Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Daring Pizza Story
I feared I wouldn’t be able to complete my challenge due to my wrist surgery (last October 3), but I finally made it (in extremis).
I have no comments on day one, everything went without a hitch. Please refer to my comments on bad Belgian flours, posted at the nonbloggers blog http://daringbakernon-bloggerblog.blogspot.com/ . This time I used French “type 55” flour which is available at my supermarket. I didn’t need to add water or flour, the recipe was just perfect. I did NOT measure the dough’s temperature.
I made half the recipe, which I divided in two parts.
After exactly 24 hours in the fridge, I realised there had been a minor accident: one of the babies had remained partially uncovered for some time, and had therefore dried out a bit.
I wasn’t prepared to throw it away, though.
I continued to follow instructions, except I put some baking paper on my pizza peel and sprinkled that with durum semolina.
My friendly neighbour who was to come photograph the event (and eat pizza) came late, so my first try at tossing and photographing at the same time was not very successful.
I was, however, able to overcome my desperation and sort of spread this thingy onto my pizza peel in a roundish shape, which I covered with my simple (and delicious) tomato sauce and lots of mozzarella. Baking took about 7 minutes. My baking stone failed me (probably because I had only heated it for about 15 minutes instead of 45??), so the central part of the crust was slightly softer, but still delightful.
I coarsely chopped one SMALL onion (I meant to blend the finished sauce in any case), and lightly fried it in a little olive oil (1 ½ tablespoon, say). I added one clove garlic (chopped), then one can of cubed tomatoes (400g – 14 oz.), sugar to counteract the acidity (this depends on the brand of tomatoes – I need to taste; I used 1 Tbsp, but other brands need less), salt to taste, and some FRESH basil and marjoram. I’m a staunch believer in the superior tastiness of fresh herbs. Cook 3 minutes, blend, cool and use.
Friendly neighbour arrived just at this point in time, and immortalised my second (and possibly my last – if slightly more successful) try at tossing. No sooner had I caught the dough over my knuckles, after only one second of trying to turn it, it took a perfect round shape which I didn’t intend to spoil by more tossing and turning and spinning, so I delicately and lovingly placed it on my pizza peel.
Here I opted for a childhood favourite, white pizza; I simply put on a lot of mozzarella, chopped raw onion, and FRESH rosemary and marjoram. Some salt (my mozzarella is not salty), and on to the oven for about 9 minutes.
Same comment for pizza stone, same fantastic result in spite of all. PETER, YOU’VE DONE IT AGAIN! This recipe is great!!!!
And finally, this is what I was left with after my friendly neighbour took off with his share (he has 2 children at home, I only have one daughter and she’s in Madrid):
Conclusin: next time, hotter pizza stone, placed lower down in the oven. Nothing else to change, it is a perfect recipe.