Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge...Pizza!!!

Olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, mozzarella and wild mushrooms...Yum!!!

Once again I am a very late Daring Baker, but I am still a Daring Baker. I swear the end of the months are coming faster and faster on me.

When I first found out that the challenge this month was to make pizza I was so excited. I emailed my friend, Jenn who is also a daring baker and said I couldn't wait!!! Well once again I waited and waited all the way until yesterday!

You see we eat pizza every single week. I have a whole wheat dough recipe that I whip up in my bread machine and it works great for a late night. I make everything and T. pops it in the oven. So what happened? Why didn't I make this one of those 4 weeks that I had? Who knows why I do the things I do. So this is what I did: I made the dough yesterday morning and then put the pizza together today! Better late then never!

This months event was co hosted by Rosa at Rosa's Yummy Yums and Glenna at A Fridge Full of Food. Thanks ladies for a great recipe. One that I will definitely use again. This recipe could also be made Gluten Free.

We were allowed to use any toppings we wished. It could be sweet or savory. I choose to top mine with:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
minced garlic
fresh basil
fresh oregano
mozzarella cheese
dried wild mushrooms rehydrated, (morels, porcini, Brazilian caps, Ivory portabellas, shitake and oyster)
coarse sea salt for the outer crust

Would I use this recipe again? Most definitely. I was a little daunted by the 2 day thing and how the dough felt when I took it out of the fridge in the morning but it was easy to toss...yes I did try tossing and it makes for a nice thin crust in the middle and a nice thick crust on the edge! The flavor was nice and the chewiness of it was great. I also cooked mine on a pizza pan and it turned out great. Really LOVED IT!!!


Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).

4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled - FOR GF: 4 ½ cups GF Flour Blend with xanthan gum or 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup corn flour, 1 cup oat flour, 1 ½ cup arrowroot, potato or tapioca starch + 2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast - FOR GF use 2 tsp
1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar - FOR GF use agave syrup
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting


1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.

NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.
The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.


2. FOR GF: Add the oil, sugar or agave syrup and cold water, then mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.

3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.

NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.


8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.


8. FOR GF: On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the number of desired dough balls from the refrigerator. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a gluten free flour. Delicately press the dough into disks about ½ inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil. Lightly cover the dough round with a sheet of parchment paper and allow to rest for 2 hours.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.


10. FOR GF: Press the dough into the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough).

NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.
During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping.
In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.
You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.

11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.


11. FOR GF: Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.


12. FOR GF: Place the garnished pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.

13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.


13. FOR GF: Follow the notes for this step.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.

If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.

14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!



Anonymous said...

I love the ingredients you chose for your pizza -- outstanding photos, too. Wild mushrooms send me swooning. And at least you actually got yours completely done and posted. Still making mine...Hahahaha!

glamah16 said...

It looks great Judy. I bet the girls will love it. Time does fly!

Anonymous said...

It looks great, Judy, and don´t get me started on being late, my dough is in the fridge and I´m making the pizzas for friends tonight, so I´m gonna have to do a "work in progress" kind of post.

April said...

Better late than never! Looks great!

Patsyk said...

I love the toppings you used! Your pizza looks perfect!

Ruth said...

Your pizza looks delicious and the toppings I want a slice!

Thistlemoon said...

I love your toppings Judy! I am so sad I didn't make it this month...:( But I will drool over yours! :)

CookiePie said...

Your pizza sounds delicious, and looks fabulous!

Ivy said...

All of this pizza is making me hungry! Yours looks fabulous!

RecipeGirl said...

Nice job... great photos! I have a WW pizza dough recipe that I like too. This 2 day thing was a bit too much planning for me!

Aggie said...

That is one good looking pizza!! YUM!

Brittany said...

Oh that looks so good!!!!!!!!!!!!

maybelle's mom said...

supper fancy. and I totally agree that it was daunting to add the extra day but this was so great, would do it again.

Peter M said...

Good array of 'shroom toppings and I dig the course salt on the crust...gotta remember that one.

Deborah said...

Your pizza looks wonderful!

Dragon said...

You can never go wrong with mushrooms and herbs. Great job!

erin said...

oh my! my mouth is watering! This looks amazingly wonderful. Wild mushrooms are my favorite.

Anonymous said...

Lookin reeeally goood!!

Darius T. Williams said...

Classic flavors - I bet this was fantastic!


Anonymous said...

Those are some great flavors! Love the wild mushrooms.

Danni said...

Oh, i am SO making this...Mmmmm...

Anonymous said...

Your pizzas look delicious! Wonderful work!

Jen said...

Judy, I am a mushroom/cheese fanatic, and this looks scrumptious. Wow. Exactly what I'd want here.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

You tossed your way to pizza perfection Judy:D

Marija said...

Wow, great pizza! Where did you get wild mushrooms?

Anonymous said...

I made a mushroom pizza, too. But, I can tell you right now, it didn't look nearly as good as yours. I am impressed. Well done.

Glenna said...

Your pizza is wonderful! Yum. And I love all the suggestions for toppings.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A scrumptious looking pizza! Very well done!



natalie said...

Your pizza looked delicious! Good job!