Sunday, August 16, 2009
Newest purchase: a pizza stone and pizza peel
I was itching to try it out so I decided to do an adaptation of Emeril Lagasse's Roasted Garlic White Pizza. I had heard before that pizza stones really make a difference but didn't think it would be such a huge one. The crust was amazingly crisp and didn't flop over or sag one bit when you picked up a slice. Even the day after when it was reheated it maintained its airy and crisp texture. I'm impressed. Especially since I was cheap and bought a $10 stone.
I leave my pizza stone in the oven when baking cookies and cakes too (unless I need the extra space on the oven rack) because it helps stabilize the oven's temperature and guard against fluctuations.
My only problem is getting the pizza from the peel onto the stone. I had horrible troubles with it sticking (that's why it's so mis-shapen!). I put 2 tbsp of cornmeal on the peel and flourered it plenty but it still stuck. I came pretty close to all the toppings sliding off into the oven but somehow managed to wiggle the whole pizza safely onto the stone. Any tips for me? Maybe I just need practice?
Chicken Alfredo Pizza
adapted from Emeril Lagasse
1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2-3 heads roasted garlic
2-3 tbsp cornmeal, for sprinkling
1 large unbaked pizza crust
8 oz. mozzarella, grated
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 chicken breast, grilled
5 Sliced mushrooms, sautéed
1. Warm milk to room temperature. In a separate saucepan, melt butter. When foam subsides, add flour and stir until smooth. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring. Do not allow flour to color. Gradually add the warm milk, whisking to combine. Add the salt and cayenne and increase the heat to medium. Cook whisking continuously, until the sauce comes to a boil and is thickened. Remove from heat and add half of the roasted garlic cloves. Pour into a blender, cover tightly, and process until smooth. Set aside to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Sprinkle cornmeal on a baker's peel. Place the rolled out pizza dough on the peel.
3. Spread the cooled sauce over pizza dough, leaving a border. Place half the mozzarella on top of the sauce. Sprinkle the chicken, mushrooms and remaining roasted garlic cloves (whole) over the cheese and top with the rest of the mozzarella. Slide onto pizza stone and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden and cheese is melted and bubbly and golden brown in spots. Remove from the oven and sprinkle chopped herbs over the top.