In Search Of The Perfect Pizza Pie...

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Since moving here to Playa Hermosa over six months ago, we have been seeking a place that serves "decent" pizza.  The few places we've been served up creations that "look" like pizza but certainly did not taste like pizza.  To say that they were lackluster would be a gross understatement.  In fact, the old shitty English Muffin and Ketchup pizzas we ate back in elementary school were just as satisfying as these Tico representations.  In addition, the "tomatoey" things they call pizzas here are horrendously expensive. Would you believe $20 for a 16" pie!!!  So Fran and I decided that if we can't go out and buy a decent pizza, we would attempt to make one.

Everybody knows that the secret to a good pizza is in the crust.  After asking several friends to divulge their secrets about making good pizza dough, we realized that some of the ingredients were just not available in Costa Rica.  For instance, one such ingredient was "vital wheat gluten" (whatever the hell that is).  So we asked our next week's inbound visitors Gary and Betty to mule it in for us.  So Fran just went online, found a recipe in which all the ingredients were available locally and we went to town making our first pizza.


We followed the recipe exactly as it was written, letting the dough it rise for the proper amount of time.  We even made sure the yeast (at least what we thought was yeast) was dissolved at the proper temperature.  We covered the pizza in my homemade spaghetti sauce and used plenty of mozzarella cheese pepperoni and even some thinly sliced onions (on my half).

Our plan was to cook the pizza on a Pampered Chef oven stone, thereby guaranteeing a crispy crust.  What we failed to take into consideration were the logistics moving the to be cooked pizza from the granite counter top to the oven stone.  I eventually concocted a method using a cutting board (see pic #2) that allowed me to transfer the uncooked pie to the already heated stone in the oven.


I THINK THIS IS YEAST?

Here is where I really screwed up.  My pizza was bigger than the stone.  Approximately three inches of uncooked pizza extended beyond the stone's edge.  With heat rapidly escaping from the oven, I came up with the idea of folding over the extra flap of dough thereby creating a partial calzone (see pic #4).  I have now given this creation a new name... it is a "calzoneizza."

Fifteen minutes later, with cheese bubbling, we pulled the pie from the oven and proceeded to slice it.  The taste was good but the crust sucked.  It kind of reminded me of eating a partially fired clay dish!

That night Fran and I managed to eat two pieces before giving up.  Maybe, if we nuke it the next day (for lunch) the dough would soften up.

We did and it didn't. 

Stay tuned for our next evolution into pizza making!



#1 APPLYING SAUCE

#2 TRANSFERRED PIE TO BOARD

#3 PIE TO BIG FOR STONE

#4 PARTIAL FOLD OVER

#5 JUST ABOUT DONE

#6 LOOKS GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT

#7 PROUD PIZZA PAPA

#8 PICTURES DO LIE!

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