By special request from BCD blogista Xani, here are the notes from our recent edition of Xmas Day Pizza.
Disclaimer One: Even though Elegant International Business Woman Daughter insisted on a 360 degree evaluation of the pizza process in all truth we never asked the finished pizza for its opinion which I believe invalidates the 360 degree concept.
Disclaimer Two: We really are not the most scientific of cooks. An awful lot of our cooking nuances are entrusted to memory. And since our memories are notoriously feeble take all you read here with a large grain of salt.
Base Recipe comes from the New York Times International Cook Book by Craig Claibourne, Harper & Row, Copyright 1971, Page 528
History – We used to make Lasagna for Xmas but when the kids were little they didn’t like the ricotta cheese so we switched to pizza. We’ve always used the dough recipe and the basic cooking instructions (putting dough spread out on a cookie sheet and cooked in the bottom rack of a 500 degree oven) but always used our own sauce and have been playing around with toppings, proportions, and fine points of cooking.
Toppings this year were
- Bacon - cooked ahead of time
- Spinach - nuked and water was squeezed out
- Mushrooms - sautéed with no seasoning
- Onions – sliced, raw
- We need new, thicker cookie sheets. We’ve had the same cookie sheets for years and they seem to have hot spots leading to little burned sections
- I think we are going to experiment with reducing the heat slightly and cooking them longer next year to get more consistent crust crispness and get rid of underdone spots
- Confirmed that toppings need to go over the mozzarella but under the Parmesan. Parmesan on the top creates a nice crispness
- We liked the bacon because it was neither too salty nor too smokey (Farmland brand thick bacon)
- We liked the spinach a lot
- Cook onions some to avoid water problem