Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
That's right, I turned my kitchen into a pizzeria last night! This month's Daring Bakers Challenge was to make Peter Reinhart's Pizza Dough. This recipe comes from his book, "The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread". The challenge was hosted this month by Rosa from Rosa's Yummy Yums and in honor of a past Daring Baker, Sher at What Did You Eat, who suddenly lost her life to a massive heart attack in July. Never in Daring Bakers history have they made Pizza Dough, so let the challenge begin!
I printed the recipe and directions and carefully planned the perfect toppings for my family and their pizzas. I decided for my pizza I would like to recreate a BBQ Chicken Pizza from a Gourmet Cafe that I just loved when I lived at home. For my kids, that was an easy decision, sauce and cheese for the one; and sauce, cheese and pineapple for the other kiddo. They are not quite the food critics that I would like, but the oldest is starting to appreciate the finer things. The husband likes his pizza just as boring; sauce, pepperoni and cheese. So, I just needed a few toppings that I didn't have in the pantry and I had everything for the pizza dough since I have been the bread Nazi lately.
This recipe is a little time consuming since you have to let the pizza dough rest over night. This is not something that you just decided to do 15 minutes before you want the pizzas going into the oven. But the recipe is straight forward and very basic. If you can operate a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, you can make this recipe.
Day Two: The FUN begins. I took the dough out exactly two hours before I planned on making my kitchen a complete mess! A mess that surely made even the Husband want me to clean it up! (That is something that doesn't often happen) I placed 2 of the dough balls onto my floured counter top and pressed the dough into disks and then had to wait for two hours so that the dough was able to rest. About 45 minutes before I was going to make the pizza, I had to preheat the ovens (Yes, I used both ovens) to 500 degrees with the baking stones in the ovens. This is where the story becomes interesting. The little guys starting screaming, the house is on fire. The smoke alarms were going off and the smoke was thickening the air. Ok, I only like putting my oven on "SELF CLEAN" in the winter so that it also heats my house. So, here you find that I obviously have had some boil overs and maybe some fallen crusts that didn't take well to the 500 degree oven. The Husband rolls into the house complaining to whomever will listen, which wasn't any of the three of us, that the house is smokey and the alarms are still going off. Yeah, like we didn't realize that....need I say more? MEN, they just don't get what a woman will do to try new things, they just don't get it! The windows had to be opened, 34 degrees here now, the fans were put on and smoke alarms stripped from the ceilings...yep, the man took control.
~Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart
Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).
4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast
1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar
Cornmeal for dusting
1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer)
2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water
NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C
3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper
4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).
5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball
6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap
7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.
NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil (a few tablespoons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator
8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow it to rest for 2 hours
9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).
NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan
10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss
NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time. During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and re-flour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping. In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully, then try again. You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.
11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan
12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.
13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes
Friday, October 17, 2008
at 7:51 AM
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
October 1st marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is a very important month to all women and especially those that are high risk due to family history. One week before I was born, (29 years ago +/-) my maternal grandmother had a mastectomy. She won her battle with breast cancer and went on to live another 16 years until she lost her life to another form of cancer. Without having her yearly exam, she wouldn't have known that she had breast cancer. She caught it in time to be able to go on with her life and to see 5 grandchildren born.
It is very sad to think that I could lose my mother to this horrible disease too! This is why you should make sure that you have a physical and mammogram done on a yearly basis. If you don't have insurance or your insurance doesn't pay for it, click on one of the links I have posted.
at 12:06 AM