pizza, peels, and burns…

November 14, 2009

The last few times I made pizza I used my cast iron pizza pan. It heats up really well, and retains the heat for quick, even cooking. I usually preheat my oven to abut 500 degrees with the pizza tray in there. Then, I place the pizza dough in the oven for a few minutes first, and then remove it, add the sauce and cheese, and finish baking. The only difficulty has been in getting the pizza (rising on the counter) into the oven and neatly onto the preheated pan. Pizza Peel

So…I brought home a pizza “peel” from the store last night to help with this process! I have been wanting one for a long time, and finally got around to getting one. It is really handy, because you can roll out the dough and leave it to rest on the peel, covered with cornmeal (I forgot to get some so I used a liberal amount of flour). When the pizza is ready to go into the oven, the long handle is perfect for sliding it in without too much awkwardness!

Pizza Recipe

My dough recipe is currently located on two sticky notes. I copied it out of my sister’s journal from Italy. I usually make about 1/3 of the above recipe, and that is a huge pizza! If I preheat my oven to 500 degrees, I usually don’t cook it quite as long as the recipe says either. I just watch the pizza like a hawk until it looks finished.

Pizza Dough

Here is the dough. According to Erika, our pizza teacher, the dough should have the consistency of an earlobe. Plenty of kneading and plenty of olive oil helps with this. After I kneaded the dough I rolled it out and placed it on the peel to rise. I then chopped some fresh mozzarella cheese into chunks, and set aside. For sauce I used a jar of tomatoes that I put up this summer!!  Cheese

Last night I made the mistake of poking the top of the pizza dough while it was in the oven. There was a large bubble, and I popped it and seared the back of my finger with steam…a little reminder NOT to stick your fingers in a hot hot oven!

Finished Pizza

Here is the finished pizza. It is a little bumpy because of the big bubble, but it tasted really yummy. I think that if I had used a little more water in the crust it wouldn’t have turned out quite as crispy, but it was good anyway. My mom and I ate it with sauerkraut on top. Sauerkraut seems to be sneaking its way into lots of different dishes these days…

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