Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

Pizza is best with fresh ingredients and the ONLY way to guarantee that you're not going to waste your money on something with rubber mushrooms on it is to make it your damn self. For the past 5 months I've been making a pizza every few weeks. Pizza dough is easy and cheap to make. All you really need that might be hard to come by is a couple of hours to let the dough rise. There are a ton of recipes for pizza dough online, but almost every one I saw was basically the same, so I just use the one in the good ol' Joy of Cooking with a few minor adjustments. First, I half the recipe because it is for two pizzas (you can freeze half of it or whatever but I'm not really into that scene). A strange feature of Joy's recipe is that it lists "1 tsp of sugar" in parentheses. I suppose that means that it's optional? I've tried it with and without, but lately I've been using honey instead and it may or may not have made all the difference. Not everyone keeps honey around because it's a little pricey, but most recently I've been "borrowing" a teaspoon here and there from my roommate who is never home. That tends to keep the price a bit more reasonable for me. Joy wants us to let this dough rise for about 1.5 hours, but I leave it for 2 full hours and it's kind of amazing how much more it rises in that last half hour. Finally, Joy suggests that we set the oven at 450. Screw that. You have to crank your oven as hot as it will go. When you open the oven door you should feel a blast of heat in your face as you watch the anti-glare coating melt off your glasses. But first comes the fun part: toppings. This part is so fun that even your girlfriend will help. For this pizza I grilled some chicken while the dough was rising. Then Sara and I cut up onions, mushrooms, green peppers, a little broccoli, and minced some garlic. Sara's more of a fan of peppers and broccoli on pizza than I am, so I just stuck with chicken, onions, and mushrooms.