Coming out of hiding. And pizza.

Thick-crust asparagus pizza

Well, I’ve been quiet about a week now, ever since the yogurt experiment. We ate darn near most of it; the last bit of the last jar is in a batch of coleslaw for dinner later. And we lost some of the strawberry yogurt—the sugar/fruit started to mold around the rim so we figured we’d best toss the end of it for safety’s sake. But outside of eating yogurt, there’s been other stuff going on. We started packing. Our car was robbed. We packed much faster. Mr. Pea was bitten by a dog. I went to a conference in Philadelphia. This week, after today, is going to be totally crazy. But at least it’s the next-to-last full week of classes (joy! joy! joy!). I have a school thing 9-5 on the next two Saturdays. Then I have exams, and then we move. Joy! Joy! Joy!

Hang on, gotta stir the granola.

Anyway, I made some pizza last week that was just a very different pizza from most that I make, and I photographed it to share with you once I had the chance. Typically I make thin-crust pizzas, partly because we like them but also because I’m too lazy to make enough crust and let it rise, dig out the pizza stone, heat it up, and so on. But I was feeling ambitious last week, and less fearful than usual. We have a pizza peel, one of the gadgets we registered for when we got married, but which I’ve never been any good at using. The couple times I tried to use it–make the pizza on it, shake pizza onto the stone–I ended up with a gloppy mess, as the dough would stick and then turn into a heaping mess thanks to my shaking. But last week, it worked out, and it worked out because while previously I’d smoosh the crust onto the peel, this time I realized that caused sticking–instead, I hand-tossed it, turning it into a circle and letting gravity pull it along, finally resting it on the heavily-cornmealed peel when it was ready. Then I dressed it, and slid it in the oven. The results were startlingly tasty. While I love our little pizza place down the street, there might be no going back now.

The dough I modified from a recipe here, which I found while browsing different pizza recipes. I made it less wet by about 1/4c water, and worked it into a firm ball and kneaded it until smooth, rather than going the no-knead direction in the fridge. For sauce I blended the drained whole tomatoes from a 28 oz can with two or three big cloves of garlic and a handful of parsley, plus some s&p. We used half of this mixture on 2 pizzas. The rest is in the freezer.

Then I just shredded some mozzarella and parmesan, added it, and topped it with chopped leftover roasted asparagus and slid the dressed pizza onto the stone in the hot oven, some 475 degrees (which in my oven is anywhere from 420 to 525). 12 minutes later, the crust had risen–the edges extra-puffy–the cheese had melted, and it was delicious.

I apologize for the shoddy photo, which doesn’t do the pizza any justice. Our kitchen has shoddy, yellowy lighting. Hopefully the next one will be better.


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