I used to think I was an incurable sweet tooth, but lately I’ve been finding that the thing I most crave on cheat days is pizza. Not that greasy, two-dimensional slab of New York-style pizza, or the seemingly perfectly uniform discs that one orders from any chain pizza restaurant, but the thick, imperfectly made, bready pizza. The bread to cheese to topping ratio has to be just so, y’know? After trying many a local restaurant’s pizza, and even more desperately, picking up something frozen from the corner store, I finally decided that if I wanted it done right, I’d just have to do it myself.
Reader, let me tell you, I think I’ve discovered heaven. In a possibly constipation-inducing form.
Me being me, I had to go off the deep end and buy myself not any old pizza stone, but a heavy slab of baking steel. Pricy, and takes a bit of muscle to heft it in and out of the oven, but seriously worth every penny, I have come to learn. Because of this:
A perfectly cooked crust to make the gods weep.
Make this pizza crust. You’ll have enough dough to save for later pizzas. Glorious.
Instead of your typical tomato sauce, mince 4-6 garlic cloves (or as much or as little as you can possibly stand) and let them sit in a bowl of maybe 4 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil. I adopted an olive tree from Nudo Italia and get olive oil deliveries quarterly. It’s totally worth it if you love good olive oil. Brush on to the surface of your pie-formed pizza dough. Sprinkle your dough with a pinch of salt.
Add some thin slices of smoked mozzarella, caramelized yellow onion, cherry tomatoes, and baby spinach. This is a genius combination, and worth the time and effort it takes to caramelize those onions. Trust me.
Remember to be sparing in your use of toppings. Less is more, a little goes a long way, etcetera.
Follow the recommended usage for your pizza stone/baking sheet/baking steel. Times and temperatures and rack placement differ, but can I make one last plea to get some baking steel? Your mouth will thank you.
I’ve never actually been sent into a nirvana-like bliss by pizza before, but all of this did the trick.
Arturo, looking very Godfather-esque here, agrees, because he’s just a cat and I can project human emotions onto him whenever I want.
One day I’ll stop being lazy and get back to using my SLR again. Today is not that day.
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