Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pizza SOS!

OK, I know that just yesterday I asked for some advice in my blog and now here I am again asking for more. This time it's about food, yesterday it was knitting. I guess I should be happy that those are two things vexing me because it indicates what I can spend time on these days. Even though I'm now a year and a half out from being a principal, I still have this almost daily appreciation for the gift of time. Much as I loved that school and that job, it really did take over my life when I was there.

All that aside, I decided to try the Kingsolver family's Friday Night Pizza last night (concidentally, Friday night). In the past I've not had a huge success with homemade pizza. But, so many people I know make it and this has to be a well-vetted recipe. After all, they wrote about making it every week in their book. But, this one I made last night had a pretty cardboard-y crust. So, I'm looking for pizza crust tips.

First off, I do not have a pizza stone. Yes, I know that's the big thing you're supposed to have for making pizza. But, I hate to invest $ in a special thing - especially when I'm not very confident I will make it very often. I don't know if a partial contributor was not using tomato sauce. I had some leftover pesto which I used instead of tomato sauce and it was a little skimpy because there wasn't a whole lot left.

I think the toppings were pretty good, but maybe too much? (this actually went on two pizzas)

Pesto made with our garden basil last summer, Oregon shitake mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes also out of the garden (roasted and frozen in the early fall). And Japanese eggplant. I got it out of a big box of them at church a week or two ago - not sure where they came from prior to that.

The finished product. I would say the roasted cherry tomatoes were definitely the highlight of the whole thing. But, the crust was very dry. Help!!!

7 comments: said...

Hi Joan,
I let my bread maker make pizza dough for us, and then I generally break it into two and roll out two pizzas' worth. The last time I did this -- a couple of days before Christmas -- the dough worked perfectly. I don't know if you have a bread maker with a pizza dough recipe, but if you do....

1-1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbl. olive oil
4-1/4 cup all purpose flour (I usually do 2-1/4 cups white flour + 2 cups whole wheat flour)
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dry yeast

After this is made in the bread maker, I break the lump of dough into two and then roll each half out as thinly as I can -- about a quarter of an inch at most. The rolling can be arduous and take a while, but it's worth it. Good luck! (I'm getting hungry writing about this...)

Joan said...

Thanks, Ian. I am embarrassed to say that we do, in fact, have a bread maker that we have only used a handful of times. (Although, I didn't buy it so I don't take too much of the responsibility.) But, I will try your version next time, with the machine, and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

I definitely have a good one, I'll comment back for it, but have to dig it out of my computer.... (sad, I haven't memorized it yet I know).... it's really easy and freezes well.... plus, you can do an overnight rise OR a 1 hour rise and have it right away. I'll be back with it soon I hope...

Ann said...

what? no locally grown pepperoni?

Anonymous said...

I don't have a special bread maker but use the same food mixer I use for everything else, (cake batter, pastry, dough) etc; Try to use more OLIVE OIL in the dough, I find that helps keep it soft and tasty. Too much flour dries it out. Go a little heavy on the yeast too, that helps it rise better I find.
Mary M

Joan said...

Actually, Ann, we can get pepperoni made here with locally raised pork. I just was going for a vegetarian version that night.

Thanks, Mary. Going a little more liberal with the olive oil is a good idea.

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