Monday, April 10, 2006

That's Amore!

Pssssst... don't tell the Frog but I'm madly in love. I'm having a love affair with my new pizza stone. My whole world has deep and passionate flavour now. I don't know what I did without his sleek lines and hard, hot body...

But seriously, I really do love my new pizza stone. It has really changed the way I see homemade pizza. Depending on how your oven is behaving, getting great pizza crust is a crapshoot at best (read: average ordinary oven which technically isn't YOUR oven because it's in an apartment. You get what you can).

A few days back I meant to have a post about my new pizza stone and its wonders but my dough sat in the bowl like a lead weight. We sat there, the dough and I, staring at each other. And that's about it. No rising, no lovely yeasty smell. NOTHING. I was miserable. Ben was miserable. It was too late to make a new batch after all that waiting. There was silence and pouting until I whipped some Indian food under Ben's nose. Honestly, I don't know what he'd do without me *wink, wink*

With renewed determination I whipped up some more dough yesterday. I watched over it like a frenetic mother. I started to panic after a while when I saw no activity but with a quick change of location the action began. After a while I whipped off the saranwrap and was hit by a lovely yeasty scent. HURRAH! With hope and determination I'd already put in the stone and it was heating up beautifully.

But don't think that was the end of my trials. It wouldn't be my life if it had all ended there so easily. There were stupid slip ups of touching the metal carrying rack with a finger tip (swearing occured here). There was whipping the dough into a decent pizza shape (cursing involved here). There was the realization that I couldn't carry the decorated pizza to the stone because I didn't have it on anything that would allow pick up (enter explicatives here). And there there was the actual carrying that involved topping mixups (much fuming here). But when that dough hit the scalding hot stone the whole apartment filled with the seductive smells of pizza dough, tomato sauce, cheese... All was forgiven.

Like a mother giving birth, I didn't remember the pain I went through. I only saw the beauty of my baby. And my baby tasted good too. Crust was a bit overcooked and I know to add more toppings next time but I felt like I was tasting a real pizza for the first time in I don't know how long. And I made it. Now there are so many toppings to try... lardons... potatoes... cream... *fade away*


linda said...

Great post Nerissa!
PS Happy Belated Birthday to a fellow Aries~ I am just getting caught up on all my blog reading and saw that yours was last week.

s'kat said...

Hooray! *jumping up and down* There is truly no feeling like that first hot and crispy pie that comes sliding off that stone!

If you don't have a pizza peel yet (definately put that on your to-get list), then form and dress the dough on a square of parchment paper on an inverted baking sheet. You can slide it easily from the sheet to the stone, and in a few minutes time, pull out the
parchment entirely.

I'm betting that stone won't be pristine for long!

michelle said...

Hey Skat! What's a pizza peel? I want one too! We don't have a pizza peel! If you get one, Nerissa, better put a picture up for me!

Nerissa: Your pie looks fantastic - I told you that you would love it, and I'm so excited that you do! And I totally lost it when I read about his "hard, hot body" ha ha ha ha ha!!! Now what kind of toppings did the Frog approve?

michelle said...

PS. Was that always your headline? Seems like it was different before? Well, no matter, I like it!

Nerissa said...

Hi Linda: Thanks! My birthday was good. Hope yours was too.

s'kat: Hurrah indeed. No feeling like it!
Thanks for the advice. That's the kind of common sense thing I wouldn't have thought about myself. I'll have to wait for the pizza peel no doubt but I do have parchment paper.
As for pristine... ha! Not with me around it. It's already showing wear after one use LOL

michelle: I'll put up a pic of a pizza peel if you want but you're more likely to get it sooner than I as I won't be near a cooking store or anything until the beginning of July or even August!!

Thanks, michelle, I couldn't help writing in a humorous way. Ze Frog appoved of the most boring of toppings: salami, pepperoni onions and anchovies on Italian tomato sauce. I, on the other hand, put on onion, spinach, olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto spread Mmmmmm...

As for my headline, the "gourmet-in-the making" one? It's always been that since the beginning. Have changed my "about me" in the last month though.

Ivonne said...

Brava, Nerissa!

I'm so glad you've discovered the pizza stone ... I was luck to get one as a gift a few months ago and I'm in love with it.

Great post and great pizza!

By the way, are you participating in Canadian Blogger by Post?

Jamie: said...

man, I also LOVE my pizza stone. I'm allergic to yeast, so I have always been forced to make my own pizza crust, and the stone makes it 5,000 times better.

Nerissa said...

Hi Jamie: what kind of crust do you use? Is it a biscuit type dough?

Jamie: said...

I make it with whole-wheat flour and corn meal... I'm visiting friends in Arizona right now but when I get home I will e-mail you the recipe! It's really easy but I don't know it off the top of my head.