Over on OO jpinard
was asking around for recipes to make homemade pizza. Marik posted his own pizza dough recipe
with such conviction and with such disdain for other inferior pizzas that I just had to give it a try:
First, the sauce. With so much new happening on the dough front, I wanted to keep this very simple. I just followed the Easy Pizza Sauce III recipe
from allrecipes.com. It's just a can of tomato sauce (the ordinary stuff, not the fancy pants jarred sugar-laden stuff) thickened with tomato paste and beefed up with some herbs & spices.
It actually came out much much better than I expected. It tasted great on the final product. I would definitely use the recipe again.
Next up, the dough. Here's the bowl of dough after two nights in the fridge:
Very very sticky and goopy coming out of the bowl. Make sure your hands are well floured! When I covered it in flour, it had the texture of a giant mochi ball. If that doesn't mean anything to you, think of a flour covered jellyfish.
Then I cut it into three:
In retrospect I should have probably stretched it out a bit to cut it like a baguette instead of like a pie, but it worked well enough. Instead of setting two aside in the freezer for later, I kept them on hand in case of any disasters.
Flattened it out to a quarter inch thickness, then it was time to toss it in the air with glee like an honest to goodness professional pizza tossing guy:
Ok, that part didn't go so well. (Lack of picture only because my hands were getting too messy.) Attempt #1: Didn't roll it flat enough first, and it couldn't get much of a shape in the air. Attempt #2: Started tossing with it flatter, but tore a hole in it soon after. Attempt #4: Added a bit more flour and it held together! Tossed it a few times and it kinda sorta worked. I need much more practice. That attempt, however, was done on the 2nd pizza while the first was baking.
Attempt #3: Just rolled the damn thing out with a rolling pin.
Much better. Transferred it over to a cornmeal covered peel, rolled the edge for some outer crust, and added the sauce, mozarella, and pepperoni. Nothing more, I wanted this first attempt to be simple.
Then it was time to transfer it onto the baking stone that had been sitting in the 500° oven for 45 minutes or so. The cornmeal worked great at keeping it from sticking to the peel, but even then it did need a little pushing with a spatula on some sticky points. I'd like to find some alternative to cornmeal, though. It's too crunchy in the end. Maybe just use finer cornmeal next time.
At 5 minutes or so it was bubbling a plenty, so it was time to take it out and see the final product:
Mmm, mmm. It smelled and looked delicious.
My wife was going crazy waiting for me to take pictures, she wanted to dive right in.
Time for a taste:
Delicious. We almost finished the entire first pizza before the second one could finish its 5 minutes in the oven.
Couple things I tweaked for the second one: The dough on the first was fully cooked, but a bit soft. I tried leaving the second pizza in longer to give the crust some time to brown, and while it helped it was still a ltitle on the soft side. I don't think I could keep it much longer since from the way they were bubbling it looked like the cheese and pepperoni were about to go nuclear. I think the problem was that the dough never really got to go warm up for the several hours I had it out of the fridge, as the apartment was really cold when I got home. Also, I tried the light layer of salt on the second pizza. It really does do wonders.
Both of us really loved the crust. I'll almost certainly be giving Marik's dough another try, but not before I try the Jay's Signature Pizza Crust
recipe, which seems to be the most popular pizza crust recipe on allrecipes.com.
Anyone who likes pizza really should give homemade dough a try. Even with a couple things going wrong it was better than delivery and certainly better than frozen. I'll probably be making my own pizza at least once a week now.