Katie and I often fantasize about our dream home. Aside from secret passageways and a kitchen with beer on tap, we also dream of having our own wood-fired pizza oven. Until then, we make do with cranking the range up to 500.
Handmade pizza is easily one of our favorite foods. Below are our three rules to eat by when it comes to fine pie:
1. Make your own crust
A good crust can make all the difference. This is our go-to recipe for easy-as-pie crust, it makes about three thin-crust pizzas. Make sure to start at least an hour before you want to eat!
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast (quick-rise if you’re cutting it close on time)
1 1/3 cups warm water
3 1/3 cups flour
Optional: salt, olive oil
Stir the yeast and water together in a large bowl for 5 minutes. Mix in flour, adding salt if desired. Knead the dough, adding more flour if too sticky, until you feel it soften (you’ll know!). Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a cloth. Let rise for at least 2 hours (1 hour for quick-rise).
To cook, preheat your oven as hot as it goes. Knead the dough and pinch off a third for each pizza. Flour or butter (or both) your pizza pan. Roll your dough into the pan. After topping your pizza, bake it for 5-8 minutes.
2. Keep it simple
Don’t overload your pizza with too many toppings. Stick to 3 or 4 key ingredients. It’s cheaper, makes for more even baking, and the flavours don’t compete.
Along with mozzarella, the three pizzas above are topped with: spinach, chorizo sausage, tomato, and red pepper (although we agreed this could have done without the red pepper); eggs, English bacon, and cilantro; and avocado, English bacon, and cilantro.
3. Fresh is best
All of the toppings used above were bought and used fresh. The sausage and bacon are from Getaway Farm (in Canning, NS) and the spinach is from Elmridge Farm (in Centreville, NS). Fresh ingredients are more flavourful, colourful, and often healthier. They can make the difference between a good pizza and a great pizza!