Saturday, 13 July 2013

Pizza Pizzaz

We've made our own pizza for a loooong time now.   In the quest for a crust as good as that made by our local Italian restaurant, some years ago I bought a pizza stone.  It worked reasonably well, especially for bread, but we still fell short of that crispness of crust on pizzas.  We tried leaving in the oven, maximum heat, for a hour before using.  We tried partially cooking the base before adding the tomato and topping.     We became adept at using a pizza peel to slide the pizza on to the stone and to scoop it off.

I knew that the problem was the temperature, I just could not get the oven hot enough.

Eventually I realised that we wouldn't get that authentic crust without a pizza oven.  I did some research.  I tried to persuade DH that a wood fired pizza oven was just what we needed, especially as I make some form of sourdough bread, by hand, three times a week.  He was not persuaded.

I looked at mobile wood fired pizza ovens.  I even researched restaurant pizza ovens.

Then the other day, as I was eating ribs cooked on the barbeque,  I realised that I should be able to use the barbeque.

So, today, we put the pizza stone in the cold gas barbeque, fired it up, and left the pizza stone to get really hot. Well,we left it 10 mis until the dial on the bbq told us that the oven was seriously hot.

While we waited, I rolled out the pizza dough , dusted the peel with cornmeal, and put the dough on it. And then we then made the pizza. Half each. Different toppings, same pizza.

I then dusted the  stone with cornmeal, and we slid the pizza on to it.  I reckoned that if it was done in 10 mins or less, then it would be fine.  It wasn't done in ten minutes.  But it was done in about 15 minutes,  and it was really rather good.

Next time, I'll leave the stone for a bit longer before using it. And I won't put cornmeal on the stone. There was enough on the peel for it to slide off.

I think we might have cracked it.  (The pizza making, I mean,  not the stone).

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