On Pizza

It's been a bit warm for our favorite grilled pizza for most of this summer, but we've been putting together some delicious indoor pizzas, all the same.

The pizza pictured above is probably my favorite in the entire world--mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, and just a tiny bit of onions or garlic.  With so few ingredients they all have to be really good, so I don't even bother with it in the winter.  But when the basil and tomatoes are in season, it's moan worthy.

The pizza dough is pretty standard (there's a recipe at the link above, although we have switched to whole wheat flour since then), but I've tweaked our pizza building procedure a bit this year.  These may be obvious tips if you regularly make homemade pizza, but they've made a big difference for us.

  • Use regular mozzarella instead of the fresh stuff.  Fresh mozzarella tends to leak or weep, which makes soggy spots in the crust.
  • Use cherry tomatoes instead of full size tomatoes.  Same reason as the mozzarella--the big guys are too wet.
  • Oil the bottom of your sheet pan really well to get a crispier crust.  Seriously, no skimping.
  • Crank your oven up to 450, and make sure it's fully pre-heated before you put the pizza in.  The guys at a favorite local pizza joint taught me that, and it makes a huge difference in getting your crust to blister up closer to the way it does at a restaurant.  

One of my favorite things about pizza is that it works for every season.  We'll eat ours with tomato and basil for another month, at least, but the other day I saw the first figs at the store.  Those happen to be part of my favorite fall pizza (fig and brie).  I just hope it's cool enough to grill by then!

[Edited to add:  The winner of the Little Bird Vintage Designs giveaway is Tracy.  Tracy, I'll be in touch!]