Saturday, February 25, 2006

Low hanging clouds of smoke and fire alarms

A few weeks ago, my Food Network newsletter had a bunch of pizza recipes and I caught an Emeril cooking show where he made some pizzas. I got the bug and decided to make a pizza.

I downloaded a recipe for a Roasted Garlic White pizza which sounded really good and Friday evening, I set off to make it. It was a whole pizza from scratch, roasting the garlic and making the sauce and crust.

I've made pizzas in the past and not had successes with the crust. I've had them grow larger than I expected and stick to the towel covering them, but I was sure this was going to be different. I had just watched Emeril do it!

The sauce tasted great (garlic and a touch of cayenne pepper for some spice) and the garlic roasted up nice. But the crust was not good.

At first, it was too moist and sticky. I got it to not stick to me, the board I was rolling it out on and finally got it on the pizza peel and assembled the pizza. Fresh mozzarella, fontia cheese, crumbled bacon - boy, I was getting excited for it.

I got ready to slide it into the oven and on to the pre-heated stone and I couldn't get it off the pizza peel. I called Heather for help and we got some spatulas to help slide it off. But the crust was too delicate. It was mangled.

Then, in the very hot oven, cheese began to melt and run off. A chunk of crust had broken off and was burning on the bottom of the oven. We pulled out the racks and pulled out the crust, but the damage was already done. Smoke was pouring out of the oven. On the good side, it imparted a nice smoky flavor to the pizza.

On the bad side, it filled the whole house with smoke. The smoke alarms were going off, eyes were burning, it was terrible.

The mangled pizza cooked up okay and in the end, it tasted very good, but it just wasn't the eating experience that I like to have.

I've got to figure out how to make a good crust or just cheat and buy a pre-made crust.

Today, the oven is on clean cycle and the piercing smoke alarms have been going off again. I got them shut off before Heather got home and to my surprise, she brought me a scale model of a MINI Cooper to help make up for the bad dining experience. She's the greatest!


Anonymous said...

hey, it's Roger. I've always found that a little cornmeal sprinkled on wherever you prep/place the pizza can help. No doubt you did something like this per the recipe, but just thought I'd chime in.

Erik said...

Emeril, there's your problem right there (I'm much more of an Alton Brown fanboy).
I'll have to find you Kelly's grilled pizza recipe - oh-so-good, and surprisingly easy. Great stuff for barbecue parties...

Beau said...

I'm not that big a fan of Emeril - I don't really like his personality. But the pizzas sounded so good and he took two newbies and taught them to throw pizza crusts!

That is what I need - a more durable crust. My crusts are always too delicate and sticky and stretchy!

Maybe that will be my way to avoid the store brought crust, although I hear that Trader Joes has a pretty good premade crust.

I'm standing by for the recipe!