How do we start?
With a Pizza Stone!
A Pizza Stone is a great way to save energy, money, and Earth when making pizza in the kitchen. Many retail stores sell them and you can also find them on the web. You do not need to buy an expensive model, but one with a rack for handles is the best.
Most Pizza places will be happy to sell you pizza dough, as well as some supermarkets. Compare and check prices, because dough that is already made is not costly at all.
However, for those of you who want that just made taste, then yes make your own dough AND use Distilled Water at 105 degrees Fahrenheit as your secret ingredient. This also offers the opportunity to make healthier dough from whole wheat.
Brush the Pizza Stone generously with olive oil and place the stone in the oven to pre-heat.
Pre-heat the oven with the empty Pizza Stone inside for about ten minutes! Set the oven to pre-heat at 400 degrees.
(This is why a Pizza Stone with a rack for handles is very important.)
While the oven and Pizza Stone are warming up, get
your sauce, cheese and any fresh toppings ready. Then stretch, and roll dough out to size. Keep doug off to the side on wax paper for now.
Home made sauce is always the best, especially when
you just picked your own tomatoes from an organically
grown tomato plant in a pot by the window or a garden.
Make sauce ahead of time: Before you start with the steps above, make sauce ahead of time. In a large skillet, saute 3 chopped garlic cloves, and quartered cherry tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes in 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add 1 T of marsala wine and 1 tsp organic sugar, fresh basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer sauce for about 15 minutes. (If using fresh tomatoes, it will take longer to cook and thicken.)
With oven mitts take out the Pizza Stone, carefully sprinkle it with flour, remembering that the stone is very hot. Place stretched dough carefully on the stone, then spoon prepared sauce to cover surface.
Cover sauce with part skim, shredded mozzarella cheese. Add as much as you like. Then place any additional toppings on if you so desire.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 400 degrees. Check pizza in 15 minutes. If bottom of dough is golden brown, you can turn off your oven and leave the pizza in the oven for additional cooking - even when off, the oven is still hot and will continue cooking the pizza for five or ten minutes more.
Because you are cooking pizza on a hot stone the cooking time will be less. So depending on how hot the stone was you probably can turn your oven off much sooner. For example:
Without a Pizza Stone...
- ten minutes pre-heat oven time
- twenty five minutes cooking time or more
With a Pizza Stone...
- ten minutes pre-heat oven and stone time
- fifteen minutes cooking time or more
- shut oven and let pizza stay in oven 5 or 10 minutes more until bottom of dough is cooked and golden brown in color.
Buon Appetito !
Bill Lauto, at GoingTrueGreen.com
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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