Fast Tip Friday: Microwave Pizza Trick

Pizza Crust Hack 1

I’m sure you’ve seen those “life hacks” all over the internet, and you have realized that most of them are bullpucky. If you look closely, though, you’ll find some gems, and here’s one of them.

Pizza Crust Hack 2

The Pie and I will often make (or buy) a pizza and have the leftovers for lunch the next day. And we have a microwave, so we use it to heat up the slices. The problem is that microwaves are terrible at heating up bread products – they turn the crust all weird and wrinkly and chewy.

Pizza Crust Hack 3

The way to avoid this is to place the pizza slice – uncovered – in the microwave together with a heatproof cup of water and reheat to your heart’s content.

Pizza Crust Hack 4

Tada, no more tough wrinkly crust!

Pizza Crust Hack 5

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O Canada: Moose Pizza

Moose Pizza

Gren killed a moose and was kind enough to share it with us.

Big Game Hunter

Just kidding.  Gren is about the size of a moose’s hoof.  If anyone were to be killed and eaten in that situation it would surely be the tender tasty corgi.  Hell, sometimes *I* want to eat him.  He does look pretty delicious.

Moose Pizza

Fusselette’s dad likes to hunt and fish and as a result we have a pile of fresh-frozen cod and moose roast and moose sausages in our freezer.  This can only mean good things for you, my readers.

In any case, I couldn’t continue my Canadian feature month without including a dish made from Newfoundland’s biggest (and I mean that in more ways than one) pest.  On an island where “Nature comes in extra large,” moose are certainly vermin to be reckoned with.  I had some more to say about moose back when Rusty and Mags were in town.

Moose Pizza

So.  Yes.  We have moose.  We are going to eat it.  When we were in Gros Morne this summer, I had the opportunity to try moose pizza for the first time.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s a Canadian dish, most likely invented right here on the Rock.  Of course, Hawaiian pizza was invented on the Canadian prairies, so who’s to say?

Moose Pizza

First we start with the dough.  For the sake of variety, I’m going to use a different dough recipe than normal.  This one I pulled out of The Joy of Cooking and cut it in half.

Sprinkle 1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast on the surface of a small bowl filled with 2/3 cup warm water.  Let it stand for about 5 minutes, or until the yeast is all dissolved; then you can stir it up.

Moose Pizza

In a larger bowl, mix together 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons sugar.

Moose Pizza

Pour in the yeast and water and stir until all ingredients are completely combined.  Then keep stirring for another minute or so.

Moose Pizza

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes.  You will find you have to add quite a bit more flour in to keep the dough from sticking to the surface.  When the dough is smooth and elastic, transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl.  Roll the ball of dough around in the bowl to make sure all the sides are coated.  Cover it with a clean cloth and leave it somewhere warm for about an hour.

Moose Pizza

Preheat your oven to 475°F and start prepping your toppings.  If you are going to use a pizza stone (like we did) then put your stone onto the rack in the oven when you turn it on, so it can preheat too.

I decided that mushrooms and red onion were a good complement to the moose sausage that was sizzling in a pan.

Moose Pizza

I sliced up the sausage as well, and grated some mozzarella cheese while I was at it.

Moose Pizza

When your dough is ready, flatten it into a pan sprinkled with cornmeal, or, if you’re using a stone, onto a peel or surface covered with parchment paper.  I made a circle out of ours, to match the stone.  Make a slight lip at the edges of the dough to keep stuff from spilling off and press your fingers into the dough to make dimples.  This prevents crust from bubbling up.

Moose Pizza

Brush the surface of the dough with olive oil to prevent it from becoming soggy, and sprinkle with some herbs.  We like herbes de provence in our pizza.

Moose Pizza

Crack open a can of pizza sauce.  We generally use half a can for each pizza.  Smooth that sauce on the dough.

Moose Pizza

Add your ingredients.

Moose Pizza

Don’t forget your mounds and mounds of sausage. There might be a bit too much sausage on this pizza, but what’s done is done.

Moose Pizza

And lots of cheese.

Moose Pizza

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden-brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Slice and serve!

Moose Pizza

I made a pizza. From scratch. In the middle of Gros Morne National Park.

And it worked!  Beat that, Martha!

Flushed with the success of our raspberry orange crumble in the woods, we figured we’d try out one of the recipes in the wee book that came with our Outback Oven and attempt the challenge of making a pizza from scratch while camping.

First we make up the dough.

In a bowl, mix 2 cups flour with 1 packet instant yeast, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 2 teaspoons salt.  I shook in a few teaspoons of grill herb mix (basil, oregano, etc.) from a Coghlan’s spice pack I had on hand.

Pour in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2/3 cup warm water and stir-stir-stir.

Knead that sucker until all the flour is mixed in, about 5 minutes.  If your dough is still sticky, you can add more flour.

Flatten the dough into the bottom of your oven pan, and cover with lid. 

Place somewhere warm to rise for about 15 minutes.  I put mine next to our fire, because it was a chilly afternoon in our shady campsite.

While it was rising, I sliced up 3 cloves garlic, one half tomato (vegetables were hard to find in Gros Morne), some hard salami, and the Pie kindly grated me some cheddar cheese (because that was what we had).

Spread a few drops of olive oil on your risen dough.

Spoon on about 3 tablespoons pizza sauce and spread that around.

Add your toppings.

Then your cheese.

Cover with lid and the parka-tent thing and bake for about 20 minutes.  Keep an eye on it.  You can check the crust by flipping it up, just to keep it from burning.Let it cool a few minutes in the pan or you will burn yourself.

Make sure to slide the pizza out of your nonstick pan before cutting.

The boys and I agreed that this was one of the better pizzas we had eaten recently (and we had recently eaten moose pizza, so that was saying something).

Gren didn’t get any.  Awww …

FLOOR PIZZA

Let this be an example to you people.

Don’t rush things, and be careful in the kitchen.

Or you get FLOOR PIZZA.

The Pie says Floor Pizza is scary because it has a ‘creep face’ on it.  I can see that.

Pizza Pie

My mother thinks the Pie should feature more in this little DIY show.  So here you go.

Chop up some toppings of your choice.

Pizza is one of Pie’s specialties, one he learned from my dad, the self-titled Pizza King.  It’s pretty easy, but the Pizza King will have you believe otherwise.  The other day was date night for us and we needed something that didn’t require a lot of effort and had us out of the house by 6:30.

You take your recipe for Mack Truck Bread and halve it.  When you are in the process of mixing the flour with the water/yeast mixture, add a tablespoon of olive oil.

Leave the dough to rise for an hour in a warm spot.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Spray a pizza pan and flatten your dough a little bit onto the pan.  Let it rise for another 20 minutes or so on the pan, then flatten it outwards so it fills the whole pan.

Sprinkle some herbs on the dough.  I like to put herbes du provence on the dough.  For some reason the lavender makes for a tasty pizza pie.

Open up a 7.5oz (213mL) can of pizza sauce and smear that baby all over your dough.

Arrange upon the pie the toppings of your choice.  Given that we just had Easter, we have a lot of leftover ham, so that’s what we used. We also used onions and mushrooms, a favourite combination according to the Pie.

Top that with some grated mozzarella cheese (in this case we used marble cheddar) and bake for 25 minutes.

Slice it up and serve it hot.  It’s good the next day as well.

That's a biga pizza pie