Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tossed, Topped and Tasted – Yum!

In my house, pizza night is always cause for celebration, and hardly ever cause for a call to the pizza shop. We love making pizza, from my husband who tossed pies in a pizza shop back in his college days, on down to my 5 and 3-year-olds, who always demand a piece of dough of their own. My specialty is grilled pizza, our answer to a hot kitchen in the summertime. I usually use a crust recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, but I was more than happy to try out a new one in the name of The Daring Bakers!

The path to pizza dough was not a smooth one. The first time I read the recipe all the way through was the day I intended to make it, not realizing it was a 2-day process. OK, try again. Then I realized that the yeast I have is not instant yeast, just the regular kind, so I had to tweak the mixing method a little bit, as I was unsure if my yeast would work if it wasn’t dissolved in water first. In the end my dough ball was nice and springy, soft, a bit stickier than what I’m used to. When I made my pizzas the next day the stickiness was gone, but the dough was still really soft, soft enough that I found it hard to work with. I attempted “the toss,” pretty poorly I must say. My husband wasn’t able to catch it on film, but we did get a picture of the mangled results. Oops!

Brook Picture 003 Brook Picture 003 (1)

I made 2 pizzas, and stashed the rest of the dough in the freezer for another time. The first was for the kids, topped with some leftover pasta sauce and mozzarella. I had to test it out of course – delish! The “grown-up” pizza was sauced with pesto made from this summer’s basil plants, then topped with roasted chicken, red bell peppers, grape tomatoes, and mozzarella. Fabulous! Of course I made my usual mistake and used too much sauce on both, but nobody complained. There were no leftovers.

Brook Picture 003 (2) Brook Picture 003 (3)

I liked the dough well enough, but I prefer my usual recipe, so I’ll be going back to it. Maybe next time I make it I’ll try tossing again, I might be better at it with a sturdier dough. But don’t worry, the extra crusts in the freezer won’t go to waste - I’m planning to cruise the Daring Bakers blogroll for some new topping ideas! Thanks to Rosa for a yummy challenge - looking forward to next month!

- Brooke

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