A passion for food + fashion

Pizza Perfect

In Food on May 3, 2009 at 10:06 am

pizzaperfect

Before Tiny G arrived on the scene (BG as it’s known around here), I used to make my own pizza dough, and I’ve been dying to try the Overnight Pizza Dough from the April issue of Bon Appétit. But after purchasing premade pizza dough from Whole Foods this morning, I may not need to look any further. My friend Hugh has been raving about it on GastroKid, so today I picked some up. As you can see, the dough is very much alive (elapsed time between photos three hours). Note: for crispiest and most flavorful crust results, Hugh lets the dough rise several hours, which we did. (After it doubled in size, I put it in a covered bowl in the fridge and then brought to room temp before using.) Here it is making a jail break:

dough1dough2

Oh, and it’s only $3. As much as I’d love to tell you that homemade dough is so worth the effort, after trying Whole Foods’ fresh dough, I’m not so sure. (Unless you are Nancy Silverton, in which case, yeah, your homemade dough trumps.) So about half an hour before baking, crank up the oven to 500 degrees. We were given an awesome Mario Batali pizza pan as a wedding present. I highly recommend it, but a baking sheet would work well, too. First, sprinkle your pan with cornmeal.

pan

Stretch dough until it stretches to fit your pan, pinches edges and rotating. Here’s my sister showing us how it’s done:

dough

Place dough on pizza pan. Since we like a crispy crust, I put the crust in—by itself without toppings—for 4 minutes. (I find this a particularly good strategy if you are using wet toppings, like a sauce or mushrooms, which can give off a lot of moisture.)

barelycooked

We spread pesto over the barely cooked crust. I didn’t have time to make my own, so this was from Academia Barilla from Liguria and is really good for jarred. And what could be faster?

pestopestocrust

Then we topped with marinated radicchio, basil and fresh ricotta left over from last night’s dinner. We finished with a little grated parm and black pepper.

toppingsFrom there we put it back in the oven for 10 minutes, until the crust was golden brown. Insanely good. I used an Alessi roller in the below photo mostly because I love the color, but last year for Christmas my friend Diane gave me an oversized Mario Batali pizza wheel and it works much, much better. Oh, and a word about the pizza: perfection. We saved a piece for my husband when he got home from the fight, and he declared the best piece of pizza he’d ever had (adding, other than Mozza). And the whole thing took five minutes to assemble.

pizza wheel

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  1. Wow! I didn’t know Whole Foods sold premade pizza dough, and may I just say… your pizza looks MOZZA Worthy. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks!

    • What a HUGE compliment! I have to admit that the dough is not MOZZA worthy – how could it be!? But it might be the next best thing and is so easy. If they don’t have the dough out at Whole Foods (usually it’s in the section by where they make the pizzas to order), ask them and they will happily go into the back and get some. Would love to know what you think!

  2. Wow, and the dough was only three bucks? We are trying to shrink our food budget, which is easily the thing we spend the most money on, but three bucks, that’s less than a boboli! I’m going to have to try it…

    • It’s $2.99 – and infinitely better than a boboli—better for you, too. No preservatives, etc. And it’s a great way to use leftovers. I made a bunch of slow-cooked broccoli tonight and plan to throw the leftovers on a pizza tomorrow.

  3. Your za looks amazing. I have to try the WF dough. Have you ever tried the dough at Trader Joes? Maybe a taste test is in order? We love the TJs dough. And it’s great on the grill.

  4. Well I have not yet been to Mozza. (Next visit) So I can honestly say it was the best pizza I have ever had. And I DO eat a fair amount of pizza!

  5. This looks so amazing. I have to try it. We usually get pizza dough from Bay Cities for $1.50. I did a double take when I bought it for the first time it was so cheap. And SO good. It gets really nice and crispy.

  6. Also, if I may chime in on the Trader Joe’s dough. It’s not very good. Really doughy tasting.

  7. [...] Pizza with Balsamic Marinated Radicchio and Fresh Ricotta [...]

  8. Excellent template for using the Batali pan. Just reinvented how we will cook with it (high heat, pre-cooking dough). Thanks for sharing your tips!

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