the ‘za of the week (dec 9 – dec 15)
We made this week’s ‘za on Tuesday. I must say it was one of the better ones we’ve made lately. The fried garlic contributed to its uniqueness, and the blend of fresh toppings plus a little extra sauce on the crust made for the tastiness.
The toppings (clockwise from top-left): black olives pitted and sliced in half, half of a purple onion sliced, a sliced portobello mushroom, sliced pepperoni and fried garlic.
The pre-oven procedure *OR* This is how the magic happens
- Spread some extra virgin olive oil on a pan with a kitchen brush. This helps the crust cook well and keep it from sticking.
- Stretch the dough as far to the edge as you can and as even as you can.
- Spread a generous amount of marinara on the crust with the bottom of a large spoon. The crust will want to shrink but use the spoon to push it back to the edge.
- Sprinkle a generous Parmesan cheese over the sauce. This will help absorb excess liquid from the sauce and grease from the pepperoni and cheese. Use a decent amount but don’t go too overboard.
- Evenly sprinkle about two ounces of the pizza cheese over the sauce. Start around the edges and work your way towards the middle.
- Lay down the pepperoni slices about a couple centimeters apart from each other.
- Sprinkle some more Parmesan cheese over everything.
- Sprinkle some fried garlic evenly on the crust. A little goes a long way with fried garlic so don’t use too much.
- Evenly place the black olives followed by the mushrooms then the onions.
- Sprinkle the rest of the pizza cheese over all of the toppings.
You should have something Pollock like this:
The oven, preheated at 450°F, eagerly waits for this.
A close-up of the fresh toppings.
After ten minutes of baking, the pizza looks something like this. About six minutes into the cooking time, I like to rotate the pan 180° to ensure even cooking across the pie.
We placed the pizza on a cooling rack this time which helped maintain the crispiness of the crust. When the pies lay on a flat surface while they cool off, the steam stays trapped underneath and moisture collects which slowly starts to make the crust get soggy.
The onions will shrink dramatically after cooking.
The aroma was hypnotic. The pie was so tasty that we devoured every slice.
Next week, we’re planning on a pie with a Texan touch to it so tune in then!