I do have to admit that you can find some interesting combinations on Australian menus. Using pumpkin, goat’s cheese or potatoes definitely broadens a traditional pizza lover’s horizon. However, some of those adaptations are a bit over the top – “Tandoori Chicken Pizza” or “Meat Lover’s Delight” with bacon and barbeque sauce, anyone?
To top it off, pizza in
After searching through my favourite food blogs, it became pretty clear that Peter Reinhart’s Napoletana pizza dough was the way to go. I used the recipe and instructions provided on ChubbyHubby which were pretty easy to follow. My little hand mixer squealed heart-rendingly while mixing the first batch of dough – not for the first time I was longing for my old but strong Krups mixer back home in Germany. The second batch was kneaded by my bread baking machine which worked just fine. After a night’s rest in the fridge, the dough was a pleasure to work with. Stretchy yet firm, it was really easy to shape it into thin rounds.
The toppings: homemade tomato sauce, shredded tasty cheese, shredded mozzarella, ham, salami, fresh tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, capers, grilled eggplants, grilled and skinned capsicum which proved to be the favourite amongst my fellow pizza eaters. They fully approved of my first attempt in making proper pizza – mostly due to the generosity of my dear friend Nora. When I invited her for the pizza night, she said she’d like to give me a pizza stone as sort of a late Christmas present. Any serious pizza lover should have one. That’s what she told me – and she was so right! Even the male guests had to admit the superiority of the stone. Being engineers they first doubted its usefulness. Pretending it was only another gadget girls "had to have". But a quick check with wikipedia revealed everything you need to know about pizza, pizza stones, and the like.
The few pizzas I baked on a regular baking sheet (after all, there were nine hungry people to feed) were not too bad but definitely not as crispy as the ones baked on the stone. However, it was a bit tricky to lift the prepared pizza on the stone and into the oven (I got a few minor burns). Polenta was very helpful to prevent sticking; and those little yellow kernels provided an extra crunch to the crust. The oven was heated to maximum which sometimes seemed to be a bit too much as you can see on the picture. But I didn't get any complaints and my guinea pigs encouraged me to continue my search for the perfect Italian pizza. With my own pizza stone it will be only a matter of time – thank you, Nora!