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Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Best Pizza I've Ever Made

Now I am a big fan of the Cook's Illustrated Pizza Margherita recipe, as discussed here. But I recently tried Mark Bittman's pizza dough recipe from the New York Times Essential Cookbook, and that is very good too. I like the idea of mixing half wheat flour and half white flour in a lot of bread recipes because I feel you get some of the health benefits of the wheat flour, and some of the texture benefits of the white. I think it is a good mix, so I've been doing this in my pizza dough too. I went to Wild Oats Market in Williamstown, MA (as discussed here) earlier in the week and got some Maplebrook mozzarella and no joke - the best pepperoni I have ever had in my life. It is from Vermont Smoke and Cure and oh my goodness was this good. I cannot wait to try all of their other products like summer sausage, ham, bacon, and sausages. So delicious it was unreal. The same day I bought these products earlier in the week I had one mishap after another - through bad planning I had to stop again after the Wild Oats because we were out of tomatoes and garlic, the flour container had somehow got smashed in, pieces of plastic were in the flour, so I went to the Stewart's where they had a spot for flour on the shelf but no flour. It was funny a recipe that takes only about 5 or 6 ingredients was looking like it was going to take me 4 different stops. So I gave up that day and made English muffin pizzas- like we did here. English muffin pizzas are fun and quick, but really not as good as real pizza. Having to stop at Hannaford for the can of tomatoes and garlic, though I was also able to take a look at their pre-cut pizza toppings (discussed in this post also). I am a big fan of this at Hannaford because you don't have to commit to a pizza topping - you can get a small amount for 99 cents and I think that works out great (also a bit like having your own salad bar at home). 

So anyway, having used some of the mozzarella earlier in the week I wasn't going to have enough to actually make my pizza recipe. Yesterday we bought Adams Reserve cheddar cheese (from Adams, NY), because we had the idea of mixing together the cheddar and mozzarella.  So our finished product had the world's best pepperoni, great mozzarella, delicious cheddar, onions pre-cut from Hannaford, the sauce from my Cook's Illustrated recipe, and Mark Bittman's pizza dough only with half wheat flour. Check it out (the recipe makes two pizzas):




For more delicious looking pizza check out this post. My parents paid for me to go to a class at King Arthur Flour as a Christmas present, and next weekend I am taking the pizza making class - so perhaps I will get even better!

After being away from home dogsitting for a couple of weeks, it was really nice and relaxing to spend a Saturday night at home watching the South Carolina Republican Primary eating pizza. It's nice to have the rush of the holidays over. It's just nice to be at home, and nothing adds to that feeling more than pulling something that is hot, steamy and smells delicious out of your oven, even if it somehow took 4 different trips to grocery stores to pull it all together (bad luck on that one).

Then, I decided to make Dorie Greenspan's chocolate mousse from Around My French Table. I really love  this cookbook, and I made a great cod thing from it for my husband's birthday last year. We were out of eggs (which was again bad planning since we had just been at a grocery store to get the cheddar), so I walked to the Stewart's in the snow and got some. It was such a beautiful clear night, and even though I've started to look forward to the summer again (despite knowing I'll eventually get sick of summer too when it comes again), there is something refreshing about the crisp, brisk night air. Check out my mousse (I topped it with the delicious salted caramel sauce my friend Elizabeth gave us for a hostess gift on New Year's Eve):


This all proves that sometimes staying in on a weekend can be just as fun as anything else!

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