There will undoubtedly be more posts on pizza, as it is appearing more and more frequently in Gourmandistan meals. One reason is Alice Waters, whose dough recipe in The Art of Simple Food (page 60!) produces a crust that is reliably tender yet firm enough to handle just about any topping. A second reason is that Michelle was smart enough to buy a couple of pizza stones and a peel. Cooking the pizza on super-hot flat ceramic disks makes the crusts almost as crispy as a real baker’s oven (damn you, Bob Hancock, for your professional technology!), and the peel, a long-handled paddle, makes getting the pizza on and off the stone much simpler.
Recently, Blue Dog Bakery offered a rosemary-crust pizza with bacon, egg and arugula—a combination so good we wanted to try out a Gourmandistan version. Alice’s dough came through as always, but Steve neglected to add rosemary while kneading and we had to settle for scattering it on top. We also lacked arugula, but we certainly did not lack for eggs. And since Steve had just finished curing some home-made bacon, and the rosemary was from our own pots, we figured the ultra-locavore ingredients might make up for the others.
The pizza, while certainly delicious, was not quite the transcendent experience we strive for at every Gourmandistan meal—we both thought the rosemary would have been better worked into the crust and the eggs could have cooked a bit more evenly (our oven, used so much for so many years, may be showing its age). Michelle wanted a sauce, while Steve thought more cheese and bacon would improve things, along with poaching the eggs instead of baking them on top of the pizza. Exactly the kind of disagreement we enjoy in Gourmandistan—one that leads to more exploration in the kitchen, and much more pizza!