You gotta love Trader Joe's! My friend, Lauren, from book club introduced me to their awesome pizza dough. It's $1 and it's in the refrigerated section (over by the cheeses and fruit). They also have marinara sauce for maybe $1.29 or so that does great as pizza sauce.
Last weekend we had friends over (and their 4 kids) to make pizzas. I've been reading all about pizzas and trying to figure out all the ways to make it awesome. Here are my tips for making it the best!
1 - Put the pizza stone in the oven cold and preheat for and hour at 500°. (A lot of places will mention a lower temp, but all the research I've done, along with experience says to make an awesome crisp bottom crust, you need it this hot.)
2 - Sprinkle your peel (that wooden paddle) with cornmeal. This allows you to slide the pizza in the oven. Otherwise it won't come off.
3 - After rolling the dough out (or tossing it), put it on the pizza peel BEFORE you put the sauce and ingredients. Otherwise you can't get it off the couter to put it on the peel.
4 - Use less sauce than you think. Have you ever watched the pizza being made at Fellini's. They really don't use that much sauce. You should still be able to see the dough underneath the thin layer of sauce. Use the back of a spoon to spread it out as you go. (William put the sauce on this pizza and it was too much. It came spilling out when we cut in to it.)
5 - Use only freshly grated mozzerella, or even better . . . Trader Joe's has sliced buffalo mozzarella in liquid. This cheese is so wonderful and has the perfect saltiness to it to make your pizza really yummy.
6 - Once you put your first one in the oven, you can start on the dough for the second one, but DON'T PUT IT ON THE PEEL. Or else you can't get your first pizza out of the oven!
We made five pizzas. We had a couple of cheese pizzas for the kids; a veggie one with buffalo mozzarella, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and broccoli; and a meat one with pepperoni, buffalo mozzarella, and sliced meatballs left over from my soup from my last post. And one more with everything left over. They were awesome. We had leftovers, but they didn't last more than a day.
Ice cream cones for dessert.
Unfortunately the evening ended when Vivian fell and didn't want to drop her ice cream cone to catch herself. She used her cheek to land and ended up in the ER with 6 stitches. She's okay now though!