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Carats or Carrots? Pizza as Bling.

February 22, 2012

It’s trite to say to say this, but I’m an accessories girl. If I were at home, I could find at least ten photos of three-year-old me, buck naked except for a tiara and ruby red slippers. (I had a five year princess phase. Things happen.) And even now, I define the term bag lady. (Being a bag lady means I accessorize well, right?)

So, of course, my favorite food to cook would be the one that comes with the best accessories. So…wanna play dress up?

We'll label this little lady "Before." (I promise, it won't be wearing a bikini at the end.)

Dough. A common occurrence here.   Not pasta dough, but its carb-cousin: Pizza dough. Pizza dough is definitely the cousin who got to watch rated R movies in middle school.

And now, I’m gonna lay it all on the line. My secrets to good pizza.   Now, there is one important characteristic of this pizza to keep in mind: this is going to be thin crust crispy pizza. I’m still working out the kinks on the bready doughy kind.

You start with your dough. This dough was store bought. I will never apologize for anything from Trader Joe’s. Well maybe their Charles Shaw, but that’s more a question of my taste than their selection.

Let the dough reach room temperature. Really. It’s better for both the rolling and the baking. Lessons from many a failed (yet still consumed) pizza. Then, flour your surface, your dough, and your rolling pin. And roll it out, first one direction…

And then across in the other.

It’s all circular! THEN flip it. And repeat.

If you give it a few minutes to rest between rolls, you can spread it out even better. I know, it doesn’t seem possible does it?  Continue to flip and roll  (in both directions) until it’s as thick as you want it. I usually go with a quarter of a inch or so.

Now, let’s throw in some accessories…

Shall we call this pizza-blush?

Then you add some sauce. Not too much. You don’t want the dough to get too soggy or thin. Just enough to hold up to your toppings.

Then you add some mozzarella. It looks skimpy, I know.  But here’s another secret: You want just as much cheese on top of your toppings as you want underneath. It adds that wonderful gooey-ness when you grab a green pepper off the top. Not that I would do that.

Then you BLING IT UP:

Those peppers totally make your eyes pop.

Throw some more cheese on top and you’re ready to go.

Now, I should have mentioned this to you earlier. The item that really pulls this together is your pizza stone.  Your hot pizza stone.

And I mean, real hot.

Now I live in a small apartment. Ventilation was on the list of priorities right after tapestry laden walls and gold-plated refrigerator doors. So, let’s just say 550 degrees gets pretty smokey in here. Therefore, pizza-making is a drafty business, with my door open, my fan on, and my cookie sheet (and by extension my arms) flapping like mad. Please note, this doesn’t stop my smoke alarm from going off, but it does make me feel like I’m making an effort.

Before you bake anything, give the oven a good twenty minutes to get the stone good and hot. This gives it that lovely crispy bottom.

Then cook it up. Until it’s lovely and crispy. Shouldn’t be more than 10 minutes.

That’s what I’m talking about.

(This is the next one. I chopped up sweet potatoes and onion, sauteed them in balsamic vinegar, and threw them on top. That’s the equivalent of getting some auburn-highlights.)

And if you want to make the dough yourself, I always follow the guidance of the Pioneer Woman.

So go on, pie it up.


One Comment leave one →
  1. February 22, 2012 4:26 pm

    I think the Blueberry Chronicles needs more buck naked pictures with tiaras and ruby red slippers. But damn, girl, you make some good pizza!

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