It was nearly a year ago when I first heard of the crazy pizza dude. I was visiting my brother. We were talking homemade bread when he mentioned this blogger that was psycho about making the perfect pizza. The guy had to be crazy; he had overridden the safety devices on his kitchen stove so that he could cook at extreme, oven cleaning, kind of temperatures. It was an interesting story but I was into making the perfect bread and never checked the story out further.
Then last December I burned a couple weeks of vacation and spent my time having a frugal staycation. A lot of time was dedicated to the ongoing bread making efforts, but I also decided to experiment. Inspired by a random comment from Craig at MoneyHelpforChristians we took a basic dough recipe and applied my usual chaotic charm and “a few” added seasonings. For a little more than $2.00 per person we had a better than most delivery pizzas pizza!
With all due respect to the hard working delivery dudes, I knew that I would not be ordering a pizza again.
Our first effort was surprisingly good. Not just because it is amazing that anything I cook is edible, this pizza , the crust and the flavor, were all decent. Admittedly not great, but better than anything from our local chain restaurants.
That quickly I had forgotten the bread and was now focused on improving the pizza. For the cost of one delivery pizza I had a baking stone and new pizza peel (the big wooden spatula) ready for cooking. Since the holidays, I have made over a dozen pizzas. Each time the dough is a little better, the pizza a little tastier.
Last week on a business trip in I met another pizza making hobbyist. Over a business lunch we swapped tips, recipes and war stories about crusts gone wrong. And then he too talked about some crazy guy making pizza in a jury rigged oven! Two different people, in two different states both inspired by the same lunatic? I had to see it.
When I found and reviewed the crazy guys website, I was impressed. This was not average DIY’er trying to save a dime, this was a hard-core pizza loving genius. But wait, there is more… crazy guy has taken his pizza public! He has a restaurant in Atlanta. Lucky me just happened to be two days away from a flight into the lovely state of Georgia!
One bite was all it took to know that all of my effort, my personalized recipe, the notes I had captured to write a blog post, for you, about how to make the perfect homemade pizza was a total waste. After eating a piece of pie from Varasano’s, mine will never stack up! ….. errr with the exception of cost!
Would you be interested in making your own pizza from scratch? Then take advice from Varasano. Here is his pizza recipe!
If you happen to be in Atlanta, it is worth the stop. It is a clean and modern joint on the ground floor of a large apartment building. Free parking is in the rear and the service was very good. Though I was a little disappointed that Varasano was not willing to share a little starter dough with me, I’ll still go back given the opportunity.
Readers: Does anyone know how to bypass the oven cleaning lock-out?
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