Friday, January 27, 2012
Once a week, my wife makes home made pizza for the kids, so she can solve the problem of entertaining them while she cooks dinner on days when I'm away at work. Her recipe relies on common store-bought ingredients, but somehow manages to get just about the best results you can get without buying a much more expensive specialty oven. This is "Mommy's" Pizza. She won't let me take over and make it often, so this time, I had to make sure to document it!
At this point, you should have your oven pre-heated to 450 degrees. Don't even think about putting your pizzas in until the oven is fully heated, or they will not cook evenly. Place one pizza on each rack (one above the other), close the oven, and set your timer for 7 minutes. When the bell goes off, switch the position of the pies- move the top one to the lower rack, and the lower one to the top rack, and let them bake another 7 minutes. Every oven is different, so you may have to adjust your timing a little to get the pizza just right- 7 and 7 is what usually works for our oven.
When the pizzas come out, the cheese should be completely melted, and should look like it has merged with that thin layer of tomato sauce. The crust should be a light golden color and fully cooked. Get out your pizza wheel and start slicing. The bottom crust will be nice and thin. It will not have that crispy, cracker-like quality you get from thin brick oven pizza- you need an 800 degree wood fired brick oven to do that. It will be firm and be both slightly chewy and slightly crunchy at the same time. The cheese will be in a nice even layer, and may have a few spots that have begun to brown and develop a little crispiness in a very good way.
Despite being made entirely out of common, pre-packaged and pre-processed grocery items, a little effort and a little care go a long way towards transforming these mundane ingredients into something special. Many respects to my non-Italian wife for teaching this Italian a thing or two about pizza, and establishing a fun in-home pizza night tradition for the kids.