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The Commandments of Perfect Pizza (reposted from Yahoo Food - March 12, 2009)

Ed Levine of the pizza blog Slice and food blog Serious Eats, has traveled around the world, studying the merits of a great pizza. While eating and loving pizza is a simple act, making a truly excellent one is not. How do you achieve that sacred balance of puffy, chewy crust with oozy cheese and an acidic tomato sauce sweetness? Behold the 6 Commandments of Great Pizza-Making.

1. The Oven: Places that tout "brick" ovens need an extra layer of investigation. Don't fall for a brick facade (they could be faux, or just be a few slapped on to encase the outside). For an oven to reach 800 degrees -- the magical number -- and stay there, it needs to be lined along the top and floor with bricks (and/or stones).

2. The Fuel Source: Coal-fired and wood-fired ovens seem to produce the best charred-to-perfection texture and smoky flavor. Conventional gas ovens linger at 600 degrees (not hot enough).

3. The Crust: A superior crust is neither cracker-thin nor bread-thick. It should be puffy, chewy, pliant, and like a great football defense—able to bend but never break.

4. The Sauce: Uncooked canned tomatoes, specifically from California or Italy, are what you want. After being strained, they just need a touch of salt. Maybe some oregano. Some people throw in sugar, but if the tomatoes are truly fresh, they don't need that nonsense.

5. The Mozzarella: Fresh cow's milk mozzarella will have a clean, milky taste. And how do you know it's fresh? It's white. Aged mozzarella, on the flip side, found at most American pizza joints, is a sort of "pizza yellow."

6. The Toppings: Always fresh. Always worth the extra calories. If all the mushroom slices or sausage pieces look exactly the same, that's a bad sign. Fresh foods don't look cookie-cutter perfect, and in toppings, fresh makes all the difference.

Interesting - link to original article:


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