Thursday, October 30, 2008

Daring Bakers challenge - pizza

Pizzas are a great meal to make at home. If you have plenty of time, you can make your own pizza bases, which taste so much better than the take-away shop version, or you can cheat and use ready-prepared bases or pita bread. By making it at home, you have full control over the toppings you choose, so you can come up with your own creative combinations, or use as many (or as few) anchovies as you like!

Pizza and toppings was the October challenge, hosted by Rosa's Yummy Yums, for the Daring Bakers. The pizza dough recipe came from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice. It made a delicious thin, crispy yet chewy pizza crust and the only drawback is that it involves two days of preparation. Although the actual dough is easy to make (a standard mixture of flour, salt, yeast, oil, sugar and water kneaded into a dough), it needs to rest overnight in the fridge, which means the chef needs to do some planning ahead for pizza night.

Once the dough has rested overnight, you then bounce and toss around the pizza dough before putting it onto a pizza stone or baking tray, covering with toppings and baking for 5-8 minutes.

The toppings I chose were salami, olives and mozzarella; mushrooms, olives and caramelised onions; and potato and rosemary. The pizzas were absolutely delicious and enthusiastically received by my tasting panel.

I make pizzas reasonably regularly and I enjoyed testing this recipe. However, I think in future that I will stick with my Jill Dupleix pizza base recipe, as it only needs to rise for an hour or so before you can use it. Even this does require some planning ahead (it's not a meal you can whip up in 10 minutes after work, unless you've already pre-prepared the dough), but it's a recipe that I'm more likely to use than one that needs to be prepared the day before. Although it sounds daunting, it only takes about 10-15 minutes to actually prepare and knead the dough, and then it can prove for as long as you like. I strongly encourage you to try making your own pizzas, as the take-away versions will pale into comparison once you've tried it.

1 comment:

BC said...

The overnight resting was an added planning challenge. I'm with you on the same day dough.