I bought a container of pizza dough from Whole Food as the Wednesday Chef said I should. $1.99 Rolled out about half of it on a floured cutting board. Put the dough on parchment paper on a peel, as Emeril said I should. This is so it will slide easily off of the peel onto the pizza stone in the oven. I’ve always used corn meal on the peel, the little grains kind of roll the dough off the peel. This is not just Pizza Again, but a whole new exploration.
I topped it with my Early Girl sauce*, pepperoni and cheese — happened to be smoked Swiss. Smoked mozzarella is my cheese of choice, and I thought I bought some last week, but I guess I just thought about it.
[* I make my Early Girl Sauce in late summer when I get a chance to help harvest some of the tomato overflow at my favorite CSA farm in Watsonville. It takes less than an hour in their fields to fill a few flats full of tender bursting ripe Early Girls and San Marzanos, drive them carefully home, then immediately cook them into sauce, portion the sauce into ziplock freezer bags, and freeze for future use, such as now. What’s my secret ingredient? Just those tomatoes; there’s nothing else in there. The San Marzanos make a thicker, pastier sauce; equally as good, but a little more mellow.]
Slip into a 425 °F oven onto a pizza stone for ten minutes.
Out of the oven, it was all puffed and the edges of the crust were starting to brown. The use of the parchment paper is a great idea! Tasted great! It’s that Early Girl sauce. But the crust could have cooked a little longer. Next one, I’m going to risk burning it. Half of it made a real nice lunch.
Warmed up in the toaster-oven the next morningâ€”yum yumâ€”for breakfast.
I’m back to the corn meal crusts. That doesn’t rule out the occasional Whole Food dough, but I do like the corn meal.
For a change of pace, I bought a can of Hunt’s Tomato Sauce with Basil. Finally got around to using it for this morning’s Pizza. The other ingredients: Fontina Val d’Aosta and Asiago Fresco cheese (melty and rich, not stringy) and stick pepperoni that I sliced myself. I also had a bit of roasted red pepper left from last week’s spaghetti sauce. Sliced that into strips.
The Hunt’s Tomato Sauce is just bad. It doesn’t have the bright tomato taste of my straight-from-the-fruit homemade sauce. My bad, for even thinking of buying it.
Whole Food was out of plain corn meal crust, so I picked up a container of their pizza dough. (By now it costs $2.99â€¦ Farmers are growing corn for ethanol, so there is an extreme shortage of wheat, and the price of wheat has skyrocketed.) That was on Monday. I didnâ€™t get around to making the pizza until Thursday and the dough had nearly doubled in size in the refrigerator.
I got the dough out before my morning walk and sat it on the counter. When I got back, the dough had risen some more.
I plopped the dough out on a floured board and kneaded a bitâ€¦ very elastic. Cut the ball in half and I couldnâ€™t stretch it by hand, too elastic, so I began rolling. I got it to a size where I could drape it over my fist, and then two fists until it became quite thin. I had about a 9-inch pizza. Put it on parchment paper on my wooden peel and loaded it with olive oil, my tomato sauce, grated mozzarella, black olives and pepperoni.
Into the oven for 12 minutes but that wasnâ€™t enuf. It was bubbling but the edges werenâ€™t brown. Another 3 minutes and it looked great.
I let it rest on a wire rack for 5 minutesâ€¦ that was hard, it looked so good and I was hungry.
Finally, I sliced and ate. Yum. But it could have used some oomph, like oregano or pepper flakes or black pepper or red onion. The crust was good and thin, but just a bit tough. Yum anyway.
While the first was in the oven, I rolled, stretched and put together a second. I might try freezing it, just to see what happens.