Friday, April 07, 2006
The Evolution of Pizza...
at my house anyway! Here is the very delectable end-result...a tomato and asparagus pizza on my all-time favorite crust (recipe from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone). This pizza looks as yummy as it tasted. Of course, it was a labor of love to get it to the final stage.
Let me backup and clarify the story....
First, I bought a new pizza stone in January (via Amazon.com) because our first one had an unfortunate collision with one of our dogs (thankfully, on the stone was hurt, and that story is for some other time!). I used it maybe twice before I noticed it had what appeared to be oil stains...not really sure how that would have happened, but I do know it was putting off an awful smell, kinda' sweet and icky all at the same time!
So, it was banished to the pantry until I decided I couldn't take it any longer, I HAD TO HAVE homemade pizza. Hubby agreed, so I set about making the dough, and while it was rising, I set off to sand the yucky stuff off of the pizza stone (per the recommendations given here), under my hubby's watchful eye (or camera, maybe!). Hence the picture in the garage with the palm sander.
Okay, sanding done, stone washed and dried, dough is ready to go. I rolled out half the dough for the pizza (the other half goes into a well-oiled ziploc, remove all the air, and place in freezer for future use).
It had been a while since I made pizza, so I put the dough on the peel, and proceeded to put tomato sauce on it. Hmm...something seemed not quite right here. OH WAIT! I need to prebake the pizza. DUH! So I scraped off as much of the sauce as possible, and into the oven it went.
I baked it for 7 minutes, then went in for retrieval. Well the darn dough, instead of slipping onto the peel, proceeded to hightail to the back of the stone, and then JUMPED! ARGH! Now I had half cooked pizza dough cleaning for its life, its tail end getting sizzled by the very hot oven element below. I start yelling some very choice words, grab the tongs, and start pulling pieces of it out. The half-cooked dough was flinging around, piling up, and what was resting on the hot element was putting out an awful stench.
Hubby comes running in from the garage to see what the commotion was about to find our dinner looking like this:
Alas, I dry my tears of frustration, blanch the asapragus (they were forgotten about in the hoopla surrounding the stone and the burning shattered dough), and remember that I have the bag of dough sitting in the freezer. Luckily, it was just cold, not frozen.
So, I repeated the procedure, and here it is ready to go in the oven. I love that you can see the little ends of the asapragus sticking out!