Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pizza Nights!

As I mentioned in my last post, I dove in & made Beth's Pizza Dough. I loved the fact that I did a little mixing & threw it in the fridge to deal with later. It was not a lot of work & made for a delicious couple dinners.

Saturday Night's Pizza got the full treatment of pics & narration, Monday's you'll just get the highlights

Friday night I mixed up the yeast, flour & water; it did not look like a "lumpy pancake batter" so I added a splash more water. My yeast expired last August (ok, I'm behind on my baking) but it was stored in the freezer, so I decided to go for it & see what would happen.


Saturday night, I pulled out the dough. In my elderly yeast did it's job & my dough rose in the fridge. (Yay!) So I divvied it up to Saturday night dough & Monday night dough & went on about my work.

I started stretching & pulling, going gently & stopping if the dough was cranky. HP asked if I could throw it in the air like real pizza guys. I tried & got a little air, but we'll just leave it that I made a great catch.

I moved my dough to the parchment paper to let it rest & began gathering my toppings. Sauce went first w/ a little cheese mixed in. It was home made from a batch I made a couple months ago. I don't recall the original use for it, but I made plenty. Glad I have pizza recipes to try it out on. Next went the basil, then caramelized onions and (left over) asparagus. It was topped with an Italian cheese blend (yes, the shredded stuff in the dairy section of the grocery store.) and into the oven it went. A few minutes later voilá it was dinner!


Not bad for a first pizza. The dough was a little thick in spots, and the whole thing probably could have benefited from another minute or two in the oven (HP was in charge of pulling things out of the oven on Saturday night and he seems to have been just a tad impatient.) The result was a thick, soft bready dough that tasted great and made a wonderful pizza. HP says the caramelized onions are what made it.


Monday night's pizza was a little less organized. We spent the first half the day at Daddo's house a couple hours ago, then drove home, dropped off The Girl at her mom's house. I knew I had the dough in the fridge & needed to get back to it, so we stopped at the grocery store for our toppings. Mixed mushrooms (shitake, baby bella, oyster & I don't remember what else is in the mix). A sweet onion and some fresh mozzarella balls from the deli. (the little ciglione or however that is spelled).

I pulled the dough out, it had been stored in a ziplock bag, so it seemed to have some bubbles in it, but as I worked it there was no problem. I put the onion & mushrooms on the stove w/a splash of wine & a knob of butter so they could caramelize away while I thawed some sauce, prepared the dough & preheated the oven. Then it dawned on me that I had used the last of the parchment paper on the kringla. Things were not looking good. I don't own a pizza peel, so I was in a bit of a sticky wicket. So I pulled my stone out of the oven & decided that it was going to be made directly on that. I added a little extra olive oil to my dough to avoid sticking, then mixed in some dried Tuscan herbs because it sounded good at the time.

I let the stone cool to a warm, but handleable temperature. I dusted it w/ corn meal and proceeded to stretch my dough on top. I was much more even handed than the first one & got a pretty uniform layer. After it rested, I smeared the dough with sauce, added the sliced mozzarella, next was basil, then the mushrooms & onions and topped with the Italian cheese & into the oven it went. We were a little more patient with the pizza (especially since the stone wasn't oven hot) and didn't retrieve it until everything was bubbling and toasted. The pizza turned out fabulous. The camera was still hidden away, so I didn't get a pic of this one, but it was even better than the first!


And a good dinner was had by all!

4 garnishes:

Sarah Louise April 11, 2007 at 3:59 PM  

When are you coming to my kitchen? I'm getting pretty hungry reading about all this good food...

SL

KitchenKiki April 11, 2007 at 9:30 PM  

Umm, all my stuff is in my kitchen. You are welcome any time. We have a guest bedroom and everything.

Snowly April 11, 2007 at 9:41 PM  

wuz up? i love your blog please visit mine and comment

KitchenKiki April 11, 2007 at 10:33 PM  

Welcome Snowly. Look forward to seeing what you write about!
kiki

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