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Seeking Sustenance in Lotusland

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PIZZA! [Apr. 16th, 2007|10:26 pm]
Seeking Sustenance in Lotusland


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I've finally gotten around to making pizza dough today following the first recipe from A Year in Bread.  I'm glad I decided to weigh the ingredients because with the rain beating against the windows today I'm sure the flour was affected.  I'll be looking forward to _gryffinnoir_ 's comments about the second dough recipe.  She's working with a wet dough and an overnight rise.  Something tells me that some people we know might feel the need for extra gym workouts very soon.

I've always used either traditional active dry yeast from Fleishchmann's or if I know that I'm in for a serious round of bread baking fresh yeast that I get from my friendly neighborhood baker.  But now that my friendly neighborhood baker has pulled up shop and moved I've had to rely on the  dried variety.  I activated one tablespoon of the yeast in 1 /4 cup of warm (95 - 115F) water with some of the honey to feed it and then after it had been proofed I added it to all the liquid ingredients and the remainder of the honey and carried on.

The dough was fairly stiff to begin with but after the second rise it was elastic and flexible and a joy to work with.  I like my crust fairly thin sometimes and so I found that Kevin's directions to roll half of the dough out into a 12inch diameter to be a little heavy for me.  I could actually get 2 pizzas out of half of the dough.

Behind the cut you'll find the finished results and the pizza dough recipe 

Pizza Dough
Adapted from a recipe by Mitch Mandell of Fabulous Foods.

bread flour 3 1/2 c | 0.8 l | 18 oz | 500 g
warm water (between 95 and 115 F/35 and 46C) 1 c | 240 ml | 8.5 oz | 240 g
instant yeast 2 1/4 tsp (1 US pkg) | 11 ml | 1/4 oz | 8 g
honey 2 tbsp | 30 ml | 1 1/4 oz | 36 g
olive oil 1/4 c | 60 ml | 1 1/2 oz | 48 g
salt 1/2 tsp | 8 ml | 1/8 oz | 4 g

Combine the honey, warm water, and oil, stirring to mix. The water should be about 95 to 115° F. It should feel very warm, but not uncomfortably hot.

Put the 3 cups of flour and yeast in the bowl and, using the paddle attachment, mix on low for about 20 seconds. Add the salt and mix on low for another 20 seconds. Note: salt is poisonous to yeast, so you want the yeast well-distributed before adding the salt.

With the motor running on low, pour in the liquids. Continue mixing until a shaggy dough begins to form. Clean off paddle and switch to dough hook. Continue mixing on low until the dough comes together.

Increase speed to medium and knead for eight minutes. The dough should completely clear the sides and bottom within 2 minutes if it is too sticky, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing in thoroughly before determining if more flour is needed. If the dough seems too dry, spritz with water from a spray bottle a couple of times, mixing in thoroughly before determining if more water is needed. continue kneading for 6 minutes. You'll find the dough wraps itself around the hook, so every 2 minutes, stop the machine, scrape the dough off the hook, and then continue kneading.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few more times by hand to be sure it's tight and elastic. Form the dough into a tight ball.

Wash and dry your mixing bowl then mist it with oil. Place the dough, seam-side down, in the bowl and lightly mist top of dough with baking spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise (ferment) in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size — 45 minutes to an hour.

Punch the dough down and transfer to a lightly floured board. Knead for about half a minute, then reshape into a ball. Respray bowl lightly, return dough to bowl, spray, recover, and allow to rise again until doubled in bulk — an hour to an hour and a half.

Heat the oven to 450F (230C).

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal portions. Set 1 aside and cover with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. Shape the other portion into a round by hand.

Place the rolling pin in the center of the round and push outward. Rotate the dough 1/4 turn and repeat. Continue until dough is about 12 inches across. Alternatively, you can stretch the dough by hand, which I do. The dough is quite elastic and will want to shrink, so don't rush it. Pause every now and then while shaping (whether by hand or with a rolling pen) to allow the dough to relax.

Coat with sauce, cheese, and toppings. Then, ideally, let the pizzas stand, covered with plastic wrap, for about 30 minutes before baking. This delay highlights the bready character of the dough. Before baking, use a knife to poke holes in any noticeable bubbles.


I had a bit of a clean out of my fridge today which was one of the reasons for making pizza.  This was based on pizza I made for Valentine's Day for The Boy.  He likes hot food so in his honour I called this one My Baby Likes It Hot!


3 heaping tablespoons chili garlic sauce
3 heaping tablespoons crushed tomato
caramelized onion
sauteed mushrooms
roasted garlic
sauteed chorizo sausage (remove sausage meat from casing)
shredded parmesan or pecorino romano
shredded mozzarella 

Spread chili garlic sauce or Sambol Olek over the entire surface of the dough, spread crushed tomato over that.  If you like a more "saucy" pizza add more sauce.  You are in control with pizza!  Drop and scatter all other ingredients over surface so that every mouth will be a new taste.  Top with about 1/4 cup shredded parmesan or pecorino romano and then follow with shredded mozzarella.  Bake at 450F in lower third of oven for about 5 - 8 minutes or until cheese bubbles and pizza is cooked.