Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pizza Post

Saturday night -- sometimes Friday night -- is usually pizza night, and the local delivery options definitely vary in quality.  Over the summer, I happened to stop by a local bakery on a day that they had fresh pizza dough, which led to this:

I rolled out the dough, spread some homemade sauce over it, and basically cleaned out the refrigerator.  Yum!

Since then, delivery has just paled in comparison, but I have not been quite organized enough to make my own dough, and the local bakery where I found it for my initial experiment can't always sell it, so they don't always make it.  Trader Joe's had some, but the ingredient list was too long.  Then, about a week ago, I found organic pizza dough at a local grocery store for about a dollar, so I brought home a couple of pounds and stuck them in the freezer. One pound makes a decent-sized pizza, as long as you like thin crust, and it turns out that it only takes a couple of hours to defrost (another concern I had about buying pizza dough to have on hand).

I thawed out some sauce cubes and sliced up veggies (again, cleaning out the fridge).

I oiled my largest rimmed cookie sheet with a small amount of canola oil.  Yes, you can use cooking spray, but you don't need much oil to cover an entire pan -- I would guess less than a teaspoon -- and you get the benefit of knowing what you are using, as opposed to whatever additives and propellants are in the spray.  If you are really worried, check out one of those pump sprayers that you can fill with the oil of your choice.  In this case, I used canola oil because it has a higher smoke point than the much beloved olive oil, and pizza does well cooked at high temperatures.

Then I rolled out the dough with a little flour, put it in the pan and spread the sauce.

After the sauce comes cheese -- I like a mixture of finely shredded mozzarella and mild cheddar cheese -- and then veggies -- thinly sliced summer squash, red onion, baby portabella mushrooms, yellow sweet pepper and kalamata olives -- followed by a little more cheese -- in this case my favorite "magic cheese" blend of parmesan, romano and asiago.

After about 20 minutes in a 435-degree oven (yes, 435), voila!  

Crispy, thin crust pizza with very little edge.  Again, I say, yum!

Yes, delivery is quicker (maybe) and requires less effort, but making it myself is not only far less expensive but also more satisfying on a number of levels, including taste and nutritional value.

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