Thursday, August 5, 2010

Gourmet Pizza at home!

Roasted Vegetable Pesto Pizza

Yes, it is possible! Even in my home.While we still eat pizza from the giant take-out chains in a pinch, I always prefer pizza at the local Italian restaurants/pizzerias - non-greasy pizzas that aren't loaded with cheese and "non-traditional" toppings. I've always salivated at the pictures in various food blogs, but never mustered up the courage to try it myself. Well, all that changed today.

The dough resting on the counter.

I made pizza dough using the recipe from Nupur's wonderful blog, modified from Mark Bittman's original recipe. I found the dough extremely simple to work with and it resulted in a wonderfully crisp crust and airy interior. A trip to a few kitchen supply stores, home improvement stores and one tile supply store later, the bottom rack of the oven was layered with unglazed red quarry tiles and I had my baking stone. It was easy on the pocket, and I'm looking forward to baking bread on it.

Unglazed quarry tiles - available at tile supply stores.

The challenge was making pizzas without a pizza peel or a cutter. I'm definitely the wiser for the experience today, and want to invest in these two items as well. This time, I ended up baking the pizzas on a sheet of foil. With a big stash of basil pesto from our home-grown potted basil plant, I decided to make pesto pizzas. One pizza with roasted red bell pepper and zucchini, and another with tomatoes and onions.

Zucchini, Onions and Red Pepper - ready for roasting.

Pizza #1

Pizza #2

This crust is definitely a winner. I might experiment a little to increase the proportion of whole wheat flour, or replace the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour.. but it is great as is. I'm looking forward to many more home made pizzas. Since the recipe for the crust is from One Hot Stove, I'm submitting this to the Blog Bites #6 event.