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pizza shell

It’s 2018.  January.  People talk about resolutions.  About new ideas.  About goals. Whether it may be cliche or not, I noticed a couple things.  I haven’t written a blog post on this site in a long time.  I also haven’t taken a still photo in a long time.  I decided to do both now.

Where I live in Upstate New York, there are a lot of pizzerias around town.  My best friends are big fans of pizza.  Pizza is one thing that almost anyone can agree on.  Although who’s is the best is something that is always up for debate.  Even though it seems like there is a pizza shop around every corner these days, a pizzeria is one restaurant that I have never worked in.  I lived across the street from one.  I used to go over now and then and bug the owner who was Italian if he would show me how to make authentic dough.  And what his secrets were.  He would never give them up though.

The bigger question for the fanatics is what makes a good pizza?  Is it the dough?  Is it the sauce?  Is it a myth that the water makes the dough better?  I don’t know the answers to these but I do know that when you have a good slice you know it!

sauced pizza

So I did a little research and got some opinions from friends.  A lot suggested a pizza stone would help since I said that I can’t afford or have the space for a proper oven.  My parents have a stone so I used that.  I went and got some local fresh dough that wasn’t frozen.  For this, I wanted to get all pre-made ingredients.  I looked at a bunch of different sauces.  There are so many variations of brands and ingredients.  And no one says you can’t modify it right?  For cheese, almost everyone uses mozzarella.  But I decided to grind up a mix of local cheeses instead.  I like mushrooms so I chopped up some mushrooms.

raw pizza

Now for what I learned in the process…. I did not pre-cook the mushrooms which I was glad of because they cooked just fine when I chopped them by the time the pizza was done.  If you are going to use different cheeses, shred them as much as possible which is what I recommend in almost anything you are going to melt.  I don’t normally put salt and pepper on anything.  But I do like it on pizza.  A friend who owns a pizza place does that on his and I think it helps enhance the flavors.  I also used a bit of a garlic oil for the same reason.

cooked pizza

As for the stone.  I read that some people cook on the stone and then pull it off the stone and straight to the grill rack to crisp up the crust.  I did not do this, but I will say the edges were good but the crust could have been a little crispier.  A friend of mine suggested a couple things to help with this.  First you have to preheat the stone which I did not do long enough.  Also he puts his dough on the stone with a little sauce and pre-bakes that for a few minutes then pulls it out and puts his toppings on and that helps with the crust too.  I am going to try that next time.

The advantage of doing it at home is that you can make it any way you want.  You can use any ingredients and it costs you what you put into it.  Practice makes perfect.  I have a long way to go, but it wasn’t bad for never using a pizza stone before.

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