The recipe has been refined. The teaspoon sugar (or honey), omitted. The salt, once coarse, now fine. When the oven is set, it's set to 450°. The pizza stone, replaced by a commercial grade screen. Pizza.
Roberto was outside shoveling. I was indoors boiling a potato and stretching dough. I had to try, really try, to make the dough not perfectly round, but more rustic. The Italian's skills in the department of pizza have rubbed off on me.
It's so easy to clear the counter, pull out the all-purpose and shape the dough. I sprinkle a tiny bit of flour and extract the dough from it's oily bowl. Tap and pat using the tips of my fingers, with great rigor from inside, to out, to around, and repeat. I flip the dough, flapping it back and forth between my hands to shake off any excess flour. Of course, there is always excess.
Once transferred to the screen (our screen is 16"), I paint on a nice coat of extra virgin olive oil, and spread to the far reaches a good bit of sauce. A dusting of oregano is followed by a scattering of sliced potatoes. Mozzarella, a in-house product from our neighborhood deli, darts from my fluttering fingers, filling in the gaps. Crushed red pepper, fresh thyme, and a final dusting of Parmesan.
The oven thermometer reads 450°. I slide the pizza in.
There it goes, the dough is puffing. And there...over there...the dough is bubbling. The sauce is seizing, I can hear its faint scream. The fresh herbs are drying. The cheese is melting and trapped, trapping it all. Pizza.
The rustic, misshapen glory has been transferred from screen, to peel, to rack, for finishing. The dough is more than dark golden on the bottom, it's brick oven perfection from our tiny wall oven.
It is lunchtime once again. Roberto is in from shoveling. Slices, crunchy, not flimsy, hot from the oven, blister our tongues.