Tuesday 11 December 2018

Making My Own Pizza at Firecrust Pizzeria

Italian food is beloved by all and it is easy to understand why. Nothing is more revered and equally loved worldwide as their glorious pizza. It is delicious, simple and customizable to everyone's liking. Firecrust Pizzeria on Davie Street invited your girl to come and try her hand at making pizza. Of course I said yes! 

Firecrust Pizzeria is inspired by the Naples region of Italy aka the Neapolitan Pizza. We have all heard about the Neapolitan style pizza, in fact it is essentially a buzzword for pizzas. For a pizza to be considered a true Neapolitan, it needs to adhere to a strict set of rules. One of those rules being all Neapolitan pizzas must be cooked in a wood-fired oven and the toppings must be sourced from the Campania regions of Italy. These are two of the biggest rules that often disqualify pizzerias from the Neapolitan designation and to no one's surprise, essentially no pizzeria in Vancouver meets these rules. I really wanted to make this distinction clear; however, Firecrust Pizzeria has done a phenomenal job at paying homage to the Neapolitan Pizza. 

The dough at Firecrust is kneaded from a non-GMO 00 flour which is then given a luscious coating of their rich red sauce which is made with canned Italian tomatoes. I live for a good red sauce and Firecrust makes one heck of a tomato sauce and needs to sell that stuff in a jar. Hint hint - send me a jar of your sauce please!!! They do sell the canned san marzano tomatoes, their dough and extra virgin olive oil, basically all the essentials for a cute date night at home. If you are are gluten-free, you will be happy to know Firecrust has you covered too!

I did not have to knead the dough from scratch, but I was tasked with stretching and shaping the dough ball into a pizza. Not to brag, but I was actually pretty darn good at it. Some might even question my ethnicity because could it be that I am part Italian? I would say pizza dough is adult slime because I could have stood there all day stretching, pulling and shaping it. 

For my sauce I made a creamy tomato by mixing the alfredo with the red sauce. I soon regretted this because I did it to be different; however, I love red tomato sauce so why did I dilute it with the cream sauce. My need to always be weird and different gah. 

You might be thinking that I got to go toppings crazy only because I was there as part of a media event. Well you are wrong. I did get unlimited toppings, but so can you! Unlike most pizzerias where they charge you per topping and before you know it your pizza is costing an arm and a leg, so you are forced to settle for two toppings. 

Firecrust Pizzeria stands out for me amongst the other pizza parlours in Vancouver because at Firecrust you get unlimited toppings at an affordable fixed price of $11.95. The only exception is the prosciutto which is an additional $3. They also a variety of vegan "meats" such as sausage and chicken. I tasted them and I think its some sort of marinated tofu. I enjoyed it. 

When it came to the toppings, I did not hold back. Lots of roasted red peppers, garlic marinated mushrooms, pineapple, ham, fresh spinach and even some of their vegan chicken. I tried to arrange them artistically. I used the roasted red peppers to make a big "G" and a scalloped border and placed the other toppings accordingly; however, it did not really work out too well because the spinach covered my hard work. 

Up until now, making the pizza was fun and easy. Cooking the pizza in their massive tiled oven is when things got a bit tricky. The oven is VERY hot, so as soon as the pizza hits the surface, it begins to cook. It almost feels like a high-stakes game because the pizza is going to cook within 45 to 60 seconds. You need to really focus and pay attention to the bubbling and blistering of the dough. Burning the pizza was the least of my worries because I managed to tear the middle of my dough when I was trying to slide the pizza off of the paddle and into the oven. Luckily Firecrust's staff was standing by to help me out. Before pulling the pizza out, you want to lift the pie to the ceiling of the oven to give it a final cook on the top before pulling it out and onto a plate. 

Apart from the massive tear in the middle, my pizza tasted phenomenal. Also, you cannot even see the tear because all the toppings just covered it up. The crust was thin and great elasticity and chew. The red tomato sauce had bold flavour and the toppings were fresh. My pizza also cooks within a minute unlike the conventional pizza which takes on average 15 minutes to cook. 

I whole heartedly recommend Firecrust Pizzeria and it is not often that a restaurant or casual fast dining restaurant impresses me! My only complaint is that their closest location to me is in Downtown Vancouver. Firecrust you need to open up a pizzeria in Richmond immediately! 

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