Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pizza anyone?

It's a great time for food in Oregon right now. Since it rains so damn much here, there's a lot of agriculture - which means awesome farmer's markets. Which means it's also an excellent time to cash in our anniversary present from my in-laws.

They are friends with a chef, so they are having him cook us up a gourmet meal at my in-laws house. Yeah, it's a little delayed (our anniversary was in March), but I'm sure it will be well worth the wait. On Friday, we all met up to discuss the menu. We started off talking about 4 courses, but things kept getting added and I think we ended up with more like 7 and possibly 8 courses on the menu! I can't wait for next Saturday!

But let's get back to more recent endeavors. On Friday (prior to the meet-up with Chef Karl), I made a batch of pizza dough using the SAF yeast, and letting it do a slow fermentation in the fridge overnight. Then on Saturday, we went for it and fired up the grill with the pizza stone on it for about 45 minutes.

Chef Karl suggested that we par-bake the crust for a minute or two, then add the toppings. This allowed us to easily slide the raw pizza dough onto the stone, without the weight of all the toppings to hinder a good swift action. This turned out to be an excellent tip, but still our first pizza ended up burned on the bottom.

I think we left it on too long during the par-bake, and also the stone was super hot! It's like pancakes or crepes - you always throw out the first one, right?

So, on to pizza #2. Oh, and btw, these are not big pizzas, about 9" round. Pizza #2 I had a good feeling about. I laid the crust out thinner and more evenly, and Mike par-baked it just until it would hold its shape. This guy got the addition of mozzarella slices. Here it is on the stone, in the grill:

Ahh, yummy pizza...

And the crust held up to the weight of the toppings!
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Although this pizza performed well, it was still missing that certain je ne sais quoi. Though sturdy, it wasn't exactly cracker-like, but it also wasn't soft and pillowy. It could have been a bit more tender and chewy, but then wouldn't it just flop over like a wet noodle? Hmmm, we have Round 2 coming up on Monday, so we'll see if perhaps resting the dough after shaping it will yield better results.

1 comment:

lomester said...

ummm... wanna come over and make pizza at my house?