07.19.09: dinner (more homemade pizza).

Pizza Bianca with Leeks, Tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano

Pizza Bianca with Leeks, Tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

Yes, nothing’s finer than pizza from your own hands.  I don’t know how a dish that’s as infinitely satisfying as pizza becomes even more satisfying when you roll it out yourself, but it does.  Also, you can choose any favorite or off-beat toppings you want without having to pay $2.50 per.  The big difference in our piecraft this week was the use of our brand-new pizza peel, acquired from Chef’s.

We proceeded as follows: I overturned a half sheet pan in the oven and covered it with foil and some cornmeal.  I set the left knob to BAKE and turned the right knob past 500 to BROIL.  I want to clarify, I was not broiling anything (the top coils did not light), the BROIL setting on the temperature knob merely tells the oven controller not to turn off the main heating element ever.  My oven thermometer pegged after 15/20 minutes, indicating an internal temperature well in excess of 550 F.  I rolled out the dough onto a ton of cornmeal which I had sprinkled onto the peel.  Once it looked good, I added my toppings.  Next, I shook it back and forth to make sure the dough wasn’t sticking, then opened the oven.  I carefully pulled out the rack with the now hothothot pan and shook the dough until it slid on the pan.  I closed the oven up and cooked for 8 minutes, checking after 5.

The nice thing about the pan approach is that if you mess up, there’s no danger of pizza falling onto the heating coils; you can always manipulate the pan with an oven-mitted hand.  Just be careful and have a buddy standing by with towels and spatulas.   Buon Appetito!

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