Monday, August 23, 2010

Rustic Style Pizza

I don't think I know a new yorker alive who doesn't love a good slice of pizza. I mean this place has got to be the home of the dollar slice. But in recent years I have seen a trend of moving away from the quick plain greasy cheesy slice to the more artistic slice. Everyone seems to be in search of the perfect crust, fresh mozzarella, and more local ingredients.  I'm not really new to pizza making but I never really found a recipe that made me a pizza like those you could get in a great brick oven pizzeria, either the crust was to bread like, or It suggested to many add ons that turned everything into a cheesy mess. I began reading this new blog earlier this month called A Year in Bread and they had a recipe for pizza dough that seemed promising. I checked to see that I had all ingredients and rolled up my sleeved and got to kneading. I had everything I needed to execute this recipe except a baking stone and a pizza wheel. But My mother had a tawa that she bought from Trinidad. Its a large completely flat cast iron disc that is used to prepare roti. I figured it could stand in for a baking stone since it can tolerate high heat levels. When the tawa first went in the 500 degree oven it started to smoke but a couple sprinkles of water seemed to fix that. The recipe also suggested that if you didn't have a pizza wheel that a flat cookie sheet could substitute. Minus those substitutions I followed the recipe exactly. After I shaped my crust I used traditional Ragu sauce, fresh mozzarella from Sahadi's in Brooklyn, a sprinkle of olive oil, and fresh basil from my garden to top the pizzas. When the pizza went into the oven I already knew it would be perfect before I even bit into it. The crust started to bubble up and it just resembled a pizza that I would spend money on at a restaurant. After I took it out the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes I cut into it and the first slice...pure heaven. Who knew something so simple could taste so good. All that was missing was a good Italian wine. My sister loved it and when my brother got around to trying it he said that it tasted like "brick oven style pizza!", that was the greatest reward.
The recipe can be found here.

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