Pizza Night – Take Two

Aahhhh, pizza! Whoever invented it really deserves a medal. Crispy, crunchy crust, garlicky sauce, gooey cheese….. A trifecta of perfection. The stuff that dreams are made of.

At least our dreams! Barely a week goes by that one of us doesn’t dream about biting into a delicious slice. We would give a lot for just one bite.

While living in New York, decent pizza was very easily accessible. With a little effort, it was also possible to get great pizza, but we never needed to go far for a pie that was more than just good. In fact, we never needed to leave our apartment – we just ordered online and got it delivered within the hour. And even though we have different favorites, we always found a way to compromise. After all, that’s one of the ingredients necessary for a lasting and happy marriage!

Pizza from one of our favorite New York joints

Pizza from one of our favorite New York joints

Of course, London has some great food, and we’re discovering that street markets can hide culinary gems. But nothing would make the pizza cravings go away. Which is why we buckled and bought a Baking Steel, and made our first homemade pizza. The first attempt was successful and even better than we dared hope.

Somehow, we lasted a week before making pizza again. Although we did talk about it every single night. This time around we decided to make a simpler dough, one that required only 24 hours to rise. A proper New York-style pizza, the recipe also courtesy of J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats.

We prepared the dough on Thursday evening, and learned, the hard way, that a black outfit isn’t the best when dealing with flour. Our food processor wasn’t big enough for the mixture, so instead we used our trusty stand mixer. Any home cook must have had to adjust a recipe according to their kitchen equipment, and this small modification worked well.

The yeast worked its magic overnight and the dough balls were threatening to burst through the quart-sized plastic containers. When it was time to make our pizza, we cranked up the oven, and left the dough to get to room temperature. It was a little tough to handle, but we used flour to stop it from sticking.

One of our major issues the first time around was transferring the pie to the oven since it was sticking to the cake lifter we were using. At 22 pounds, the Baking Steel is too heavy to take out, especially when it’s so hot since we don’t want to get hurt. Despite discussing purchasing a proper peel, we didn’t get around to doing so, so we had to find a solution. We assembled the pie on a large piece of aluminum foil, which we then transferred to the oven using a cake lifter.

It worked! We will surely be tweaking our technique in upcoming pizza making sessions, but we’re certainly very happy. And so were our stomachs!

Crispy and gooey -- a winning combination

Crispy and gooey — a winning combination

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