Friday, January 18, 2008

Best Pizza Ever!

Living on the edge of civilization as we do here in New Brunswick we have found access to our favorite foods to be a bit limited. We have learned that making it ourselves is far more satisfying, easier on our bank account and tastier. Part of this education was coming into contact with friends who had more experience in these areas than we did. Our good friends Anne & Ed Gentry were integral in the process of our pizza making skills. (Thank you Anne & Ed!)

Ed taught Keith how to throw dough and let us in on the secret of pizza screens. For those of us without brick ovens (or not wanting to pay the prices of a Pampered Chef Pizza Stone) screens are a wonderful way to bake pizza. We split a case wholesale between our families and since then we have tweaked and played with the recipes and tools to find out what works for us and what we enjoy.

While in Bar Harbor for our anniversary we enjoyed a night out at Rosalie's Pizza and Keith spent some time watching the guys throw the dough, asking them questions and finding a tool that we didn't know existed - a dough docker - Keith got one in his stocking and last week we made the best pizza ever. We had the kids friends overnight and so we made four pizzas, one of them was garlic fingers - oh my! Everyone said it was the best they'd ever had.

It's almost like a science experiment as we tweak recipes, time in the oven and toppings. We haven't perfected the toppings yet - so that's where we need your help - I'll trade you my dough & sauce recipes for your topping ideas! Fair?

Deep Flavor Pizza Sauce
Best Bread Machine Pizza Dough

Please leave topping ideas in the comments!

Oh and Recipezaar is a wonderful place to store your recipes (and to find new ones!) They have nutritional charts with each recipe, so carb counting for Jacob is so easy!

Next challenge - sushi!!


Elizabeth said...

Sounds so yummy. I've also gotten into pizza making in the past year. We have a ceramic pizza dish (that we got for $5) that we use for cooking that gets close to the same effects as a pizza stone. I'll have to try your sauce recipe.

As for toppings... my favorite combinations include: fresh spinach, onions & chicken; or red onion, red bell pepper, thinly sliced tomatoes and spinach. Spinach is basically my favorite pizza topping now!

Heidi Renee said...

Mmmm - sounds amazing Elizabeth - I love Chicago stuffed pizza w/ spinach, but haven't ever done it on our's - thanks for the tip!! We just bought a bag and will be putting it to good use now! (other than spanakopita!)

Heather said...

Girl, you and I are peas in a pod :) Pizza AND sushi, we can eat together any time. I make sushi at home all the time, so let me know when you start experimenting and I'll share! To me, pizza is best with chopped red onion and also diced garlic. I love me some garlic :)

TNQR Rev said...

I made pizza with fresh dough from the bread machine also over Christmas break. It was a hit! I even made "personal pizzas" one night, with a choice of many toppings and the family loved it.
This also worked out well because we had a few vegetarians in the group. Toppings included: grilled chicked, italian sausage, pepperoni, green peppers, onion, banana peppers, black olives, green olives, mushrooms, and a few kinds of cheese. I also had a "white sauce" or olive oil based herb sauce that could be used instead of red sauce. I also figured out that I could substitute up to 1/2 of the white flour with wheat with just a little bit more water -- so we could feel a little bit better about eating crsut that was a wheat hybrid. You can also make "mini pizzas" for appetizers -- just use a glass to cut out small round crusts, then top and they only take a few minutes to bake!

Heidi Renee said...

yipee! Thanks for the tips all!

Heather - chopped garlic! we are garlic fiends here - do you brown it or does it go raw right on the pizza?? And oh how we want your sushi tips!!

TNQR - I love the idea of mini pizzas - we usually just make a "plain kid" pizza w/ pepperoni or italian sausage and then Keith & I get our own! :) I would love your olive oil "white pizza" sauce recipe!

cheryl w said...

Mmmmm pizzzzaaa! Best pizza I ever had was a place called Uncle Vito's in San Francisco. The owner loved garlic and said the secret is to soak the chopped garlic in olive oil (which I've done ever since). He'd put generous amounts on the pizza then give us a bowl of the stuff on the side. San Francisco sure had good food!

Anyhow, I don't know what kind of crust you make, but if you/others find one that isn't all white flour, but tastes as good, let me know.

Heidi Renee said...

Thanks Cheryl - we'll try the garlic thing! Now, whole wheat and tastes good... that is the mystery. I tried 1/2 & 1/2 and our crust comes out like cardboard every time.

I would love one too if anyone has one!

Kel said...

roast pumpkin, fetta and pinenuts on a basil pesto sauce

and I make my own base using a scone dough recipe - no yeast

Heidi Renee said...

okay kel - post the recipes please!! that sounds incredible!

what does "pumpkin" mean in OZ? squash or really "pumpkin"?? and then how in the world do you prepare it? raw in chunks or cooked??

we talked last time about using a pesto sauce. we have done pine nuts and feta - but the addition of pumpkin sounds so intriguing we'll definitely give that a try.

i would love to try the no-yeast crust too - that just sounds like another incarnation all together!!

it's only 6:45 a.m. here in New Brunswick and I'm thinking about dinner!

TNQR Rev said...

the "white" sauce is pretty basic: olive oil, crushed garlic, basil (or italian seasoning mix), salt and pepper to taste. Just wisk together and brush on the crust. You can also put this in a squeeze bottle and use it on sandwiches, "Grinder style" by complementing it with some vinegar. This makes a good garlic bread base too, if you increase the amount of garlic. You can add some dried red pepper seeds if you like a little kick.
They sell something similar to this at our local grocery that is a "submarine sandwich sauce", but i don't like it as much.

Heidi Renee said...

Thanks Rev!!

Kel said...

hmm, the deciphering of international food codes :)

squash here are small watery things that are best used in stirfries or lightly steamed

pumpkin is orange and sweet/savoury

will post my 'recipe' [for want of a better term] on xfacta soon

Heidi Renee said...

can't wait! thanks kel!

Kel said...

it has been posted at my blog