“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore”… sung by beloved Dean Martin, I’d sooner say, “When a pizza pie hits your mouth, that’s amore!” For me, amore, love, isn’t quite strong enough a word to describe my feelings towards pizza. A better description would be adore, crave, an addiction – simply put, I’m pazza (crazy) for pizza.
So in honor of October being National Pizza Month, I want to teach you how to use a pizza stone, using my quick, easy, and delicious recipe for a DIY pizza you can fix right at home… because not all fixes require safety goggles and a trip to Home Depot!
Before jumping into the pie, here are a few pizza factoids worth knowing:
On average, an American consumes 47 slices annually.
Nationally, we buy approximately 3 billion pizzas per year.
Pizza is a $30 billion industry in the USA alone. (Talk about making dough from dough!)
Food historians agree “modern” pizza comes from Naples, Italy where in the 1600s, flatbread was sold by street vendors to peasants.
Popular legend says… in 1889, Neapolitan pizzaiolo (pizza maker), Raffaele Esposito, created the classic “Pizza Margherita” as a gift for Queen Margherita di Savoia and garnished it with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, to honor the colors of the Italian flag.
For the following recipe, I use a store-bought, fresh, whole wheat dough. Happily, fresh pizza dough is now available in supermarkets (look in the refrigerated or frozen section), as well as at some local bakeries and pizzerias. Although the ease of a packaged, pre-cooked pie crust may be tempting, the flavor of freshly baked dough is beyond comparison.
PS – This recipe works equally well in the oven or on a BBQ!
Norma’s Pizza On A Pizza Stone Recipe
Place a room temp pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven and preheat to 500°. For a BBQ, place the stone right on the grill and heat “high.” Once it reaches temp, let the stone continue heating for about 20 minutes.
Divide the dough as desired, according to if you want personal or larger pies. (FYI, smaller pies are easier to manage, especially if you’ve never worked with dough before)
Raw dough on pizza peel
With room temp dough, on a floured or cornmeal dusted pizza peel, flatten out the ball by hand to a very thin disc – a rolling pin will help. Keep jerking the dough on the peel to be sure it’s not sticking.
Add your toppings, the sky’s the limit! I spoon on tomato sauce, followed by shredded mozzarella, prosciutto, grated Grana Padano or Romano, fresh basil, and a swirl of extra virgin olive oil.
Carefully slide the dough onto the heated pizza stone – start on the far end of the stone and slide the pizza peel out toward you.
Pizza on heated pizza stone
Let it bake 5-8 minutes, lid closed if on BBQ.
When the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, it’s ready! Slide the pizza peel under the crust, remove, slice, and serve. I like to use a wooden pizza peel because you can slice right on it!
Before I say, “Ciao,” let me leave you with an apropos quote, purportedly made by Mel Brooks – “Sex is like pizza. Even when it is bad it is good.”
Got A DIY Question? Ask-The-Expert!
If you have a DIY home repair, maintenance or improvement question for Norma, now is your chance to ask-the-expert and have her answer. Your burning question may just be the “star” of an upcoming Fix-It Friday column.
Fix-It Friday is an exclusive Women You Should Know® editorial series authored by seasoned veteran of home improvement, Norma Vally, the former host of Discovery Home Channel’s series “Toolbelt Diva” and a show on Sirius Satellite Radio by the same name. The weekly column is designed to inspire women – weekend warriors, aspiring handywomen, and even seasoned DIYers – to take on home repairs and maintenance projects with confidence and gusto.