Thursday, August 18, 2011

Crispy Fresh Tomato Pizza

Earlier recipes I have posted on making a pizza with a pre-made crust and fresh tomatoes with no sauce (like a Tale of Two Margarita Pizzas) have focused on fresh milk mozzarella as the cheese. Well, some folks either don't have access to this cheese (yes I do realize not everyone lives in Wisconsin), or want the most crispy pizza possible, and that is what this recipe is all about.

1.      Pre-made crust - The first aspect to consider when making a crispy fresh tomato pizza is of course the crust.  I recommend going with a thin crust that has been pre-baked on corn meal for about 6-8 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 375 degrees.  You can even make the crust ahead of time and then freeze it if you like, using freezer paper, and it will keep nicely for quite a while.  Pre-made crusts can also be purchased from some grocery stores (especially Italian-food grocers).

2.      Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with a stone

3.      Basil - Wash and remove the stems from enough fresh basil to scatter over the surface of the crust. Lightly pat dry the basil with a fresh kitchen towel or paper towel to remove any remaining moisture from washing. 

4.      Tomatoes – Here is where you need to be extra selective if you can.  This time of year if you have a good farmers market or produce market, use one of these: San Marzano, Italian Paste, heirloom Roma or just plain Roma if nothing else is available.  We used 3 large San Marzano tomatoes and one smaller Italian Paste Heirloom.  Get at least a pound or more depending on how large a pizza you are making.  If you have heard that the San Marzano tomatoes are the best, you heard right.  Whoever told you that is probably a reliable source of information regarding Italian food!  Slice and layer your tomatoes on top of the basil.

5.      Cheese – Some good options that are widely available: slices of provolone or mozzarella (or use grated).  Top the tomatoes with your cheese.  We used sliced provolone for this one.

6.      Garlic – Peel and chop two large cloves of garlic.  You do not need to mince the garlic finely as you will sprinkle this on top of the cheese and it will roast and then bake into the cheese.

7.      Bake - Bake until nicely crisp, about 20-25 minutes depending on your oven and stone.  You can see from the photos of the results how nice and crispy the end result was.  If you don't have a pizza peel like the one shown above, you can get it from our General Store.  Here is the direct link to a good pizza peel that we sell.

Also, the pizza cutter that we used (similar one shown above) works really well, and you can get one from us here at a great price.


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