Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pizza 101: thin crust pizza

In today's lesson we will learn the basics of decorating and baking a pizza.  We learned how to make the dough yesterday.  I prefer to make a very thin and crispy crust.  If you would like your crust to be a little thicker, split the dough into 2 instead of 3.

Let's pick up where we left off yesterday:

Decorating the pizza:
Spread a thin layer of sauce, I usually use store bought sauce but if i have left over homemade pasta sauce I use that.  Most toppings should be precooked and go underneath the cheese.  The exception is pepperoni, it always goes on top of the pizza.  The toppings here are raw garlic and roasted tomatoes.  

Top with mozzarella cheese, a big sprinkle of oregano and some fresh cracked pepper.

Baking the Pizza:
I always bake the pizza for a few minutes on the pan, about 5-7 minutes.  You are ready to take it off the pan when it releases easy with a spatula.  Be patient, if it isn't ready to release, you will make a huge mess in your oven.  

To get the pizza off the pan, rest the pizza peel on the oven door.  Hold the pizza pan and using a spatula guide the pizza onto the peel.  Slide it into the oven on your pizza stone.  

I rotate my pizzas in the oven. On the top rack I have my pizza starting to bake on the pizza pan and on the bottom my pizza is getting nice and crispy on the pizza stone.  The pizza spends about 5 minutes on the pizza stone.  You can sneak a peek at how crispy the crust is with your spatula.  

If you are going to top your pizza with fresh herbs like basil, wait until it comes out of the oven.

I like to cut my thin crust pizza into squares just like my favorite restaurants in Chicago.  

Look how nice and brown and crispy that crust is. 

That crust can't get any thinner! 

Spicy poultry sausage is a regular topping in our house.  Another favorite is spinach sautéed in garlic oil with garlic and roasted tomatoes. 

Peanut Butter is a huge pizza fan!! He loves margarita pizza.  
I can't wait until he can be my pizza helper!

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