Thursday, April 3, 2008

Brick Oven Pizza at Domaine Deux Zero Trois

A few years ago I made a Syrah wine from grapes grown in the Columbia Gorge. I believe the grapes were from the Seven Hills Vineyard if I remember correctly. In Bordeaux there is a group of small, no actually more like micro wine producers that buy fruit from top vineyards and then make wine in less than "Chateau like" there garden shed or garage. These producers today are referred to as Garagistes. Many of these producers are now considered to be making "cult" wines that some critics and collectors are falling all over to get. While my wine my not get a Robert Parker rating of 97 pts or sell for $230.00 per bottle, it did turn out to be a nice effort and since I made the wine in my garage I joined the brotherhood of small production winemakers world wide. The label I gave that wine was "Domaine Deux Zero Trois". It seemed to make perfect sense, as that is the number of my urban condo unit. So, today anything that is artisan (Wine, vinegar,etc.) that comes from my house gets the "Deux Zero Trois" label.
Last night my son and I decided to have pizza for dinner. I love cooking at home and I am always trying to match or better yet, improve on what I can get in a restaurant. So, last night it was pizza at home.

I love a pizza cooked in a wood fired oven, so for the past year I have been experimenting on how I can get that done at home. Naturally a brick oven and hard wood fire would explain most of this process.

I discovered that while dough is important, the critical factor for wood oven pizza is temperature. Since we don't have a $5,000.00 brick oven in my kitchen the above comment applies.....though through much experimentation and much SWAG applied theory my results are about as close as you can get to a wood burning oven at home.

You need to get a pizza stone and then crank your oven as hot as it will get (500 degrees should work....hey, where is my arm hair?).

You can either make your own pizza dough or your can buy fresh dough at better stores. A one pound package of dough will yield two artisan pizzas. We went to our local deli and got a 1/4 pound each of artisan pepperoni and hot soprosata. Since you are using such a small amount of meat go after the best stuff you can find (quality in, quality out...yada, yada, yada)
Roll out the dough slowly, or.....

if you have the game, go ahead and hand toss the dough to get a 12" diameter shape. (Note: If you really think this is me tossing this dough, I have some land for sale in Florida we need to talk about).

When your oven has been up to temperature for 20 minutes or so it is time to begin. Throw a scant amount of coarse cornmeal onto the pizza stone and then place the dough on the hot stone. Shut the oven door and then check on the dough in a minute or so.

You will see the dough forming the crust and starting to bubble. Take a fork and puncture these bubbles-otherwise you are going to have a dough balloon in your oven.
Shut the door and let the crust go for 4-6 minutes-basically until the crust is firm, but flexible.
Pull out the crust and place it on a cooling rack.

Top with a Tomato marinara, a bit of mozzarella and a tiny amount of Parmesan. Top with your meat and you are ready to go.

Place the pizza back in the oven for 4 minutes, pull and cool on the rack for a couple of minutes, cut and serve. This is about as close as you can get to a brick oven pizza at home. The crust is almost cracker thin and the edges nicely brown and crisp and this kicks the crap out of DiGiorno's any day!