It’s so easy to make pizza at home! Just follow these five steps:
1. Toppings First: In the weeks before your partner’s birthday, panic about gifts. Use this photo of him as a suggested gift list. Plot a subway course around town to all the places with the best dried meats, then wrap them in a box and hope the cats won’t smell through it. When they start sniffing too much, present the gift. Helpfully assist with the gift by sampling the assorted sausages, deciding on the two that would be best on pizza: pepperoni from Salumeria Biellese, which happens to be the pepperoni you’d just had on pizza at the Margot’s pop-up, and sweet soppressata from Brooklyn Cured, which sets up a table at the farmers’ market on 5th Avenue in Park Slope. Think about pizza all week.
2. Other Supplies: Buy dough from the local pizzeria; if you ask at one and they won’t sell it to you (around $4, plus or minus a buck), never eat their lousy pizza again (ahem). Buy a square of mozzarella cheese (the fresh stuff is great for snacking, but too wet for pizza) when it’s on sale, then put it in the freezer. It’s so easy to grate when it’s still mostly frozen! Also in the freezer: a small container of tomato sauce that you made, possibly in September but you forgot to write the date, with some of the last CSA tomatoes — I’m sure it’s still fiiiine.
3. Assembly: Make sure you’ve chosen a partner who has a big stone already installed in his oven, then turn the oven up as high as it’ll go. Check every possible nook, and then stand in the center of the kitchen, puzzled about where a large wooden pizza peel may have hidden itself. Make the large wooden cutting board stand in for the job. Stretch the dough into a perfect circle like the professionals, and ignore those who say it’s actually more of a lumpy oval. Apply the toppings, and watch as they all fall off because the cutting board is more awkward to handle than the peel.
4. Bake: Scrape as much cheese as possible off the oven door, and let the pizza cook — you’ll know it’s done when the smoke alarm sounds.
5. Eat! Lopsided pizza is best with beer. The more slices you eat, the more you’ll understand a universal truth: Soppressata is better than pepperoni on pizza. And that’s not the beer talking.