There's a pizzeria in New Haven, CT (thanks to the commenter who alerted me to my mistake :) ) Frank Pepe's, which many food guides and food writers have designated as the “best pizza in the country,” There's a place called Sally's down the street that many people state is even better than Pepe's. A pizza trip down to Hartford has been on my list of things to do for a while now (in the name of science, of course) and I thought this would be the weekend. However R wanted to work on the retaining wall (it's almost finished!!!) and didn't want to spend hours in the car, so instead Amy and Justin came over and we made pizzas with 4 different kinds of pre-made dough: Shaw's, Trader Joe's regular and garlic herb, and a whole wheat dough from Capone's.
Making your own pizza is fun, and it can be as simple as sauce and cheese, or you can go wild with toppings. Here's the list of toppings Amy and I assembled:
Pepperoni, sweet Italian sausage, fresh basil, toasted garlic in oil, olives, mushrooms, eggplant, mozzarella, Mexican cheese blend, Romano, ricotta, fresh tomato slices. Basically anything you find in your fridge or pantry will work.
We made 6 medium sized pizzas with all different combinations. My favorite was the sausage, olive, mozzarella and ricotta. I think the most important thing is having a pizza stone, and preheat your oven for at least 30 minutes before to the highest temp it will go (mine goes to 550 degrees).
R also decided it would be a good idea to have a dessert pizza, so we made one that was half peaches, ricotta, honey, cinnamon, sugar and graham cracker crumble, and covered the other half in peanut butter and chocolate. The chocolate did not work at all, the high temp of the oven burnt the chocolate. The peach side was. . . okay. Let's just say it was edible.
So the verdict of the dough smackdown? It was a tie, half of us liked the Capone's while the other half preferred the Shaw's. I think if Capone's had been white flour instead of whole wheat it would have won hands down. TJ's garlic dough came in last.