Let me begin by saying how much I love daylight savings. The sun sets at a decent hour, making it possible for me to take blog pictures in the daylight but also allowing for us to enjoy dinner at the more normal hour of 6:30. I was worried we would soon be entering the nursing home with our dinnertime approaching the 4:00 hour. It's embarrassing to admit, but I am sure my fellow food bloggers (and moms for that matter) can relate!
I recently changed my pizza cooking technique and was so thrilled with how it came out, I just had to share it. Previously, I have prepared my pizzas directly on a cold pizza stone and transferred the pizza into the oven on the stone to cook. The cheese would be border-line burnt and the crust was never as crispy as my family liked. After doing some research, I decided to step outside my pizza making box. Now, I prepare the pizza on a pizza peel. I preheat the pizza stone in the oven at 500 degrees and transfer the pizza onto the stone with the peel. I was apprehensive about the transfer, worried that the pizza toppings would fly everywhere and I would have a burnt cheesy mess at the bottom of my oven. After some practice, I realized that if I liberally dusted the peel with corn meal, the pizza would slide off with ease. Removing the pizza from the oven with the peel was even easier since it was crisp. It cooked in less than 10 minutes, the crust was oh-so-crunchy and the cheese melted perfectly without burning.
The first five pizzas listed are prepared using the pizza stone technique described above. The last three pizzas are prepared using alternative techniques that are outlined in each recipe page. I encourage you to interchange the toppings, cheeses, sauces and techniques to create the pizza of your dreams.
Enjoy! Leave me a comment below with your favorite pizza combination.
BBQ Chicken Pizza: By replacing a typical tomato based pizza sauce with BBQ sauce, pizza takes on a whole new sweet and savory life. Adding a sharp cheddar cheese and red onions compliment the BBQ chicken perfectly.
Pesto, Chicken and Goat Cheese Pizza: I heart pesto. I heart goat cheese. In case you weren't already aware, see here. You'll love me for life.
Mushroom and Fontina Pizza: Fontina cheese should be a food group in itself. Its mild yet nutty flavor, combined with its fantastic melting properties, makes it the perfect complement to pungent mushrooms and caramelized onions. I could eat this guy daily.
Peach and Raspberry Pizza: The sweetness of the peaches and the raspberry jam pairs so well with the tangy goat cheese in this dessert-ish pizza. I can also imagine enjoying this pizza as a light summer dinner on my deck with a glass of chilled white wine. Is it spring yet?
Chicken and Tortellini Pizza: The original Antonio's Pizza in Amherst, MA is also home to my alma mater, UMASS. Preparing and enjoying this pizza transported me back to my college days and the North Pleasant Street chaos at 1:00 a.m. My fellow UMASS graduates know exactly what I am referring to. I am proud to admit that this recipe is an Antonio's copycat!
Puff Pastry Breakfast Pizza: This golden-brown puff pastry pizza is not just reserved for breakfast; it could be enjoyed any time of day! A drizzle of truffle oil elevates this dish to another level of savory.
Easy Naan Flatbread Pizza: I recently discovered naan at my local Whole Foods. It’s kind of like pita bread, only more moist and pliable, and the perfect vehicle for pizza toppings! This flatbread pizza bakes on a cookie sheet and is ready in a flash (20 minutes fridge to plate). I have plans to serve this at a party as a create-your-own pizza bar with tons of different sauces, cheeses and toppings. Can't wait! Maybe you'll be invited!