Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The humble toaster oven (continued) - making pizza

In the last post on the humble toaster oven, I made bread. In this post, I'm going to show you how easy it is to make pizza in whatever size toaster oven you have. If you have a small toaster oven, you can make a small round pizza or medium rectangular pizza. It doesn't matter if you don't have a pizza pan because you can just make one out of some aluminum foil.

The toaster oven I used to make pizza was the GE convection toaster oven that I got from the Goodwill. The pan that I used barely fit in there so I would probably use a slightly smaller pan or a rectangular pan the next time. To make this pizza a little healthier, I used a bean and tomato sauce puree instead of a regular tomato sauce. The advantages of doing this was that I could use up my leftover red beans, get some extra protein in my pizza without adding meat, and the bean puree was less watery than tomato sauce. If you've ever made homemade pizza and ended up with a soggy crust, it was probably because you put too much tomato sauce on it. The bean tomato puree had just enough moisture in it to moisten my dried mushrooms, which were the main topping on the pizza.

bean tomato puree (use blender to puree cooked beans and tomato sauce)
minced garlic
dried mushrooms
grated swiss cheese
tomato sauce (for the smiley face)
olive oil (so the dough didn't stick to the pan)
Pizza about to get baked
This is what it looks like when it's done.
The dough was from Oggi Gourmet in Harvard Square. Their dough is much better than mine. The bean puree was actually very good on the pizza! Initially, I put it on there just because I was trying to put more beans in my diet and wanted to create a less watery sauce but it also adds another layer of texture to the pizza. I'd put it on pizza again just because it tastes (and feels) good. The dried mushrooms were more flavorful than fresh mushrooms and had a nice earthy flavor. However, I dried those mushrooms in a dehydrator, which means that they might not be as dry as the shitake mushrooms at the Chinese supermarkets. If you want to try adding dried mushrooms, it might be a good idea to soak them for at least 15 minutes before putting them on the pizza.
Here's a video showing the baking process:

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