Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pizza Perfected

I think we have finally come close to perfecting the art of pizza-making. We've been practicing for a few months, trying out different techniques, and finally last night the pizza was perfect. The things that I think made the difference for us:

1. A good pizza stone - it gets really hot in the oven and helps the pizza to form a crispy crust.

2. Very high oven temp - we can only go to 550 on ours, but it does a pretty good job. Our book recommends going up to 800 if you can.

3. Dylan's delicious homemade pizza dough.

4. We have an unusual technique for getting the pizza from the counter to the pizza stone. After a bunch of trial and error, we've found that it works best to form the pizza dough into a circle, flour all sides of it, then fold the circle into quarters. This is all while preheating the pizza stone in the oven. Then we pull the stone out of the oven, transfer the folded pizza dough to the corner of the stone, and carefully unfold it. We actually assemble the pizza right then and there, very quickly, while the dough is sitting on the sizzling hot stone. I think that because the stone is so hot, while we are assembling the pizza, the dough is getting cooked and crisped on the bottom. Then we throw the pizza in the oven for about 6 minutes. The technique helps us to avoid the messy business of transferring an assembled pizza from the counter to the stone. It works really well!

5. Extended cooking time - we have found that there is a point at which you may think the pizza is done, but if you wait another 30 seconds, something magical happens. The trick is pulling it out just before it starts to burn. There is a definite sweet spot when the pizza is just right, and usually it's later than we think.

Behold our beautiful pizza:

I was telling Dylan, it looked way more delectable in person. If I had a talent for photography, I may have been able to capture it. But there is no way that I could have captured the heavenly smell in the kitchen at the moment that the pizza came out of the oven!


Anthony said...

Yum. I'm seriously tempted to go get some inferior nyc pizza for lunch.

Shirley and Grantland said...

we tried the pizza stone a couple times and couldn't keep it from sticking. as for the transfer we use tinfoil and put corn meal b/w the dough and tinfoil (flour didn't work well for us) then toss it on a regular baking pan.

we will have to try the high heat and maybe give the stone another chance now that we have the dylan and dana patended method.

oh yea, we can't boast that we make our own dough, shirley picks it up from trader joes.