Little House on the Prairie Pizza

I made pizza from scratch today. Twice, actually, since the batch of dough made enough for two small pizzas.

I used to make pizza regularly when we lived in NYC, but I'm pretty sure it's the first time I've done this in Virginia. The reason I did it today is because now that I'm using the oven for high-heat baking, I finally have the gunk burnt off the inside of the oven. Remember when I made the whole kitchen smoky while pre-heating the oven to bake bread earlier this week? There is still some smoke when I open the door after heating the oven to 500F, but it's not bad, and if I keep this up the oven spills will be completely down to ash in no time.

Terry was surprised when the pizza "was like from a pizzaria". I asked him what he was expecting, and he said, "You know how when your mother makes a hamburger, it's not like a McDonald's hamburger? I was expecting this to be the home version of pizza."

He was doubly impressed since he thought I made the crust with the crazy Mother Earth magazine whole-wheat no-knead dough. But I quickly corrected him-- this was cooking-school pizza. I definitely had to knead the dough to make it right, and the crust wouldn't have gotten all bubbly if I had used whole wheat.

I'm totally going to start making my own pizzas more often now, at least in the winter. I'd forgotten that it's so easy except for five minutes of kneading (which feels like 30, I get so bored of it). It's way more cost-effective than even buying frozen pizzas, and what's best is that the flavor isn't even remotely close. I tend to make pizzas more like you get in Italy rather than like you get from the delivery places around here. So you can't even compare it to Dominos or anything, and frankly I prefer my own pie to Crozet Pizza as well. I estimated that the flour, yeast, cheese, and tomato sauce probably cost about $5 (at most) for two small pizzas. I didn't have much by way of toppings here, so I did sliced onion, and it was very good.

I use a pizza stone, and it takes close to 30 minutes to pre-heat the oven and stone. The first pizza I cooked at 485F and it was crisp and good. But for the second pizza at dinnertime I turned it up to 500F and the crust was bubbly and perfect. I'll just use the higher temp in the future.

With the oven that hot, it does warm up the kitchen, so I probably won't choose to bake these in the summer. Unless I build myself an outdoor pizza oven. It's part of my master plan, but a low priority, so I don't think it will happen this year. Or next.

Oh yeah, I forgot to explain the title of this post. I told Terry I was making my own pizza like they did in Little House on the Prairie. Because they obviously didn't have either delivery or freezers back then, right? But Terry pointed out that they probably didn't even have PIZZA back then in that part of the world. That hadn't occurred to me, but I concede it's possible. And then I remembered that they didn't have electric ovens then, either, and they might not have gotten their wood stoves up to the proper temperature to bake pizza anyway. So it turns out I wasn't really making Little House on the Prairie style pizza. Perhaps more like they did in La Piccola Casa Nella Piazza. . .

I've got my meals all

I've got my meals all planned out for the weekend, but I'm going to have to make some home made pizza and break out the baking stone. My crust is woefully inconsistant. I'd love to get a copy of your recipie.

Here is a funny pizza related story from several years ago: http://enoa4.blogspot.com/search?q=pizza+toilet

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