05/11/2011 § 3 Comments
If you stand back, cross your eyes and squint a little, it almost looks like a Pollock painting; minus the corner of course.
The road to mastering the art of pizza making (or baking in general) has been a slow and rocky one for me. When I was in college my roommate Jackie and I went through a bit of pizza phase and I got pretty decent at making a pie. Unbeknownst to me, I’ve since lost my pizza-bilities.
I’ve been experimenting with different techniques and lately my go to gals for everything cooking have been Heidi Swanson and Deb of Smitten Kitchen. Any time I have an ingredient and I don’t know what to do with it, I check their recipe indexes first before looking elsewhere. They’ve both officially made it to my ‘bookmark bar’. ANYWAYS, the other day I came across Smitten Kitchen’s section on pizza, so I figured I’d give the whole baking thing another go. She makes it look so easy that it’s really hard to resist.
What you see above is a culmination of a couple of different recipes (I’m a notorious recipe tweaker) and some ingenuity. I use the term “pizzaster” lightly, because it actually came out tasting really good. However about half-way through the cooking process I had to add more sauce and cheese. Oops! Let’s just say, I need a little practice.
dough recipe: For the dough I used SK’s recipe almost exactly.
1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. Not sure I would do that again, upon reflection)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (+1 tablespoon because it was a little dry)
1 tablespoon olive oil (in this case all I had was a canola+olive oil blend, but I don’t think that’s a problem)
To find out how to make the dough look here.
I really have very little experience making dough and I don’t think I properly knead it… My dough was pretty tough and took quite a bit of manipulation to get it to stay still on the baking sheet. I also forgot to dust the pan with cornmeal prior to rolling the pizza out. So, that was fun trying to fix.
toppings: you can make this with whatever your little heart desires.
On hand I had Yukon Gold potatoes, vidalia onion, and white mushrooms. As a base I made a mixture of 3 tablespoons of alfredo sauce and a little bit of oil. I could have gone a little heavier with the amount of toppings, but what I had did the job. I also topped with some spinach and mozzarella cheese and rosemary.
I set my oven to 400 and let that bad boy cook for about 15 minutes.
Here’s where the disaster part came about: The spinach crisped up like dried leaves. So those had to go asap. Also it was very dry and the cheese was getting crispy. Discontent with the result, I turned the oven off and was about to say the hell with it! But, I decided to throw on some more alfredo and cheese one top and set it in the oven for a few minutes.
VOILA, it turned out really well and my mom is a big fan.
Not so bad after-all.