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Pizza and Bomb Cyclones

Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

I was a weather-related call-out to work, this morning. Yesterday, I was saying we weren’t going to get anything from the storm. The way they were hyping it just made me think it would blow on by.

It appears that I was not correct. We currently have 2 weather advisories and a special weather statement for our zip code.

The wind is blowing like a banshee and snow is flying all over creation. It’s absolutely beautiful in a weird sort of way. And as long as the power stays on, it will continue to be beautiful. And cold. Really cold. Wind chills are going to be in the -20°F neighborhood for the remainder of the week. That’s pretty cold.

Time to hunker down and hit the kitchen!

Dinner, tonight, is going to be a double-crust chicken pot pie. Lunch was pizza.

Pizza is extremely easy to make. The dough is merely flour, water, salt, and yeast. One rise, form, top, and bake! Easy.

I have a 2-day dough that is excellent and great if you’re planning pizza. I also have a quickie dough for days like today. I ended up splitting the dough into two pieces – one for today and another into the freezer.

Pizza Dough

  • 1 pkt yeast
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 scant tsp salt

Proof yeast in the water. Add flour and salt and mix about 8 minutes with a mixer or knead by hand.

Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled.

Form into a pizza round and top with your favorite toppings.

Start with your round of pizza dough.

Spin it into a round and place on the pizza peel. You need flour or corn meal on the peel to get the pizza to slide off the peel. I switch back and forth. Today I used corn meal.

Top with your favorite sauce. I made a quick one with tomato paste, red wine, water, garlic, oregano, and S&P.

And then the cheese. Less really is more.

I topped this with a 3-pepper salami and freshly-grated parmesan.

And then into the oven on the brand-new – preheated – baking stones.

It helps to have a dog standing by…

Bake at 450°F until done.

We do not own a pizza pan, so onto the cutting board.

And mangia!

It’s ridiculously no-fail.

And speaking of no-fail…

We have had a round 14″ pizza stone for more years than I can count. I honestly don’t know how long we have had it but I do know it replaced the quarry tiles I had used for years before that. I loved the tiles but hated constantly putting them in-and-out of the oven, trying to find a place to conveniently store them when I wasn’t baking… The problem with the pizza stone is that it’s round – and I don’t always bake round things. The other day clinched it when I wanted to bake 2 baguettes and a small round loaf. I had to curve the baguettes to get them all to fit – and then they all grew together in the oven.

Off to Chef Google for a solution.

My original plan was to find a single stone that fit the entire oven rack. I looked at a few – and looked at the shipping charges – and then started reading up a little more. The general consensus for a home oven seemed to be smaller blocks rather than a single large block because of the way they heat. Not to mention easier to handle.

I went with the Dough-Joe from Falls Culinary, a small company in Sioux Falls, SD. I think for the most part that we will be able to just keep them in the bottom oven and I’ll do my bread-baking there instead of the upper oven.

We really only use both ovens a couple of times a year, so they really can just stay put most of the time.

The pizza came out fantastic. I foresee some fun baking!



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