Friday, January 11, 2013

Homemade Pizza, Thin Crust

January 6, 2013
Thin-crust Pizza
Green Salad

Recovering from recent surgery has confined me to the couch, so I was in no condition to fix dinner this Sunday. However, our daughter Caryn is home on winter break and she offered to make pizza, an offer we gladly accepted. Several months ago, Caryn and I shared a homemade Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza for a Sunday dinner. So it seemed especially appropriate that Caryn would make the New York-style pizza for us. She has a lot of pizza experience, too, as she has a part-time job working at Papa Murphy's Take 'N' Bake Pizza, making, though not baking, pizza.

The America's Test Kitchen recipe for thin-crust pizza includes instructions for the dough and the sauce. Caryn made the dough Saturday afternoon and it rested, developing flavor, in the refrigerator for one day. According the recipe this step can last up to three days. The sauce, based on canned whole tomatoes, requires no cooking. The pizza was topped simply with olives, mushrooms, baby sweet peppers, onions, and pineapple, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. To prevent the Parmesan from burning it is not put on top of the pizza. The order for adding the toppings is sauce, Parmesan, mozzarella, toppings, mozzarella. The pizza is baked on a pizza stone set at the top of a 500° oven. (The baking sheet that was used as a peel to transfer the pizza into the oven should have had more flour on it to lubricate the pizza's journey. As it was the pizza stuck and the subsequent shaking led to the sacrifice of some of the toppings. However, people who got slices with a lot of toppings commented that the pizza was a little soggy.) The pizza was accompanied by a green salad made with organic mixed greens, tomato, and carrot.

I have had New York-style pizza in restaurants that I didn't like. I like pizza with a nice, bready crust and too often pizzeria pizzas have a blackened crust that is so crispy that it's like eating a cracker rather than bread. This crust was almost perfect. Caryn thought she didn't get the dough thin enough but I liked it. It wasn't so thick that all you tasted was bread yet it had enough structure so the pizza was easily picked up and eaten. This was one of the best pizzas I've ever eaten. Really. I'm sure I'll be having this again once I recover and get back into the kitchen to prepare Sunday dinner.

Thin-crust pizza from America's Test Kitchen.

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