Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday Night Pizza

Tonight I made pizza; I made the crust from scratch, the sauce from scratch; and contemplated making the mozzarella from scratch (I couldn't find the expiration date on my rennet for making the cheese and so decided against it).

Val hooked me up to a wonderful blog called Annie's Eats which is where I got the recipe for the crust and the sauce.

I started with the crust by sprinkling instant yeast over warm water in a measuring cup. I then combined bread flour and salt in my mixer bowl. I added some room temperature water into the cup with the dissolved yeast. I streamed the yeast mixture gradually into the flour mixture until combined along with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Once everything was combined into a cohesive mixture, I added the dough hook and kneaded the dough for about 8 minutes until smooth and elastic. The dough went into an oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled. Annie's recipe says it should take 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Mine took 2 hours and 45 minutes to actually double. I punched it down, divided it in half and froze half. The other half was covered with a damp kitchen towel and allowed to rest for 15 minutes.

While the dough was rising, I made the pizza sauce by combining a 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3 crushed cloves of garlic. I brought it all to a boil in a saucepan and then reduced to a simmer and allowed it all to cook for 15 minutes. Once done, I cooled it just slightly and then pureed it with my immersion blender until I liked the consistency.

Meanwhile I caramelized some sliced onions, sauteed some mushrooms, and oven roasted some grape tomatoes.

After the dough had rested for 15 minutes, I patted it out into a circle on a cornmeal sprinkled piece of parchment paper forming a crust around the edge. I drizzled the edge of the crust with olive oil and then spread some of the pizza sauce on the bottom of the crust. I added the caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, sliced black olives, shredded mozzarella and a little grated Parmesan.

The crust was superb; but the sauce was a little spicy for us. The next time I make this, I will add 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper instead of 2 teaspoons. All in all, it was the best pizza I have made so far.

Gerry and I agree:

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