No Magic Pill

Knowledge + effort + time = success

More lessons from making pizza

Posted by Ben on Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This really only pertains to actually making pizza right now, nothing related to the broader realm of life and fitness. As a continuation from my first treatise on pizza, an addendum:

—Double-check to make sure the chopped spinach is thoroughly drained. It may seem dry after a quick thaw/cook in the microwave, but squeeze it out anyway. Too much liquid will tear apart thinly-rolled dough and make optimal cooking nearly impossible (trying to cook off the excess liquid results in burned cheese, which forms a shell and actually seals in the moisture).

—Spread stuff closer to the edges. I don’t know why I left an inch of crust between the edge and the toppings—quite a feat for such small pizzas—but it was a tad annoying. Let it slip over, if necessary. Pizza stones gain character with discolorations.

—Let any ricotta cheese you plan to use as a “sauce” settle to at least room temperature, or put some heat on it in the microwave. It seems brittle and flaky by itself, but it’s surprisingly stout and difficult to spread when sitting on thinly-rolled dough that in turn is sitting on a very hot pizza stone (getting back to what I said last time about pre-cooking the crust). That being said, my first attempts at spinach/tomato/ricotta pizza went surprisingly well.

—I will be using Courtney’s red sauce for my BBQ chicken pizzas from now on. It’s a much better balance of (more) sweet and tang with no fake smoke added in like the Sticky Fingers stuff I’ve been using.

—No matter how much practice you get making pizzas for yourself, there’s still a certain level of anxiety knowing that you’re going to make pizzas for a large group of people very soon (Super Bowl Sunday). At least I have a dip as a back-up (block of cream cheese, dump a can of chopped clams over it, dump part of a bottle of cocktail sauce over that, and scoop with Wheat Thins—it sounds odd, but it’s pretty good).

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