Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Basic Pizza

So I have a beef...I have a beef with the companies that make and sell pizza stones. They advertise them like the best thing in the world and make it sound like they will make your pizza turn into delicious brick oven pizza. Well people, let me save you from this, they suck...plan and simple. You may love them, but I hate them and I will tell you why. The thing that makes brick oven pizza special is a crap load of heat, a lot more heat then our little home ovens can produce. The problem with these pizza stones is that they are impossible to get hot enough to make a really good pizza. So here is the solution...metal. Metal is way more conductive, it heats faster and it heats more evenly. I've read that some people get sheets of aluminum cut to the dimensions of their oven, then they heat that as hot as their oven can go and then get it even hotter with the broiler. This is the ideal solution and you will be spittin' pizza's out of your oven faster than you can say....I don't know, some big word...But, since I didn't have a big sheet of aluminum laying around, here's the way I did it. Enjoy!

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups Mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • Pizza topping(s) of choice

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F

In a small bowl mix the yeast, sugar and warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes until yeast is activated and foaming. In a large bowl, combine the flour, olive oil, salt and yeast mixture. Mix until dough forms. If dough is to sticky, add in 1 Tbsp of flour at a time until elastic, vice versa with 1 Tbsp of water if it is to dry. Cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm area until double in sized, about 30 min. Once dough has formed, knead on a floured service until smooth and elastic. 

Roll out pizza dough on a metal pizza pan or, in my case, a metal baking sheet. Don't put on any toppings yet, put dough in the oven and bake for 7-10 min until dough is starting to brown. Remove the crust from the baking sheet onto a pizza peel (You don't need a pizza peel, just put the crust on something so you can transfer it back into the oven). Add sauce, cheese and toppings of your choice. Slide the pizza into the oven, directly on the oven rack. Bake for another 7-10 min until cheese is melted, I hit it with the broiler for about 30 second to brown the cheese. 

Song of the Recipe

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