Pizza was created by the Italians—or maybe by the Greeks, who brought it to Naples– or maybe… One thing we do know definitively about pizza – its been warmly adopted by Americans. We boast an abundant number of pizzatarians that eat it for lunch, dinner, even for breakfast (usually cold, after a long night) or dessert. It’s a source of regional pride (New York Thin Crust vs. Chicago Deep Dish) and a slice of our salad bowl culture (just check out the topping suggestions below). In our recent Fearless Flyer – Out Of This World Pizza Edition – we give this baked pie its due & call out to the creative craft-your-own-za culture with a few pizza plan-o-grams. As these make-it-yourself maps illustrate, the crust is the crux. It defines the style and sets the stage. So before you get cooking, consider the character of your crust...
The naan-traditional approach – for those who play it loose and romantic.
These tear-drop-shaped, Indian-style, oven-baked frozen flatbreads have a soft, pillowy center with just the right chew and a whisper of flaky crispiness across their exterior.Each top-and-heat Naan makes a perfect personal pizza for hearty appetites or a nice-to-share-for-two, tapa-style pie. A natural canvas for Indian toppings – Palak Paneer, Masala Simmer Sauce – it’s just as welcoming to Marinara & Mozzarella, Prosciutto, Arugula & Shaved Parmesan, or all of the above & then some (see below).
Tip: Warm Naan in the oven (400º for 5-10 minutes) before topping.
The tabula rasa approach, for those who prefer a primed canvas on which to go crazy.
Expertly crafted (in Italy), perfectly pie-shaped, pre-rolled and par-baked, these individually wrapped frozen crusts offer pizza-making ease and control. Plus, they are organic. When baked, the center maintains a tender bite while the cornicione (“end crust”) puff up with agreeable crunch. This is a gather-the-friends-or-family pie – each crust (2 per package) serves four generously and eight lightly. Boasting a sophisticated profile, you could get fancy on top. (Or not.)
Tip: Bring Organic Pizza Crust to room temperature before topping. Before you start topping, brush the crust with olive oil to accentuate the crunch and add a golden sheen.
The almost-from-scratch approach, for those who favor spontaneity and knead to get their hands in it.
Made daily, just for us, this fresh dough is soft, pliable and ready to roll. Or stretch. But first, let it warm up to room temperature, so that you can really bend it to your will (on a lightly floured surface). Make it round, make it rectangular, fold it over… the dough is yours to shape. Regardless of the figure, the character is rustic – really “homemade” in feel. Make it even more personal with your choice of toppings – from the sweet (Cocoa Almond Spread & berries) to the meat (see below). Enough for a large pizza that’ll serve 6-8, it’s ready to receive your signature. Bake it, Grill it, pull out the stone…
Tip: Let dough warm up (about 30 minutes) before handling. If the dough is resistant to stretching, let it rest 5 to 10 minutes, then try again.
The persona-pizza-in-the-palm-of-your-hand approach, for the kid in everyone.
Doughnut-shaped, with dense and chewy crumb, bagels were built to go places. Boiled before being baked, they have a shiny, chewy crust that makes them fitting crust – for pizza, that is. Slice them, stare down the hole and plot your topping strategy. Go around it. Go over it. Go through it? Bagel Pizzas are fun by nature, so just go for it! Each bagel half is ideally sized for snacking. A whole, halved (with two holes) is perfectly portioned for a meal. Especially when you pile it on with… (see below).
Tip: Thin crust pizza bagels? Well, yeah. Slice the bagels horizontally into thirds or quarters, instead of halves.