Monday, April 6, 2009

A Different Kind Of Pizza.

The other night, I decided to make pizza. Yes, pizza. Again. But this time with a slight twist. And I actually measured all my ingredients just to make it easier for you: 1 packet yeast 1 TB sugar 1/2 cup warm water 1 TB olive oil 1 egg 1 cup of flour to start then 1/2 cup of flour then 1/4 cup of flour 1 tsp salt I always add in my flour gradually.
First, sprinkle the yeast in the warm water.
Then sprinkle the sugar over top and stir.
Let yeast mixture sit until it "proofs,"
which means the yeast is active and your dough will rise.
Add in the olive oil.
And the egg, mixing well.
Sprinkle in the first cup of flour, stirring.
Gradually add in the 1/2 cup, then the 1/4 cup. You want a slightly sticky dough. And the amount of flour that goes in will be different from time to time, depending on the humidity, the planetary positions, the tides, your religious affiliation, and your moods.
Before turning the dough out on my board to knead it, I poured 1/4 cup of flour in a little pile and spread some of it over the board.
Just add in some of the flour as needed- when the dough starts getting sticky.
I kneaded for about 20 minutes, until I go a nice, smooth, elastic ball. And I didn't need all of that 1/4 cup.
I rolled it around in an oiled bowl.
Covered and let rise for about an hour and a half.
The punch-down is always my favorite part. Fist? Meet face.
I didn't want a lot of leftovers, so I only used half the dough. The other half I wrapped very well in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for later use.
Now, this is the part you really shouldn't rush. Work slowly and push the dough out, starting in the center. Let it rest a bit then start pushing and spreading again.
I kept spreading until I got to the edges of the pan.
Then back into my steamy microwave for another rise. Tip: Wet a towel, nuke it for about 60-90 seconds so it's nice and hot, and wrap your dough (if covered in plastic) or in this case, just set the pan on top of the hot towel. The steam and heat quickens the rise.
This is the other half of the dough which has been in the refrigerator, but is still rising. That's why I said be sure to wrap it well, so the dough won't ooze out somewhere.
I put mozzarella cheese around the edges.
Then folded the edges over and sealed.
I wanted a thin crust, not a bready dough, so I made depressions in the bottom, pushing the dough down.
I let it rise again and pressed down the bottom.
To get a nice crisp crust, I poured some olive oil over top and spread it evenly. Next the pizza went into a preheated 450 degree oven until nicely browned.
Some of the cheese oozed out, but I just scraped it up and put it back on the pizza. That's some good stuff.
Ingredients for my pizza:
pesto onion tomatoes The pesto was left over from the other day when I thawed out a few cubes to use on my scallop dish. When you have leftover pesto, you may need to swirl in a little extra olive oil.
Align Center
I spread the pesto evenly over top the pizza.
Sliced my onion and tomatoes.
Onion layer went on next.
Then the tomatoes.
Then I decided to give the pizza a bit of a kick with this pepper I had leftover.
I left in the ribs and the seeds because I like the heat.
Salt and pepper.
Grated Swiss cheese and chopped parsley finished my pizza.
Back into the 450-degree oven until the cheese was melted.
And canIjestellya? This was some excellent pizza.
The crust was crispy and thin.
This was full of flavor. The pizza toppings worked very well together. And I loved having the pesto as the base, instead of a tomato-based sauce.
Check out that thin crust.
And I had lovely melted cheese oozing out of the crust.
Mr. Hawthorne was very upset with me for taking his picture here. He thought I was shooting him, when I just wanted a close up of the pizza and have his eyes in the hole. Don't worry Mr. H. Your identity remains hidden.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

Thank you for the 'exact' measurements for your fabulous pizza. Those of us with limited bread-making experience appreciate it. And that pizza does look divine.