13.037 Pizza Alpha

Cycle 13 – Item 37

11 (Fri) February 2022

Pizza Alpha

3.0

by me

at home

-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-

with IZ

Progress Point 8: the final topping

A while back, my mother had given me a package of US-produced, Costco-distributed “roasted tomatoes,” which I’d put in the bottom of the meat chiller and forgotten about, until now.

Somewhere between a sun-dried tomato and a fresh tomato, just the right balance of juicy and chewy, sweet and bright.

Progress Point 9: improved logistics

While I’m getting the hang of rolling out the dough into a thin round pie, I’ve struggled to manage a smooth transition from peel to oven once the sauce and toppings are placed, always mangling it to some degree (see 13.021 Pizza with Olives, Onions, Anchovies, Pecorino Romano, Arugula).

The diced onions were easier to spread but no major improvement in texture or flavor.

So, I devised a cheat in making the pie directly on a sheet of aluminum foil, then sliding the whole thing on the sheet into and out of the oven.

Progress Point 9: improved phased cooking

Previously, I’d preheated the oven for at least an hour to get the pizza stone as hot as possible.  But the stone couldn’t achieve a sufficient level of heat with the oven’s maximum temperature of 230 degrees.  As a result, the dough would cook enough from underneath to dry it out, but not enough to get it crisp.  After a secondary pan-grilling, the dough would end up too dry, like a cracker, like a poorly executed “thin-crust” pizza from Domino’s.

This time, the oven was preheated for just 20 minutes or so (the time to get out all the ingredients and prepare the first pie).  The stone, not as hot as before, set the dough but didn’t dry it out.  The secondary pan-grilling gave the pie a quick crisp and scorch in the middle while leaving the crusts still soft on the edges.

On this 4th attempt, I’ve achieved a pie that I am happy with.  The Pizza Alpha – with anchovies, onions, olives, roasted tomatoes, Pecorino Romano, arugula – is born.

(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)

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