Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cast the first stone

My parents gave me a pizza stone for my birthday. This makes a certain amount of sense: they are pizza-stone people. They like a good crispy crust. My family made pizza from scratch every Sunday night when I was little, and, as my mother pointed out, the pizza-making urge has not exactly tapered off for me. I half-live off Trader Joe's Bag O' Dough, part-skim mozzarella, chopped tomatoes, and garlic.

The instructions for my pizza stone call for a 15-minute preheat at 450, then a moving of the raw, assembled pizza from your handy-dandy cutting board or pizza peel (I guess pizza-stone people are also pizza-peel people?) onto the heated stone. And, you know, I'm pretty sure the whole "transfer raw pizza onto super-hot ceramic surface" part of the process seemed suspect from the beginning, but because I am a law-abiding citizen (ha, see how I snuck that in there?) and because I believe pizza-stone makers may know more about pizza stones that I, I decided to follow their clear and authoritative directions.

And now I have a very important announcement to make, for the good of all who read and bake: RAW PIZZA DOES NOT SLIDE. THERE IS NO SLIPPING, SLIDING, COAXING, STRETCHING, OR JIGGLING UNCOOKED PIZZA FROM PLACE TO PLACE. Perhaps this is an American thing. Italian pizza may float across the kitchen, for all I know. Here in Oakland? Less so, and I don't care how much cornmeal you put down. That stuff is sticky.

Which is how we end up with this:

Note that there is not a piece missing from the amoeba pizza. That's the whole thing. Also, if you could see, there are some toppings that were rolled underneath the crust during the move, so that it's not so much garlic-herb as it is garlic-herb-tomato-mushroom-spinach-garlic again-cheese crust. And say what you will about cornmeal not burning, but the sad, preheated cornmeal on the unused stone is what my grandmother would graciously have called "dark brown." I'm just saying.

So next time, preheat, then assemble on heated stone while avoiding being burned? I will be the master of the pizza stone. Just you wait. In the mean time: delicious, misshapen amoeba pizza. Yum.


Anonymous said...

Hmm. Maybe you are resting your dough enough or one of those mystical baking things? I've *seen* this work on television, though Alton Brown *could* have been opening a portal into another dimension, popping the pizza up-side-side-ways, and dropping it on the stone. That would be like him.

But, hey, what do I know? I've never been brave enough to even attempt pizza/amoeba cooking!

Anonymous said...

That should be "aren't" resting your dough enough. Of all the typos!

Xerxes said...

It could have been worse, you could have dropped the stone on your foot and broke another toe!

Liz said...


Maybe? I rested it according to the directions, but maybe some more time would have done that gluten right and made it more slide-y. Although I would be absolutely un-surprised if he were simply manipulating the space-time continuum.

Liz said...


Hee! You kill me. (And make me totally count my blessings. Hot, broken toe = baaaad news!)

Anonymous said...

I, myself, have only found pizza stone success when making pizzas no larger than can fit on a paper plate. In those instances, transfers have been fine for me. I don't think I'm coordinated enough for anything larger. Also, my dough isn't Trader Joe''s WinCo...