Pizza experiment

Results and conclusion are mixed.  I tried the olive oil dough recipe from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day ” and it was great.  Texture, flavor, appearance, couldn’t be beat.  However, it was my first time using this method with the pizza stone and a peel.  That’s where I ran into trouble.  The assembled pizza is supposed to slip off of the peel onto the stone.  HA!  Not mine.  I used plenty of cornmeal as recommended, but it wasn’t budging.  It took my daughter and I three spatulas and four hands and we lifted it off and it was all bunched up and messy, but it came out tasting great.  Sauce, cheeze, caramelized onion, sauteed mushrooms and green peppers, and sausage chunks.  Oh my, it was good.  Ugly, but good.  Husband pronounced that he’d never had a better pizza anywhere.  How can you ask for more praise than than that?  He cut his own slices (I was busy making the 2nd one) and then blamed me for making him eat too much.:) No photos are available of the ugly pizza.

Julee put together the 2nd one, which was a Florentine pizza.  We had only slightly more luck getting the pizza off the peel, but it did look pretty good when done.

001

004

Isn’t it beautiful?  A work of art and quite tasty.  This one had (no sauce) mozzarella, feta, ricotta, spinach, sliced fresh plum tomatoes and Italian herbs. 

To make two pizzas you really need two peels and two stones, which is, of course, ridiculous for an occasional pizza maker, so I will either not make it when we have guests (oh the mess–I had dough, flour and cornmeal EVERYwhere)–or find a way to make the crusts ahead and partially bake them before freezing them.  I will need to figure out how much to pre-bake them and how to finish them.  So much to think about, but it would be such fun to invite my guests over for a pizza party and have all sorts of toppings ready to go so they can put together whatever they are in the mood for, as we did today.

Yes, I know I can buy ready made pizza crusts or frozen dough, but then, it’s not MY homemade pizza.  Just have to figure out how important that is to me.  I was kind of liking my own crust.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jen
    Nov 12, 2009 @ 16:51:29

    I’m with you on the homemade crust.

    One thing that might help–if your crust is too sticky, it won’t work sliding from the peel to the stone. I, for one, rarely pre-warm my stone; I just put the pizza dough on it and side it in the oven. Less work that way, and it still works out fine. 🙂

  2. chickadeeworkshop
    Nov 13, 2009 @ 01:48:31

    Yeah, I did everything they said, including really loading lots of cornmeal on the stone, but it wasn’t going to slide anywhere. I even tried sticking it in the fridge for a few minutes.

    I assumed that the hot stone was supposed to help the crust get crispy. I may skip the peel next time and try it your way. It was hard enough to get the dough on the peel and getting it off was impossible. I didn’t use the peel to get the pizza OFF the stone either. I may have wasted the $35 I spent on the peel, ya think?

    I used to make my own crust years ago and just used a pizza pan. It was fine. Nobody (3 growing kids and a husband) ever complained. They were just happy whenever I made pizza and it wasn’t from a box in the freezer.

  3. Albert C
    Nov 13, 2009 @ 15:20:44

    Hi Judi –
    Reading this made me recall when I was much younger – my mom, her sisters and their mother would occasionally get the whole clan together on a Sunday (or Saturday night) and make many home-made pizzas. I recall they did them largely in the square, shallow cookie-sheet type pans, and they were delicious. I remember seeing the dough in bowls on the table waiting to rise, etc, and the women rolling out the dough and assembling the pies for baking. They were delicious.

    Of course, I have the perfect recipe for pizza – a telephone and some money to pay the delivery boy !

    Sounds like you made this into a fun family event.
    Best, cousin Al

  4. chickadeeworkshop
    Nov 13, 2009 @ 22:01:53

    Oh, yeah, Al, I am quite a fan of that delivery recipe, too! Just sometimes you like to do something from scratch because it is so satisfying to do so. I don’t even think this was cheaper than delivery, It was very, very good, though.

  5. Jen
    Nov 14, 2009 @ 21:47:15

    I have a peel–I use it mostly to transfer cake layers from one layer to the other, honestly. 🙂

    Although I’ve used it for bread before, too, so I can’t say it’s wasted completely!

  6. chickadeeworkshop
    Nov 14, 2009 @ 22:02:24

    Yes, that would be a good use for the peel, thanks! I bought it to use with breads, not particularly for pizza, so I’m assuming it will be more useful (translate that: useable for me) with a loaf of bread, instead of a thin-crusted, but heavy pizza. I’m hoping anyway. I have enough dough left for two more pizza and have to use it by the end of next week, but I plan to use in pans, I think (or use the suggestion of just puttting it on the stone and skipping the peel.) I also toyed with the idea of making a focacia bread with it….the book has recipes using this same dough. That MIGHT be easier to get off the peel, but I’m not banking on it. It’s thicker and smaller, so should work better.

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