Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pizza Napolitana Anyone?

Anyone who know us knows that we are Italian foodies, however I have never learned how to make pizza mostly because I know I could never make it as good as our favorite pizza, Grimaldi's, in Brooklyn, NY. When our favorite local Italian restaurant here offered a brick oven pizza class, I jumped at the occasion. I spent the entire evening with very lively and tipsy people and we learned how to make everything from the dough to how to turn the pizzas in the 1200 degree oven. Bea was strapped to me the entire time and was admired by all in attendance. The pizzas were incredible and a couple nights ago I tried to re-create my masterpiece at the class and the pizzas came out awesome. I do have a pizza stone, which is totally key, and we got fresh mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes (you can get them in a huge can at Costco for cheap), Basil that I processed with olive oil and froze this summer which we drizzled over the top instead of fresh basil, olive oil and salt. We cooked our pizzas at 550 degrees and they turned out almost as good as the brick oven. One key is to let the pizza stone heat back up again in-between pizzas so the crust rises more and gets more soft on in the middle of the crust.

One tip I got from the class was to buy the largest pan you can find that covers the bottom of your oven, take it to Home Depot and get un-glazed ceramic tiles and have them cut them to the exact size of your pan, then set that on the very bottom of your oven (only if you have a gas oven) and keep it there forever. You can cook pizzas and bread right on top of that and it makes everything else you cook come out less "well done" and more "golden brown" on the edges. I can't wait to do it!

I am ashamed to admit, though, that I'm planning on using whole wheat dough from now on, which my teacher said ruins the whole idea of eating a pizza, mostly because I have a million pounds of wheat in my basement and I just got a new wheat grinder that makes the superfine flour that pizza dough requires. Otherwise it's like $5 for 5 lbs of pizza dough grade flour and that's just ridiculous when I have it for free in my basement. Sorry Larry!


Sarah said...

Amelia, I can't tell you how excited I am for this blog. Will you post the dough recipe? All recipes for that matter?

Tracie said...

Yes, please post the recipes! And instructions on how to really use the pizza stone... I can never seem to get it to work, so I've started using a cookie sheet and pre-cooking the crust a bit instead.