Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Brick Oven Pizza

Yes, brick oven pizza. Thin-crust, brick oven pizza. In our apartment! In an apartment-sized oven. Results: A perfectly crisp, sturdy crust, slightly blackened on the bottom, nice and chewy within. Back in March I saw a video on making a brick oven in your regular oven for pizza making. Since we are big pizza fans, and there was a touch of "construction" involved, Matt was excited as I was to try this. Fast forward to last month, we went out and purchased firebrick (less than $25), lined the oven, and saw the oven thermometer's needle get buried past 600 degrees, when the oven was technically set to 500 degrees. Three pizza margheritas and one pizza sacrificed to the oven gods later (should have checked the width of the pizza peel before shoving it into the oven...and that boys and girls is how you get pizza burned to the floor of the oven and smoke alarms going off...), I have mastered the new addition to our kitchen.

Matt's friend Roger (the most gracious house guest anyone could ask for) was visiting this week, and having a couple men to cook for created an excuse to make three different types of pizza in the brick oven. To start, we had a classic pizza margherita with red sauce, fresh basil from the pot Matt has going in the windowsill, and fresh mozzarella. Next up was my favorite of the night: green apples, homebrewed Irish Red beer-melized onions, mozzarella and gorgonzola. The final pizza was a favorite with Matt and Roger; it was a perfect combination of red sauce, spicy sopresatta and mozzarella. In the photograph is the sopresatta pizza whole, and the stragglers are one piece of pizza margherita, and two slices of the green apples and beer-melized onion pizza. One perk of the brick oven set-up is that instead of 10-12 minutes for a pizza, you can cook one in about 5-6 minutes. This is great when doing different kinds of pizza, because they come out of the oven in rapid succession, so you can have more than one kind on the table at a time.

Why line your oven with firebrick and crank the oven for an hour before cooking? Because you get a pizza unlike anything you've had at home, even on a pizza stone. When you can't or don't want to go out for brick oven pizza, you can have something almost exactly like it at home, and you know exactly what is in it! The next question is...what kind of amazing bread crusts could I coax from the brick oven with the right bread recipe?

Pizza dough recipe and red sauce recipe are both my mother's, but they'll be a post for another day...need to keep you coming back to read more!

No comments:

Post a Comment