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Pie Shots

Pizza is one of humanity’s most perfect foods.  It’s delicious, flexible and easy to make.  Luckily for those like me who want to create photo-heavy blog posts about it pizza has nothing to hide.  Here are some pictures of my favourite pizzas from the first month and a half of wood-fired oven cooking in the backyard at our cottage.

The top photo is the first pizza out of the oven.  Tomato sauce, cheese, basil and maybe a little olive oil.  A simple Margherita pizza.  Most times when I’ve made pizza in the oven I make this the first topping combination of each round.  It’s a little jarring for some but this minimalist combination helps introduce the idea that pizza really is about the bread phase.  As you can tell I like my basil added after cooking if it’s the leaves going on but I sometimes put basil oil on the raw concoction.

Pizza and a roaring fire

An active fire is important for creating enough turbulent hot air to cook the cheese, toppings, and top of the crust.  The one here is probably a bit too vigorous and I could have waited another ten to fifteen minutes or so before sliding in this pie.

Chef's Choice Pizza

This is not the prettiest picture or the best-looking pie but this is one of my favourite pizzas so far.  We made pizza for Alex’s birthday in August and this was the chef’s choice pizza that I produced after we were finished slinging dough for the masses.  Olive oil, blue cheese, wild boar cheeks confit (homemade with the cheeks from Perth Pork Products) and balsamic tarragon cherries.  Absolutely amazing.

Pizza with homemade cheese

Another Margherita but this one has some of my first attempt at homemade mozzarella.  Getting the texture just right is difficult and this batch ended up as a sort of cross between ricotta and mozzarella.

Tough types of pizza dough

If pizza is all about the dough, the dough is all about the flour.  For one of our pizza parties I made two versions of my pizza dough recipe (borrowed and adapted from Peter Reinhart) one with imported Italian 00 white pizza flour and one with my preferred mix of whole wheat and white.  I can’t say there was a clear winner and the whole wheat definitely held its own when meaty, full-flavoured toppings were at the forefront.

Meaty toppings

A little bit of each of these went on my Meat Lovers’ Pizza for Those Who Actually Love Meat pizza.  Starting at three o’clock and moving clockwise they are home cured pancetta, double-smoked bacon from the meat vendor at North York Farmers’ Market, Black Hoof n’duja, the confit  boar cheeks, and a spicy Hungarian salami from the meat vendor.

Night pie

Except for the mushrooms and tomatoes I’m not really sure what is on this one but I remember it tasted good enough that I thought it deserved a photo.

Vegetables manage to sneak onto some pies.

More of the tasty n’duja from the Black Hoof, red onions, and garden zucchini on this one.  The black, metal pizza tray is obviously just for serving purposes.  The pizza is cooked directly on the oven floor.

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6 Comments

  1. Jess Bennett says:

    These pie shots are UNBELIEVEABLE. I cannot believe what a feat this oven is nor how extraordinarily delicious that ‘za looks.

  2. CallieK says:

    Wow, those looks so good I’m drooling. How does one get an invite to one of your pizza parties?

  3. I can almost smell ‘em!

  4. foodwithlegs says:

    Thanks for the kind words everyone. This really has been a good summer for my pizza making. The catch-22 is that I rarely have a chance to photograph the best pies because making pizzas that are done in a few minutes is so hectic and the best ones are eaten before I can blink.

  5. Bonita says:

    Congrats again on getting that pizza oven up and running this summer. The pizzas are looking fabulous. Envious of all the great pizza you’ll enjoy from now on!

  6. [...] wood oven has been operational since the beginning of August and I’ve turned out a ton of pizzas but–with the exception of three pathetic baguettes–no bread.  This had to change.  [...]

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