Holy smokes Batman! I've finally done it!
After Pizza 1.1, the only improvement I wanted to make was to bring-out more of the cheese flavour in the cheese-stuffed-crust (previously it was overwhelmed by the taste of the herb-infused base which was too thick around the crust), and with Pizza 1.2, which I made over this weekend, that cheese flavour really came out to play.
The first thing I did different this time was to make the bread around the crust thinner; that was easy since all I had to do was roll-out the edges until you could almost feed it to your printer. The next thing I did was a suggestion from amazing-baking girl: add to the mozzarella that would go into the crust, a more aromatic cheese like parmesan since mozzarella by itself is typically quite plain in taste.
Now, if you've been following the evolution of this experimental pizza from Pizza 1.0 up to now, this whole thing is turning-out to be less about making pizza and more of an exercise in buying cheese! I already use cheddar as a base for the toppings since it's the jack-of-all-trades cheese that I keep in the fridge for everything from toasted sandwiches to nachos. With Pizza 1.1 I added mozzarella to my arsenal since it has that elastic texture that I normally associate with cheesey-crust pizzas. With this latest incarnation, I went and bought a block of parmesan.
So that's 3 different cheeses, each of them about the same price for an increasingly smaller amount of cheese: the cheddar I get in 500g/1kg blocks, the mozarella came in a roughly 250g 'block' (it's more of a quantum sponge though, given its uncanny ability to change shape when you pick it up), and as for the parmesan, I don't even know how little of it I got, but it's roughly the same size/weight as my mp3 player which is neither large nor heavy.
Regardless, I made the pizza with all of those little improvements.
I scaled most of the recipe down this time so I could use the smaller circular pan. I say 'most' because I made the rookie mistake of not reducing the amount of flour I use in the base to match... whoops. When I placed the base in the pan and removed the excess (which I normally use to make something resembling a snow man), I found I had enough of it to give Pizza 1.2 a little brother: a small Hawaiian pizza.
Both those pizzas went into the oven. When I checked-up on them the first time, the opening of the oven released that wonderful pizza smell that lingered in my apartment (since the initial chills indicative of the coming winter mean I keep many of my windows closed) and stuck to my clothes. They also fogged-up my glasses which I had on at the time, causing temporary blindness and swearing.
After more intermittent checking-up on the pizza and more loss of sight and shouting expletives at things I couldn't see, I finally got to sit-down and eat.
The result: everything I hoped for.
My brother was able to eat the leftovers when he came by later that night. He left the following comment to my latest pizza-related tweet / Facebook status:
This was a triumph.
I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.
It's hard to overstate my satisfaction :)