Sunday, February 27, 2011

Food is better when it's round

Obviously my love of pie belies a certain fascination with all things circular: Pancakes, pie and pizza. You name it, I love it; and I want to learn how to make it. Luckily I live with a bonafide "expert." OK, Travis only worked for a pizza place over the summer sometime before I met him, but he still makes a mean pizza crust, not to mention pizza sauce. Traditionally, because it's easier to make, we've mostly made deep dish in a rectangular Pyrex pan. But traditional really is better, and for us, traditional means circular. So that's what we did recently.
We made the dough in the bread machine, which gave us more time to get our errands done and a safe place for the dough to rise while we were gone. We threw everything in the machine before we went shoe shopping, and when we got back, we got down to business - pizza-making business. Have a look:

Travis did a fantastic job making a round crust. The only mistake was forgetting to buy cornmeal at the store. The final result came out a little more floury than we like, but it was still delicious enough.

We got the pizza paddle for Christmas from Dad. Apparently our fame as pizza lovers is well-known.

Travis also made homemade sauce. He loves doing it and believe me, he has perfected his recipe over the years. It's delicious. I know I've been saying this for years now, but someday I'll share it, I promise! Our favorite pizza for the last year or so has been sausage and pineapple. It's amazing!

The secret to the perfect crust is a pizza stone. The key is to put it in the oven as it preheats so the stone will be the same temperature as the oven and is able to cook the pizza evenly and quickly. This creates a perfect crust that's still chewy. By the way, that oven thermometer is great. Without it, we'd never know that our oven is exactly 25 degrees above the set temperature. I recommend getting one if you don't have it.

The paddle allows us to slide the pizza on to the preheated stone without it falling apart. I'd give you a finished picture, but as the case usually is, we had consumed the final product before I remembered to grab my camera.

A note on toppings: One of the things I love most about pizza is that the toppings can change according to what you have and what you are in the mood for. I had fried up Italian sausages last weekend for dinner and used the leftovers along with the last of the fresh pineapple from a tub of fresh cut fruit I had purchased from Harris Teeter's grocery section earlier in the week. Yum!