Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Monday, February 8, 2010

(Slightly Cheating) Homemade Pizza

While we decided to make homemade pizza yesterday, we cheated a little. To speed up the process, we used Trader Joe’s pizza dough and marinara sauce. For toppings, we put sausage slices and scamorza cheese on half and olive slices and mozzarella on the other half.

The key to keeping your pizza from falling apart when you put it in the oven is to put plenty of corn meal under the pizza when you are adding the toppings. If you are using a wooden paddle to move the pizza from the counter into the stove, first spread corn meal on the paddle. Then, periodically check to be sure that the pizza isn’t sticking by gently wiggling the paddle. The pizza should wiggle too. The longer that the pizza is left on the paddle, the more moisture will seep out and it will start to stick together. If that happens, you can pick up the sides and push a little corn meal underneath. Right before you put the pizza in the oven, pour a little corn meal on your pizza cooking surface. If you put it in the oven too early, it will burn.

When making pizza at home, it is crucial to use a pizza stone. You can buy one for about $12.00 to $80.00. We bought a low end one at Bed Bath & Beyond and it works perfectly well. The stone helps to cook the pizza through and allows a crust to form on the bottom. If you don’t have a convection oven, it also helps to retain the high temperatures needed to bake the pizza.

Be creative when choosing your pizza toppings. There are some standard pizza options like Quattro Stagioni or Pizza Capricciosa, but you can make up new combinations, too. I recommend avoiding low-moisture or low-fat mozzarella cheese since it doesn’t melt as well. Fresh mozzarella works best.

With a fresh beet salad to start and some red wine, we had a delicious dinner. Sure, we could have made our own dough and marinara sauce and it would have been even better. It was still fairly fresh and less expensive than ordering in. The best part was that my husband and I made it together.


Laka kuharica said...

It looks wonderful! The cornmeal trick is very surprising and I shall definitely try it.

Chloe Yelena Miller said...

Great! Let me know how it goes.