Country Vs City – Pizza Margherita

Can you make as good of a meal with ingredients sourced from the country as you can with all the ingredients available in the city? A way to test that idea is to take a talented cook that lives in the city and challenge them to a cook-off. That is just what we did. Every few weeks we will put our cooking skills and country items to the test; seeing if we can make a meal that is as good as what our cousin Kim can make with what she can get in the city.

We will use as many ingredients as possible that we grow or forage ourselves depending on the season. For the items we cannot grow or forage we will try to obtain them as local as possible and we will let you know when we can’t. That being said, there is only one rule: stay true to the example recipe that will be posted on our shared Pinterest board: Country vs City.

After the cooking has been completed and tasted, we will write a blog post about the how it turned out and how it tasted. Then we will ask you to vote on the meals based on two categories: which one you’d rather eat and which one you’d rather make. The winner will then choose our next dish.

We thought that we’d start it off with something simple: Pizza Margherita.

COUNTRY

For us, Pizza Margherita turned out to be anything but simple. Of course we decided to create the pizza from scratch. We knew we would make the crust from scratch and debated making the cheese, but when we saw Kim posting cheese making recipes on the Pinterest board (turns out she was just psyching us out) we knew we had to go for it. The cheese turned out to be the hardest part. First we tried making mozzarella with goat’s milk as that would be the first milk producing animal on the homestead. That was a complete failure. Next we tried locally sourced, organic, cow milk. That turned out better, but we only had a litre of milk which produced only enough cheese for one pizza. We burned that pizza! Attempt number 3 we bought a whole gallon of milk, tried a different recipe for the cheese, and FINALLY we got a pizza worth competing with. We still need to work on our cheese making skills though.

We have included the detailed instructions/ingredients in a different post as they are too long to put here: Pizza Margherita

For this recipe we had to go to the city to get the rennet to make the cheese, we couldn’t find rennet anywhere so we ended up buying a cheese making kit with rennet, citric acid, and cheese salt at Peavey Mart. We did find instructions to make vegetable rennet using thistle stamens but we will have to try that out in the summer. We grew and canned our own tomatoes and we grew the basil. The rest of the ingredients (other than the milk) we had around the house because we bought them in bulk at the local grocery store.

Verdict

The pizza tasted amazing, we rate it 8.5/10 for presentation and taste. Having basil picked right off the plant was so much more important for flavour than you might think. Since this was a Margherita pizza we stuck with just stewed tomatoes for the sauce, we wont start doing that for all our pizzas but for this type of pizza it definitely worked. We are thin crust lovers, so the extra thin crispy crust really worked for us here, however, the extra time/effort it took to make this crust recipe over our tried and true pizza dough recipe wasn’t worth it. The cheese tasted great and was super melty. We would definitely make this again and we would make it from scratch. We think the extra wait makes food taste better, but we are also the type of people to eat really late at night.

CITY

Here comes City!!!
I purchased:

Rich’s Della Suprema Pizza Dough (frozen)
Calbani Mozzarella Fresca
Primo Pizza Sauce Traditional
Fresh Basil

I thawed my dough overnight then let rest for 30 minutes. Then I dusted and rolled the dough out and pricked it with a fork. It then said to either oil crust or cover with plastic wrap. I took the easy way out. Then according to directions, let rest for 1 to 2 hours. I chose 1 hour. It is Wednesday at 430 after all.

During the rest time my stone was in the oven for 45 minutes at 450F.

I then oiled the crust, added sauce and the cheese. I omitted salt as I am sure the sauce has enough in it for our daily intake. I then oiled lightly again. Cooked for 15 minutes according to the frozen dough instructions ~ keeping an eye on it at all times. Then continued for another 4 minutes until bubbly and the crust looked nice.

Verdict

Crust: was too thick in the center but such a nice crispy and chewy crust. Next time I would roll out a little more. I will NEVER make my own. This was too easy. And on a weeknight? Yah!!!

I would have salted it. Or just added some salt on the crust.

Sauce: I would rather make my own sauce because as I thought…too high salt content. I would have added more mozzarella although at the time, I thought I had too much. Especially when it was cooking and all blended together. I would have added another 2 or 3 slices. More basil for sure.

I rate it a solid 8 out of 10 for presentation and taste. My son Danny rated it an 7 for presentation and taste but didn’t like the thickness in the middle of the pizza. My husband Jeff gave it an 8 for presentation and taste. Said there was nothing wrong with it. (Then why wasn’t the rating higher????).  Danny prefers pepperoni pizza but his opinion doesn’t count 😀

Overall ~ I will make this pizza again and I will use store bought crust again for sure as well as the fresh mozzarella cheese. I will make my own sauce and roll out thinner.

Follow our shared Pinterest board to see the what pins we found helpful in researching/making these pizzas and to see what recipe is next.

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