Today, I baked a pie. Okay, a pizza pie: The Pitch-Perfect Pizza, which was in The Blue Bloods Cookbook. I got this eBook the day it came out and I bookmarked some recipes I was interested in, but never got around to it (or at least my courage never did). The moment I saw the photo of their pizza though, I knew I wanted to make it first. It just looked a little to tough for me, but I guess I just wasn’t reading the instructions carefully enough. I just took it step by step though and voilà. It’s cooking in the oven as we speak so I don’t have a photo for you yet, but as soon as it’s out, I’m snapping a pic! My parents are watching every move I make though. I guess they’re that hungry now, which is expected. The longer you take getting dinner ready, the more they want to eat. No worries. It only gets 12 minutes’ oven time.
Well…here’s the finished product:
And here’s what it’s supposed to look like:
It’s okay, you can laugh. My dad really likes cheese so he had me put extra on his half of the pizza. The way it looked in the oven though, it was burning instead of bubbling, so with three minutes left on the clock, my mom placed it in the bottom rack instead because it was apparently too close to the heat source.
Well, it’s edible at least; you can’t taste the burn, so it just looks ugly. We’re all eating it and there are no complaints about the taste at least. I can’t help but think the crust of the crust is too hard though. I know part of the reason is, you know, overcooking, but I’m wondering if there’s a way to make it softer. I also want more crust, so I’ll see if I can add more dough next time.
I peeled off the burnt layer of cheese and actually saw evidence of bubbling. So that’s a good note for next time: even if the rack is at the center of the oven, it’s too close. My guess is putting it at the bottom of the oven is a safe place?
I also tried substituting bay leaves for basil leaves. Yeah, they’re not the same. I just couldn’t bite through the bay leaf.
Oh, also I made a huge variation from the original recipe: it was written for two pizzas, but that’s too much for just three people so I made one. That means cutting each ingredient down by half, which I expected to forget. In fact, as I was going downstairs to start the process, I literally thought to myself, I just know I’m going to forget dividing by half and end up giving my pizza double what it needs. There’s gonna be at least one ingredient where that happens. Of course, there were several near-mistakes, but other than that, my measurements were perfect. (Pitch perfect. Okay, I’m sorry.) It was just. The. Placement. In. The oven. That was all…I screwed up.
Wait, were those supposed to be fresh basil leaves? I thought that was spinach. I looked next to the “bay leaves” in the spice aisle at the store…oh… See? Lots to learn.
The biggest struggle was also transferring from the floured surface to the pizza pan since the flour was still so delicate. I think it wasn’t listed as a warning because they assumed we had one of those large, wooden-spoon-like doodads that the professionals use. I don’t know, man. But we ended up having to flip over the pizza because I was using Saran wrap anyway for the floured surface so I didn’t make too big of a mess on the marble island. We placed another piece of Saran wrap on top and then quickly flipped it onto one pizza pan and then used the other to again, flip it back right-side up. Yeah, that wasn’t my idea. I was hoping I could just use my hands to transfer it. That dough, though…
Oh, I was also supposed to place the dough “in a warm spot” before I had to roll it up and flatten it. I forgot about that…but is that significant though? It actually didn’t rise at the beginning. More than halfway through the wait, I realized this, so I paused the timer and actually coated the entire thing in oil (before, all I did was place it in the oil) and I was sort of surprised that that worked. Nobody said anything about coating it with oil, okay? Just to put the oil in the bowl and then the dough. So I guess it was just sitting there. Not rising.
Almost forgot: I also prepped the ingredients more. Before officially starting on the sauce, I knew I needed minced onion and garlic, so I did the mincing before hand since I knew that’d take time, and set them in their own tiny containers. Just like the pros do it. It turns out, when you use the stove, timing is an issue. So another lesson in the art of cuisine: measure and set out your ingredients beforehand in the order you will be needing them. I suppose you don’t have to set them out in order, but have them out so you’re ready. (If they’re in order, you’d be even more prepared, so I’d still suggest you do that.)
Next time, I’m making it the right way. For one person. One pizza.
I would like to thank Bridget Moynahan and her writing partner, Wendy Howard Goldberg, for publishing this recipe in their book, The Blue Bloods Cookbook.