It’s the day after Christmas, I can’t eat another rich piece of anything and there is a brand new baking stone to be broken in. Pizza party!
The dough rose all day, which is a comforting sight on a rainy day.
The toppings were set out: tomato sauce, grated parmigiana, gorgonzola, mozzarella, sweet and sour onion confit, roasted garlic and shallots, olive/caper berry/chili powder, smoked adobe chili powder, sautéed wild boar sausage, sliced pears, capers, anchovies. What?? No mushrooms!
(Oh, and the lid of the wine box was pressed into service as a peel. And it worked very, very well, thank you very much.)
After a round of delicious cosmos by the fire, we were all set to
test our pizza making skills, which sadly do not include making round
pizzas. We were in a geographical mode, with Jeff winning the prize for
making Long Island, which he promptly covered in just about everything.
Our good friends in Italy have a gorgeous wood burning pizza oven
and last summer we made more pizza than we could possibly eat, and
although the setting was not as beautiful there is something very fun
about getting together and making a bunch of wacky pizzas.
What kind of pizza would you make?
Pizza Dough Recipe
Bread Flour 750g
Water 420 g
Yes, "g’ means grams. Yes, you need a scale. If you want to bake
bread, you are going to need to get used to working in weights, with a
scale. Once you do, you’ll never go back to cups and spoons again.
Combine all the ingredients except the salt. Begin to knead
the dough, once you have a coherent ball of dough, add the salt and
continue kneading for 5-7 minutes. Stretch the dough, slap the dough,
trap some air pockets in there, have some fun. Work out those
frustrations. Work out your upper arms.
Let rise in a covered
bowl until double in size, approx 1-2 hours, depending on the warmth of
the room. I like to coat the dough ball with a little olive oil. Once
it’s doubled, degas or punch it down. Meaning scoop it all up and give
it a few gentle kneads. Back in the covered bowl for another rest.
an hour before the party, pre-heat your oven…really hot…at least 500
degrees F, with the baking stone set into the cold oven. Don’t put a
cold stone into a hot oven…it could be very, very bad for you, the oven
and the stone.
Divide the dough up into even weight balls, and
wait for everyone to arrive. Give the dough a good hour to rest before
the rolling begins. Add toppings. Bake until golden, crispy brown.
Keep oven mitts handy…that oven is hot!