Pizza is by far my favorite food and it is perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even as a snack. In the last year or so I have dropped cheese from my pizza and while some may think that this is crazy I find that I actually enjoy my pizza even more now. The cheese does not get in the way of the taste of the vegetables that I am piling high onto my slice. In addition to that there is a very good chance that the slice will hold up to my standards of not flopping over. A slice of pizza should be able to be eaten with one hand as you fold it in half and then shovel it down your throat. If I have to cut the slice or bend underneath it to eat it as if I am drinking out of a faucet then there is a problem.
Recently I purchased a new food processor and this one has a dough setting. The previous food processor did not have this setting so when I made my pizza dough I did it by hand in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. This is now so much easier and I have to say that the pizza came out better and the crust was crunchier. The recipe for my pizza dough is below in case you are looking for it.
So with my new fangled food processor I am going on a pizza kick. This past weekend I made a pie with shaved brussels sprouts, mushrooms, asparagus, green and red bell peppers. I made my own marinara as well from crushed tomatoes by Pomi. It was so simple and easy and I am ready to make another pie tomorrow. This time I will have chopped olives, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, garlic and asparagus with the marinara. Talk about getting your vegetables into your diet in a terrific and tasty way.
This got me to thinking about the best pizza I have ever had. Was it at the small pizza joint in Manhattan that was literally one door to walk in straight to the counter, order and walk out because the only thing inside the establishment was the pizza oven. Was it the pizza at an Italian restaurant on 59th Street and the Upper East Side that may not even be there anymore. Then I thought what does make a great slice of pizza and here are my rules:
- Thin crust that does not flop over when you lift it up.
- An air bubble so big that you are destined to poke it and release the steam.
- Fresh ingredients with not a lot of red sauce so that I can taste the toppings and not the sauce or the cheese.
- Garlic. The garlic must be present and not some sort of faint flavor in the background.
Then I remembered that I had seen a presentation from The Daily Meal with the 35 Best Pizzas in America. The pizzas on this slide show look so good I could eat my laptop. I have had the fortune to eat at Fireside Pies here in Dallas and I will say that it is top-notch, but it is not my favorite pizza joint in Dallas. That award goes to Coal Vines at the Shops of Legacy in Plano, Texas. Top notch food, with top-notch service. My second favorite pizza place in this area is Sauce in McKinney, Texas and that may be because of their polenta cakes with mushrooms and balsamic reduction.
Either way your slice it Pizza is the best food as a meal any time of the day or as a snack.
Have You Eaten At Any Of The Places On The List?
What Is Your Favorite Pizza Place In Your Locale?
Pizza Dough Recipe:
Ingredients: 1 Packet Yeast, 3/4c Warm Water (110*-115*), 1 1/4c Whole Wheat Flour, 1 Tbsp Honey, 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Place yeast in large bowl and pour water over top.
- Pour honey into yeast/water while whisking.
- Allow yeast to do its magic for about 10 minutes. It will be nice and frothy and have a nutty scent to it.
- In 1/4c increments pour in flour and combine until a dough is formed.
- In a separate bowl pour in 1 Tbsp olive oil and coast entire bowl.
- Transfer dough to oiled bowl, cover with towel and allow to proof for 4 hours on the counter at room temperature.
- Pre-heat oven to 405* with pizza stone in oven during the pre-heating.
- Remove dough from blow and roll out on lightly dusted surface. Crimp edges to create a crust.
- Remove pizza stone from oven and sprinkle cornmeal onto pizza stone.
- Slide crust onto the pizza stone and add toppings.
- Place pizza into oven for 12-15 minutes.