Last night saw another pizza Margherita from my kitchen. On a quest to improve what’s already a good pizza, I keep trying different flours, kneading times, cook times, and the like. Yesterday’s attempt involved a change of ovens.

For quite some time now, I’ve been relying on my Breville Smart Oven for baking pizza. It does a very good job, especially with the help of a pizza stone. But the more I read on the subject, I’m finding that cooking temperature plays a key role. Every pizza enthusiast dreams of having a wood-burning oven that can reach an ideal temperature between 700°F to 750°F; but for most of us having one will more than likely only remain a dream.

Before baking

Before baking

So last night, following my favorite pizza recipe from Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s The Italian Country Table, I used the lowest shelf of my oven with a pizza stone and baked the pizza at 500°F. The higher temp made a difference not only in the cooking time, but in the texture of the dough. The cooking time was reduced by 5 minutes and the dough definitely had more chew.

What I’m looking for now is more height to the pizza, those “bubbles” in the crust that you get from cooking in a wood-burning oven. If any of you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Here’s a link to the Pizza Recipe.

Wine Pairing: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo