The day started out overcast and cool. I woke up early, did some yoga, made some coffee, and then took a walk around the garden for “slug patrol” with cup of coffee in hand. Went back in the house and made pizza dough, which for me is a lot like bread dough, only a little wetter. I don’t use a recipe when making pizza dough. I just go by intuition and memory of how the dough is supposed to feel. I cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and then on top of that, two blankets. That’s how my mom used to do it and so do I and it seems to work like a dream on the dough.
I then prepared all the various toppings by washing, peeling, spinning, chopping, grating, slicing, sauteing, caramelizing, pitting, roasting. As I go, I make a sort of assembly line of all the various ingredients. I basically take over every inch of the kitchen!
At some point this afternoon, the sun came out and it looks like it is here to stay. I went out for a while and came back and made the pizza in my little kitchen oven which only goes up to 550 F, but it does the trick for now. One day I will have an OUTDOOR PIZZA OVEN. One of my dreams. In Italy, once those outdoor bread ovens are stoked, it only takes 3-4 minutes to cook a pizza. Mine take about 15 minutes.
I always drizzle olive oil over the pizzas before they go into the oven and give them a dash of freshly ground black pepper.
To get the dough crispy, I like to use cast iron pans! They work great. I have to be super careful not to burn myself on them. They get piping hot.
Here is what I made today (tomato sauce at base):
Pizza with goat cheese, orange bell pepper , sun dried tomatoes, olives, onions (on the left below)
Pizza with mozzarella, fresh oregano and and arugula (arugula fresh from the garden!)
Pizza with caramelized onion, zucchini, mushrooms, kalamata olives and fontina cheese
Pizza with mushrooms, roasted garlic, fresh cherry tomatoes, fresh thyme and the remainder of the goat cheese! (on the right below)
So are you wondering why I made so many? It’s not like I had guests or anything. Just Rick and me. And Rick simply snarfed some slices down and didn’t say a word. Fishing for compliments, I asked him, “Did you like the pizza?” He said, “Well, I ate four pieces, didn’t I?”
You already know that I sort of get carried away in the kitchen. Well, I learned by watching my mom and my aunts make pizza and they never made small portions and I guess I have no idea how to make dough for just one or two pizzas. Besides, how often do I make pizza? Not very often. It’s a special event and a lot of work goes into it. Might as well make LOTS and make the work time well spent. I made around 10 today (don’t laugh)! I will freeze the extra pizzas once they cool completely and enjoy them one by one later! Serve them up with a big salad. The last time I made pizza was last September after we picked chanterelles! We got to enjoy those awesome Chanterelle pizzas for months to come.
And did I mention? The house smells divine!