. We made our own sauce out of those canned tomatoes that we make fun of so much and some spices. Then I made the dough with mainly 5 parts white flour and one part whole wheat flour (for chewiness, the recipe said). Then I had to heat up that pizza stone in the hot oven, and…ahhh!!! I still don’t have a peel to put the pizza in the oven with! So I made a makeshift one out of a cardboard box that we had.
I slipped that pizza in the oven and, oh no, a slice of pepperoni slid off the pizza an d stone and on to the bottom of the oven. Do you know what occurs when something like that happens in an extremely hot place? Fire! Thankfully, I just blew the flame out a few times until it burnt off. Other than that, that was the only real mishap. It only took about six minutes to cook, and came out pretty good looking. We used our peal-wannabe to take the pizza off the stone and onto the top of the oven. We cut it up, and served it.
It tasted delicious! That pizza stone does wonders! It tasted just like I wanted, and that’s coming from me of all people! The crust was crisp on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. Even though the pizza wasn’t perfectly round, it tasted great. The funny thing is that we live practically right next to a good pizza place: Golden Crust. Occasionally we can smell it through our open windows; and we both agreed it tastes better. Take that Golden Crust! We’ll save that recipe! Maybe it will even be a family tradition.