Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pizza

I didn't grow up eating pizza. I think my family went to Round Table a couple of times during my childhood, and around the time I got to junior high, Mom was starting to play with various pizza toppings on store-bought French bread. Surprisingly, the woman who made up the exotic corn and avocado ice cream favored pepperoni pizza more than any combination she made up. She never made her own pizza dough, though.

I did a pizza night with friends and once made a little pizza with some leftover dough. I've helped with some grilled pizza and baked up a handful of focaccia recipes, too. But I've never been pressed to make pizza from scratch. Good food and all, but not the first thing I'd choose to make. So it was fun when I saw that the most recent ATK test recipe was pizza bianca.

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Pizza bianca, a Roman flatbread, is a simple white pizza--usually, just salted bread with no toppings. Variations include rosemary, sometimes cheese, other herbs--you get the gist. It's almost like focaccia. The endearing difference is that pizza bianca is thin with a crispy crust and a chewy, airy crumb. Holy yum. This is my new favorite pizza. The dough is incredibly wet and baked in oil, making the crispy crust. Top it with some fontina and capicola, and ... wow ... simple, but satisfying and addictive! Even without the toppings, the crust is wonderful! Lewis was right--I need to bake more bread.

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