This is what happens when you get a little overconfident.

It was my second time making a pizza at home. I had the pizza stone in the oven heating up at 500 degrees. I was preparing my dough on the pizza peel (that big wooden board used to slide pizzas in and out of the oven), when things started going wrong.

I was trying out whole wheat dough and I used a little flour to help make it manageable. Stupidly, I did not re-flour the peel before I started topping the pie. I did my usual ritual – a little olive oil, some sauce, fresh mozzarella, a few mushrooms, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of parm – and was ready to throw it in when, whoops … the pizza would not move.

Of course, I panicked. I removed the stone from the oven delicately and placed it on my stove. I tried to flour underneath the pizza by lifting it up like a carpet and chucking some flour underneath. After a lot of back and forth, I managed to push the pizza onto the stone where it immediately began to cook.

Did I mention that it had mutated from a very loose circle to a unbalanced, amoeba-like shape?

After 5 minutes, I looked in on the pie, only to find a gurgling, cheesy mess. I couldn’t tell where the pizza stopped and where the stone began. I panicked again (sense a theme here?) and got the pie out of the oven only to find that it wasn’t cooked. It only looked nice and brown because, duh, it was whole wheat dough.

After slicing it up, I had to throw the slices back onto the stone. When all was said and done, we had a decent-tasting, but odd-looking pizza and a pizza stone that looked like it had barely escaped the Anbar province.

Lesson: when eight thousand pizza people tell you to use cornmeal on the bottom of the dough, listen to them.


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