Friday, July 20, 2012

Epic Pizza!

So... I really need to figure out just what recipe my roommates used for this pizza crust. They say they just found it online, but it came out really really good. One thing I'll do next time, though, is brush the crust with olive oil and basil.

The biggest key to amazing pizza is amazing crust. One trick to help that cause along is to PRE-BAKE your crust. Just till it starts to turn the lightest shade of gold.

I think this one was my favorite pizza yet, though. And I've had some pretty epic pizza. (At the end of the post is a 'recipe' for the most epic pizza I've ever been part and party to...)

 So, as I said, the biggest trick to a really good pizza is the crust. Spare no expense/time/effort. The crust is key. Get it all ready to go, spread out on the pan, and poke it with a fork every few inches to prevent bubbles (i forgot to do this last time... oops). I like to pre-bake mine on a lightly greased pan, at about 450 (or so my oven claimed it was... it took longer to brown than it has in other ovens.)

After that it's all up to your personal taste. For me, I can eat red-sauce pizzas... I just don't like them. They're just food. For a pizza to be something special and, well, title-of-pizza-worthy, it has to have either a white sauce or a pesto. Perhaps someday someone will come up with a tomato-based sauce that will convince me otherwise, but it has yet to happen.

For this particular beauty, I used some of my roommate's alfredo sauce, and spread it very thinly over the warm crust with a rubber spatula, and mixed in some pesto for good measure.

Then it was time for the first layer of actual toppings. First, a very light layer of mozzarella cheese. Sliced FRESH mushrooms, spinach leaves, and grilled chicken strips were next, followed by more mozzarella. Be generous with the cheese :)

The fresh veggies are another reason to pre-bake your crust. If you're using fresh veggies, you want to be able to know that they are fresh even after the pizza is finished cooking. To actually pull this off, the veggies need to be in the oven for as little time as absolutely possible. Baking the crust first cuts the time the toppings are in the oven down, at the very least, by half.

Oh, and another nice touch here is to sprinkle basil flakes over the whole thing. Some people also use parmesan cheese, the fine grainy kind you get in those little shakers. It browns very prettily and if you put enough can add to the flavor in a nice way.

Then the pizza goes into the oven. Since it is already hot from baking the crust, just turn it to broil and toss the pizza in (you'll want to turn it down a bit to about 400-ish if your oven allows you to control the broil temp. Some don't, so don't worry if that's the case. As always when using a broiler, keep a close eye on your food!)
When I looked in and saw that the cheese was mostly melted and the crust starting to darken, I pulled the pizza back out for a moment to garnish the top with thinly sliced tomatoes, the last of the sliced mushrooms, and spinach.

Waiting till the last minute for that little touch makes sure that the fresh veggies on top look pretty and do not get over-cooked. It's especially important with the tomatoes, in my humble opinion, because the more a tomato gets cooked the more the flavor and texture are irreparably altered.

...and that's that. An amazing pizza (if I do say so myself) :D

This is the Most Epic Deepest Dish Pizza I mentioned earlier-

-use a deep casserole type dish for baking!
-prepare crust and bake for ten minutes before topping. (this is important!)
-put on desired amount of sauce (we used an onion and garlic tomato sauce)
-one layer of pepperoni (as little gap as possible)
-seasoned hamburger (our cheap sausage)
-red and green bell peppers and green onions
-cheese until you can't see the toppings anymore
-tomatoes go on in the last five to ten minutes of baking

We nearly filled the baking dish.

No comments:

Post a Comment