Curious Kitchen: Getting a pizza the action

When asked what their favorite food is, it seems that a huge number of people answer “pizza.” If you are one of those people, then boy is this column for you. Luckily enough, minus making the dough at home, pizza really isn’t a difficult endeavor. Speaking very frankly, making your own dough is a process that I would not recommend unless you have several hours that need wasting. If I were you, I’d buy dough or a pre-made crust.

For the pizza I created, I used sausage, mushrooms and arugula on a whole-wheat crust I made by hand.

Now be warned – pizza is a deceptive mistress. How simple it seems can lead to simple mistakes, like forgetting to start making your pizza on a cookie sheet rather than the counter, or not preparing your ingredients correctly. For instance, your first step should be sweating your vegetables.

Veggies have a ton of moisture, so you will need pre-cook them so they don’t release water on your pizza. Chop them up into small bits, which helps you get all that goodness into each bite.

Step two is essentially the only other step. Throw the whole thing in the oven at 425 degrees near the center rack, and wait until the crust and cheese are the consistency you want them to be.

Now, beware. The edges of a pizza can look done while the center is still undercooked. What I recommend to avoid this goopy mess of dough and sadness is to bake your crust for about ten minutes before you put the rest of your toppings on.

Of the meals I’ve offered so far, this is the only one that can be easily converted to breakfast, lunch, dinner or even dessert.

For a good breakfast combination, slap some scrambled eggs, cheese and the meat or veggie of your choice onto the dough. Bam, you’ve got an easy breakfast. Need lunch or dinner? That’s even easier. Pizza is essentially the same thing for both of these meals. Here’s where you can get crazy. Combinations of food that would normally turn a stomach can become beautiful works of art when combined with dough and tomato sauce.

Dessert is easily the most fun to create. Start by using sugar cookie dough as a base and slather on the heart-attack inducing goodness. Cover that canvas in chocolate, nuts, marshmallows, and gummy worms, whatever – I’m not here to judge you. For all I care, show your doctor what you’ve made. If he cries, you’re doing something right. Eat this with both of your hands like hungry bear. You can also opt for plates and silverware, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Making your own pizza is pure liberation, not to mention much cheaper than ordering a pizza and having it delivered to your house by a teenager in a 1998 Toyota Celica. I now challenge you to go forth and create your own pizza.