Serious Eats: Talk

The secrets to heating slices of Safeway pizza.

Safeway has a brand of pizza, "Signature Cafe", which is pre-baked and meant to be simply heated up. It's very fast and

convenient, and pretty good for what it is. It's better if done my way, with crispy crust, chewy inside, and slightly

floppy.

I need just one or two pieces at a time, and I heat them up in a toaster oven. I begin by cutting a 16 inch "family size"

pizza into 12 slices, peeling back the plastic wrapping, adding (Badia brand) crushed red pepper, covering back up with

plastic, and put it in the fridge. It's okay for at least a week.

To fix a piece, I put a pizza stone in my toaster oven and turn it up to its maximum 500 degrees, and let it preheat for 20

minutes (on its "Pizza/bake" setting). My toaster oven is a Cuisinart "TOB-195 Exact Heat Toaster Oven Broiler", and my

stone is one of "Pizzacraft PC0103 7.5" Square Cordierite Mini Baking/Pizza Stones, Set of 4", both from Amazon.

While the stone heats, I slice some pepperoni -- I use "Bridgford Pepperoni, Old World, 16-Ounce Sticks (Pack of 3)", also from Amazon. It needs to be peeled. The slices cup up with charred edges, but it is not very fatty. It's delicious.

I take one or two slices of the pre-cooked pizza out and wet them slightly by sliding the bottoms briefly through a saucer of water and sprinkle some water on the top, also. (This is one of the secrets -- it makes the crust when the pizza is heated up much more like that of a real pizza.) Perhaps I top with some pecorino romano before laying on the pepperoni.

When the 20 minutes are up, I slide the oven tray out to get at the hot stone, sprinkle the stone with cornmeal, and use a spatula to slip the pizza onto the stone.

I close up the oven and cook for 6 and 1/2 minutes. Then the crust should be starting to char a bit at the edges.

I use the spatula to pry the slice(s) off the stone if necessary. It's ready to eat.

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