September 18, 2005

Deep, Deep, Deep Dish Pizza
entry, September 18th, 2005

Before I regale you with the tale of this weekends' deep dish pizzas, I think you should know that the Webcomics Telethon sponsored by my friends at Blank Label Comics raised around $30,000 in pledged donations. My own contribution can be found here.

And now, pizza.

I spent Friday afternoon planning a deep-dish dutch oven pizza, complete with real yeast-powered pizza crust, extra virgin olive oil ("It's so good, we sacrificed an extra virgin!"), and toppings that required a container the size of my head.

"Link" (my 8-year-old son) and I piled into Turbo Schlock and motored up the canyon. We unloaded onto our campsite, welcomed some friends of ours from church who were just arriving, and then I realized I'd forgotten the container the size of my head.


I still had my pizza dough, but I was missing everything else. I left link in the care of some friends, while I motored back down the canyon to the nearest grocery store (home would have been a 90-minute round-trip away) and paid $20 for a simpler ingredient set. Pepperoni, mushrooms, a big bag o' pre-shredded cheese, bottled spaghetti sauce, and a small bottle of extra virgin olive oil.

I won't bore you with the "how to cook pizza in a dutch oven" details. Suffice it to say it came out very, very tasty. Imagine a 12-inch pizza so thick that it will feed five or six people. Link ate maybe an eighth of it. I had a full quarter. I gave away slices to others in camp, and everyone praised it.

The rest of the camping trip was fun. Link played in the fire. He listened to some Overclocked Remixes on my iPod. We both slept in the tent. I woke up in less pain than the last time I did this (thanks, no doubt, to the extra padding I brought for my rehabilitating back).

Well, when we got back home I realized I still had some of these grocery store ingredients, and waiting for me in the refrigerator was a container the size of my head. The rest of the family had missed out on deep dish dutch oven pizza, so I figured I'd make another one.

THIS time, however, I made two crusts. One went on the bottom, topped with cheese, sauce, pepperoni, bacon, and more cheese. Then I put on the SECOND crust, and topped it with sauce, mushrooms, olives, onions, pepperoni, and cheese.

It took about 45 minutes to cook, and when it was finished it had risen to almost completely fill that dutch oven. A good lasagna MIGHT be this thick. Sandra loved it. I loved it. The kids complained that it couldn't be picked up and eaten the way pizza is supposed to be. I guess this is what happens when an entire generation is raised on finger-food.