You could consider me a sorta pizza connoisseur...I absolutely love it and could quite honestly eat it every day probably haha. I have such a deep admiration for the art of pizza, I am always trying to make the best pizza I possibly can at home. Especially since ordering a pizza from a pizzeria is so dang expensive. By the time you order the pizza and if you get it delivered, you could end up paying 20 bucks for a pie! That just drives me nuts, because I know for a fact that it cost them probably $2 in food cost to make the pie.
I have tried many pizza dough recipes, but I think I have finally rested on this one. It's just perfect in my book...the outside gets nice and crispy while the inside is light, airy, and moist. I also made a garlic-parmesan butter sauce that I brushed on the crust edge which gave it a really awesome flavor.
One the hardest parts of cooking pizza at home, which stumps a lot of people is transferring the pizza to the preheated Baking Steel via a pizza peel. This process isn't for the faint of heart and must be approached with confidence and commitment. I might be making this sound like an intense process, but I am being serious. Just like flipping an omelet or sauteing, you need to slide the pizza off the peel with confidence and once you start the motion you have to commit the whole way through. Here are a few tips to sliding a pizza off a pizza peel:
MISE EN PLACE...MISE EN PLACE..MISE EN PLACE!!!!
- Like in all cooking, have your ingredients chopped, shredded, or what have you done and ready to go before you begin putting the pizza together. The longer the pizza dough sits on the peel the more likely your pizza is going to stick.
FLOUR THE PEEL
- You need to flour your peel with a light coating of flour. Sprinkle the top of it with a layer of flour, rub it in, and shake off any excess flour. You don't want too much flour on the peel because it will burn when you slide the dough from the peel to the hot steel.
- This goes back to the Mise en Place, have all your ingredients ready to go and put your pizza together as fast as possible. Your Mise en Place should also include preheating your oven & Baking Steel. Because, again, the longer your pizza sits on the peel the more likely it is going to stick.
GIVE IT A SHAKE
- Once you have your pizza dough formed into a circle on the peel, before you add any toppings (This part is crucial) give your dough a shake on the peel. Make sure it moves freely on the peel.
CONFIDENCE AND COMMITMENT
- Once you top your pizza it's time to slide it into the preheated oven ASAP. You need to slide the pizza with confidence and authority onto the Baking Steel. And you need to commit through the motion the whole way through. You need to own the pizza...I AM IN CONTROL AND YOU WILL SLIDE OFF THIS PIZZA PEEL INTO THE OVEN WITHOUT LOOKING LIKE PILE OF GOO!!
Class is dismissed...
I know most of us are experiencing some ridiculously cold weather right now, here are a few helpful tips from The Onion for keeping warm:
- Body heat is the best kind of warmth. Simply cut your chest open and place your appendages inside where it’s nice and toasty.
- Trick your brain into feeling warm by sticking flame decals on all of your possessions.
- Whenever coming inside from the freezing outdoors, remember to shiver and say “brrr.”
- Prevent heat from escaping by putting a hat on your thermostat.
- For the toastiest spot in the house, head to the fireplace and crawl under burning logs.
- Develop a thick layer of protective blubber through millions of years of evolution.
- Keep heat in your body by tightly packing all orifices with fiberglass insulation.
- Adopt several dogs from the local shelter, bring them home, and snuggle up next to them until you are heated throughout. Return them when finished.
- Crouch low to the ground to cover both legs with your feathers.
There was one more, but I figured I would omit that one.