FIRST IMPORTANT STEP
In order to get that perfect authentic pizza crust, I would argue that you need to bake your pizza on a stone. I've tried the pan method and I don't feel like you can get the same rustic crust color and texture from a pan as compared to a stone. Besides that, I think every kitchen should have a good stone, because sooooo many things taste better cooked on a stone.
Anyways, back to the important first step -- stick your stone in the oven, second from the bottom tier, and get it heating up. I turned my oven up to 400 degrees and let my stone heat up for a good 20 minutes - which is about the amount of time it takes to put everything together. ;o)
The pizza dough was from a friend of my mom. After putting all the ingredients together I set the bowl aside to rise while I made the pizza sauce.
1/4c. water with 1 tsp. sugar
*warm water and sugar in microwave until warm, then add
1 TBS. yeast
add yesty-water to
2 1/4 C. flour
1 TBS sugar
3/4 c. warm milk
Set dough aside to rise.
And I'm going to do ya'll a huge favor and introduce you to Cento Tomatoes.
- there was actually a smell of ripe tomatoes that proceed the first glimpse of the contents of the can
- the color of the tomatoes was a deep red, not the regular sickly red with spots of yellow and green
- when I stuck my finger into the can and tasted the crushed tomatoes they were delightfully tomatoey in taste without an overpowering acidity.
Shaping the Pizza
Seeing as I make a big enough mess in the kitchen with out throwing dough around, I just stuck to rolling out a hunk of dough on a floured counter top.Thin crust pizza is my favorite (it's the whole dough to toppings ratio thing) and so I probably rolled my dough out more than most people.
I sprinkled the top of my pizza peel with corn meal and then flopped my dough onto the pizza peel. Transferring the pizza dough from my peel to the super-duper hot stone in the oven required a little shaking and jiggling (the pizza peel, not me). And here's where the fun began:
- I let the pizza dough in the oven for 2 minutes, then air bubbled begsn to form and in some cases made my pizza dough look like a big pillow. After two minutes, I opened the oven, and using a fork, I popped all the air bubbles.
- After about another 3 minutes I used my peel and pulled out the dough (it smells FABULOUS by this point)
- I covered the top with a light spreading of the tomato sauce (too much sauce can kill the pizza) and added slices of fresh mozzarella and thin slices of Genoa Salami
- I flipped the oven to broil and popped the pizza back onto the stone for a final back of 4-8 minutes
I've been to Italy and tasted authentic pizza from Rome, Florence, and the hill country of Tuscany, and I'd say that this comes pretty ding-dang close.
What do you think?