August 20, 2009

©2009 Amuse-bouche for Two

Toaster Oven Pizza (pizza bread)

In the winter you'll find me making a batch of dough if not once a week, at least every two weeks, to take care of a craving that I've had perhaps most of my life.

I remember growing up, we'd order pizza from the local deli. I remember my mother taking me with her to go pick it up or just order it there and wait. I was just tall enough to see behind the counter. The pizza man would stretch the dough, lay it down on a huge white, floured counter top. He would proceed to ladle on a nondescript sauce, followed by a healthy dose of cheese. Most of the time we ordered it plain. A cheeseburger sub with heaps of shredded lettuce, tomato, mayo and onions (sometimes raw, sometimes fried) always accompanied the order.

If we had a frozen pizza in the house my mother would take bits of ground beef and dot the frozen disc. Didn't matter what was on the pizza, it's just what she did.

So, when summer rolls around and it's too hot to fire up the oven to preheat the pizza stone and bake a pizza(s) we find ourselves taking creative license. A fresh baguette cut on the bias, some leftover red sauce, a ball of mozzarella, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of oregano and red pepper flakes and some time in the toaster oven and we've got a pizza.

Living with a former pizza man doesn't hurt. I've watched and been in awe of how he rolls and shapes the dough, adds the right balance of toppings, handles the peel and ultimately bakes what are some of the best pizza's you can find coming out of a home oven.

I have a lot to live up to when it comes to pizza making in our house. So whenever I hear "Should we save this sauce for pizza bread?", I know I must be doing something right.

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