Friday, February 26, 2010

Pizza, Pizza!

So I am planning on writing a follow up piece to the previous post. But upon thoughtful thinking, I realized it might take too much delicacy and it might sound mean and maybe it wasn't really funny. Then I was at the in-law's and we started recounting really funny family stories and as I wiped my eyes I realized, "It really is funny and I should." And I will. But not today. Today is pizza day.

And as it is lent, it is also vegetarian pizza day. Which my kids prefer anyway. At our pizza class we compared home made crust to Trader Joe's. And home made won hands down. I learned one trick is to bake it on an upside down cookie sheet- which my sister had already shared with me. But I learned another trick is to use bread flour. I knew there was cake flour, but rarely used it. I guess there is pastry flour, not sure where that fits in the spectrum of flours. But I just used all purpose flour for everything so when I tried to make the crust at home, it did not come out crisp on the bottom. So I got the bread flour. It is somewhere between all purpose and cake flour. But it makes a really soft, satiny dough, and the crust came out just right.

So then we had to try it with our french bread recipe. The loaves came out a beautiful pale golden color and the crust was soft. The crust never came out soft. Except once when I made it way up on  a mountain in Canada. The really amazing thing was, it kept better than the other loaves. Usually the next day the crust is dry and harder. This morning I sliced the leftover half and it was still soft and tender. Although a true test woud be to make it in my oven. Last night I used Trudy's new Cuisinart mixer and baked it in her oven. And as they are at a slightly higher elevation I might not be able to duplicate it.(ok that was joke for my father- in-law).
 But I'm looking forward to making all kinds of breads and cinnamon rolls and I have to try and improve the Pascha bread recipe every year so the new flour might come in handy for that too. And maybe I'll try some recipes in The big book Shane got me simply titled 'Bread'.  Although I'd need a scale too as all the measurements are in kilograms and ounces-at least they give the U.S. weights too.

I was especially pleased at how round I was able to get the pizza. I think the flour is more easily coaxed-rolled-stretched into the right shape.

10 min at 450 and it was perfect.I made several balls of dough and froze them. I already put one in the fridge for dinner as well.

The instructor used a food processor. I used my KitchenAid. Maybe someday I'll use my Cuisinart.

Preheat oven to 425

In mixer combine
3c bread flour
2 t yeast
2 t kosher salt

With mixer on, add
1 c water
2 T olive oil

Add more water as necessary. I think I added either some extra or not enough. I was doubling it and lost count. But it still turned out fine.

Knead by hand a few times and let rise 1-2 hrs. Roll out to desired thickness. place on greased up-side down baking sheet, and cook 10 min.

I'm thinking of doing the fresh broccoli and onion one tonight.

1 comment:

Bellesarius said...

Looks yummy.

I've been using this recipe to make pizza for a few months and it's nice.