Monday, January 24, 2011

Thin, Crunchy, Cracker Crust Pizza

It's been too long since I've updated my foodie blog. I've felt a bit guilty about that, but truth is I haven't been very inspired cooking-wise over the last couple months. Today was the "Big Game" between the Bears and Packers, so I decided shake off the funk and do it up by making traditional game day grub - pizza and wings.

I've always enjoyed the really thin, almost cracker crust pizza. Today I think I've nailed it. I mixed the dough yesterday and let it rest overnight. Here goes the assembly and finished product.

First, I roll out the dough very, very thin using a French-style wooden rolling pin used primarily for pastry:

Next, I use my fancy dancy dough docker to perforate the dough to reduce the air pockets that will develop in the crust when it bakes.

Now, create a small rim around the edge by folding over and pinching the dough together:

Finally getting the opportunity to use the pizza screen I bought at a restaurant supply down in Nashville. This will allow air to circulate under the crust and get it that much more crispy:

Feeling Saucy! Today I'm using "Tomato Magic - Ground Tomatoes" packed by Stanislaus Food Products in California. Tomato Magic and 7/11 Ground Tomatoes are used by most of the important Chicago pizzerias. I've added Mediterranean dried oregano flakes, ground black pepper, fresh crushed garlic, dash of onion powder and some olive oil as well as a couple secret spices. No extra salt! These sweet and tasty tomatoes already have some salt added as well as citric acid. Your tongue can confuse citric acid as salty, so adding any additional salt will kill these tomatoes.

Spread the sauce out towards the edge with the back of your ladle in expanding circles.

Now add the meat toppings. Just pepperoni today. And yes, in Chicago the meat toppings go UNDER the cheese.

Finish it off with shredded mozzarella and a couple pepperoni slices on top for garnish, plus a light shake of grated parmesan cheese.

Into the oven that's been heated to 450 degrees for 1/2 hour. I put the screen directly on the baking stone which will radiate heat directly into the bottom of the crust very similar to a deck oven.

12 minutes later, pizza is fully baked.

Thin, crispy, crunchy yet tender slices of pepperoni pizza goodness!

Stay tuned and stay hungry, my friends. Next post will be Buffalo-style Hot Wings!

~ Johnny

Sneak Peek "Appeteaser"