Friday, July 11, 2014

Making Pizza! With the Great Ethan Allen.

115f1a0f356934f4715adbdfa7164d69 After trying several exotic pizzas lately, Cheryl wanted to take a stab at making our own.  And after one such “Ho-Humm”  experience at a rather upscale restaurant, I assured her that we could do better.  All it would take is a few items to make ordinary pizza extraordinary. 


DSC_5074  Bakers secret:   The Pizza stone!   Sure you can buy one at your local Hardware store for three bucks.  But I was POSSITIVE Cheryl could not be convinced of me baking pizza on a yard stone or roofing tile.  ( It’s true by the way!   You CAN bake a pizza on a patio stone if it is ceramic and has a porous surface.) DSC_5076 So we set out to find the “Pizza Baking Stone”  One for baking Pizzas and ONLY pizzas….not bread.  Not meat.  Only Pizza.  

Luckily, we found one at the local Target and I set about trying to bake the “Perfect Vegetable Pizza”. 5_25 004 With Red pizza sauce….not white.  Classico-Pizza-Sauce-varieties White Pizza sauce is not “real” pizza sauce according to Cheryl.  Only the red Pizza sauce….also known as Marinara sauce for those of us in the “know”.  Again,  it had to say “pizza” on the label, or Cheryl would not consider it.   From my past cooking days,  we used Marinara for both pizza AND spaghetti.   And a number of other chicken and noodle dishes.  It is the same sauce!  The spices may vary a little from company to company, but red is red!

DSC_5078  Ok,   After losing several battles with Cheryl over what is “right”, we got down to the actually making and baking of the pizza.   Cheryl suggested that we stay with “Real” pizza dough that is pre made by Pillsbury.  Making my own in the Ninja is too much for this first pizza.   Another argument lost!

DSC_5083The Wonderful thing about the pizza from Pillsbury is that the dough is square.   SQUARE?   Funny, the Stone is round, all pizzas I have ever seen at restaurants are round.   But not this “Real”  Pizza dough.   So how do you make a square pizza dough fit on a round pizza stone?  You don’t! 

Well,  Ok,  you TRY….But it does not look very pretty.  

Next.  Add toppings and put it in the stove according to the instructions.   15 minutes at 450 degrees.  In the end…CHAR!DSC_5080 DSC_5085

Well,  not really.   Just a little darker than I would have liked for my first attempt.DSC_5086 DSC_5090 On the bright note:  the pizza tastes AWESOME!  Not the best to look at but pretty tasty indeed.   Serve it up with a nice refreshing beer and dinner is SERVED!  Yumm!

DSC_5093Now, tonight was out second attempt and I think it went a little better this time.      DSC_5096First, I took the remaining dough and rolled it into a ball.   Second I assembled the pizza on a cookie sheet with flour on it so it would be easy to slide off and onto the heated pizza stone.  And lastly,  I baked it for only 9 minutes this time. 




DSC_5101DSC_5103Visually there is still room for improvement.   But the taste is consistent and tonight I actually made my OWN dough for the next several days.  They should be well risen in the fridge by tomorrow.  I will have to blog about how things go with that dough. 


DSC_5105    In other news,  Cheryl has been itching to bake up those berries we acquired from our walks in the country.  I keep telling her to pick enough for a pie, but she wanted something a little more simple.  Puff Pastry!DSC_5106  

DSC_5110Incredibly simple.   Take Puff pastry,  cream cheese, sugar and berries and stack them up!  We had these for dessert after the pizza.  I wonder what liberties she will come up with next.   We shall see. DSC_5112

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