Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pizza at Home: Columbus Baking Co

Monday night was "Pizza Night" in my kitchen, which typically always consists of pizza dough from Columbus Bakery (they just launched a new site - check it out at www.columbusbakingco.com). When I got to the actual bakery, I was lucky enough to grab what looked like the last one for the day, so that made walking through the rain for several blocks worth it. I also grabbed some sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese for $10 which wasn't too shabby for a total - especially considering the portion sizes, how it's way more fun to make pizza at home, and how your house can actually smell like the same bakery during the process.

I spoiled myself with a stop into Vinomania on the way back. That place is so good!

I'm still trying to perfect making pizza at home. It's tricky with home ovens (at least I think it is). Mine's electric (guh!) but has a pre-heated timer and an oven light, which makes pre-heating and baking easier than what I've had to use over the previous several years. The bakery's owner, Jimmy Retzos, recommended one time that I let the dough set for a while before working with it, so I usually sprinkle a little flour on it when I get back and let it rest on the counter for about 15 minutes before I break out the rolling pin. After that, I flour the pizza tray, spread the dough out (I roll out the bubbles - I have no idea if you're supposed to do this or not), place it on the tray, put the ingredients on, toss it into the oven at 425 degrees for about 15-18 minutes, and then take it out and let it rest for about 5 minutes or so. And garnish with a little fresh basil from the garden if I happen to have some.

This week's trial came out great other than it being just a tad undercooked between the dough and sauce. I took it out early because I hate when you make pizza at home and the cheese gets burned and all brownish. I don't mind a little burned cheese - actually, it can be really tasty in moderation from the wood-fired kind of pizza, but at home I usually don't like the taste. I'm guessing I either have to leave it in longer or bake it at a higher temperature. At least it looked pretty.

What are your suggestions on pizza dough? Do you have any oven tips? Suggestions for making it at home? Upper or lower oven rack? Is there pizza dough in the area you swear by? Let me know in the comments!

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