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Pizza--Cook-Off 8


Chris Amirault
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I didn't take pictures of this, but I made pizza last night. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing, so I didn't have time for the full overnight rise (hard to do when you decide that "pizza sounds good" at 10 am), but I used the pain la ancienne formula from The Bread-Baker's Apprentice at full hydration (77%? 27 oz AP flour & 21 oz water) with KA AP flour, but instead of an overnight bulk rise in the fridge, I did a 7 hour bulk rise at about 70 degF, with two stretch-and-folds at the 1 and 2 hour marks, then a 1-hour post-shaping rise.

I've never tried using the pain la ancienne dough for pizza, I usually use the Pizza Neapolitana recipe from the same source, and I never get the sort of texture I want from it. From now on I'll just use pain la ancienne with AP flour, but try to plan the overnight fermentation :) I froze two of the balls, when I thaw them in the fridge for a couple of days that should give me some more enzyme action, although probably in a different way.

Topping was simple: olive oil, uncooked canned crushed tomatoes, oregano and red pepper flakes and salt and pepper (I wanted fresh basil, but I don't have any growing at this time of the year and the stuff at the store looked like ass), 1 part sharp cheddar to 2 parts mozzarella (storebought, not the really good stuff), some parm-reg, red peppers, and spinach. Excellent, although I should have stretched the edges thinner, it sprung to an almost ridiculous level, it was probably 1 1/2" thick in some of the thicker places, but it had the most gorgeous irregular holey texture.

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Pizza for dinner last night, but too hungry for pictures. It was a different one, but I had a craving: brushed the dough with some good evoo, added some "truffle relish" basically finely chopped "summer" truffles in oil with spices and soem mushrooms, covered that with carmelized red onion, smoked duck breast, baby arugula and an excellent mozzarella. Yum. Even the SO, who insists on tomato sauce loved this one!

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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  • 2 months later...

An annual event. Ramp and anchovy pizza. Pizza is a fab vehicle for ramps.

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I once again used the Americana dough from American Pie, and did remember to reduce the sugar to 1 T (from 3) which made it just flat perfect.

I pre-baked the crusts for a few minutes before topping, and I just loved the crispy of my crust, and the chew of the "rim."

Pizza night is really fun. It gets the kids in the kitchen, smooching out the dough rounds, topping them, etc. Get the kids in the kitchen and working!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Susan, that pizza looks awesome.  What are the proportions of flour to water?  Do you add olive oil to the dough?

The dough does have olive oil, and also has milk (in addition to water). It is very easy to work with, and one of the things about this dough that is so pleasing is that if I pre-bake a crust slightly before topping, it gets cracker crisp. But, if I don't prebake a crust and make it a little thicker, it has that local pizza joint quality that my kids adore. So, one dough can please many!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Pizza with ramps and anchovies: brilliant.

Oh, Chris, it is. I just wished I'd added a couple more ramps to my pizza. Thursday, I will be right by Holy Land Deli, which makes a superb pita that is very suitable for use as a pizza crust. They are just down the street from a coop that will have ramps. You can guess what I'll be having for my breakfast/lunch for the next days following that. It is an unbeatable combo.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Wood fire grilled pizza for 11: just cover a big table with foil, assemble a pile of toppings, grill off the dough, and let your guests have at it.

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Toppings included homemade ricotta with basil and parsley, peperonata, garlic roasted in duck fat, caramelized onions, olives, home-cured lamb prosciutto and tasso, speck, grated Fontal and pecorino romano, arugula and toasted pecan pesto, tomato sauce, and I'm probably forgetting something else. After topping, each person returned their pizza to the grill to be charred to taste. What a messy, happy way to have pizza!

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Abra, what a great and fun (if messy idea). This is going to prompt me to try grilling pizza again. I did it once during my recent Three-Way grilling and smoking blog and it was a public semi-disaster. But, I learned lessons.

Abra, how wet is your dough and how thin to do get it before grilling?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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No photos...after reading the posts about pizza, then about grilling pizza, I gave it a shot (nervously) last weekend. Bought pre-made dough at the supermarket (hey, for $1.49 it's a cheap way to experiment). Divided dough ball into 2 pieces, stretched out to oblong shapes, oiled top and bottom. Cooked on gas grill, a little nerve wracking to transfer the floppy dough onto the grill (some thin edges kinda folded over a little), but it actually turned out pretty good! DH requested I make it again soon after he scarfed it down (3 cheese, pesto, roasted peppers).

So thanks to everyone for giving the pointers!

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Yes, the arugula pesto is the bright green goo. Toasted pecans and the nuttiness of arugula make a yummy combination.

As to the dough, for the first time I was able to get and use 00 flour. I used that 100%, and the dough, after an overnight retard, was very soft and flexible. I thought the dough was a little undersalted, and a bit more salt might have helped the dough's structure, but it was pretty easy to work with and quite decently good to eat.

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As to the dough, for the first time I was able to get and use 00 flour. 

So, just where is that green with envy little face thing?

I also love the idea of covering the table with foil. Bravo!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Wood fire grilled pizza for 11: just cover a big table with foil, assemble a pile of toppings, grill off the dough, and let your guests have at it.

Wow, must have been a great fun. Did made and eat everyone his own pizza or was each pizza divided into 11 pieces to taste and if so, which one was the winner of the day ?

H.B. aka "Legourmet"

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I had thought we might share, but in practice everyone ended up using all of the toppings they really wanted, and since we could only grill 3 pizzas at a time, people were sitting down to the table in waves, so we didn't end up doing much sharing.

My personal favorite things turned out to be the garlic roasted in duck fat, the arugula pecan pesto, and the tasso ham that I cured back in May.

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Following Abra's advice (thank you!) we had grilled pizza's last night!

The first was a bit of red sauce, fontina cheese, fresh chorizo, paprika sautted red onions and an egg!

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The second was a white pizza- evoo, garlic, rosemary and white chedder

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We finished the chorizo pizza with some manchego and the white pizza got arugula

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My personal favorite things turned out to be the garlic roasted in duck fat, the arugula pecan pesto, and the tasso ham that I cured back in May.

So your favourite pizza is a white one. I don't know "Tasso ham". Wikipedia mention it as a spicy cajun food which is mostly used in stews or some such. Does your arugula pesto contain garlic as basil pesto do.

H.B. aka "Legourmet"

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Heinz, I cured the tasso from the recipe in the Charcuterie book that we're all using. It didn't come out to be very spicy at all, but it has just a nice little bite to it.

There's garlic in the pesto, arugula, toasted pecans, Parm Reggiano, and olive oil.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Paul: "Let's have pizza tomorrow night."

Diana: "Yes, let's grill pizza. Mom and I have been talking about it."

Paul: "I'd rather have delivery. I don't want a charred bit of dough."

The gauntlet has been tossed down. Now, my last grilling pizza experience was less than successful, but the weather wasn't cooperating, it was in the middle of a blog, etc., etc., etc.

But, I have a Weber Kettle. I can grill and smoke meat with the best of them. I come with a "Please. Help. Give me advice." I could use advice on how to best bank the coals, or should I slope them? I have to shine tomorrow, I really do.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 1 year later...

I made pizza today. I definitely didn't want to heat up the house with a 500-degree oven (it's forecasted to get to 108 degrees here in the next couple days), so I put the pizza stone on the grill and let that heat it up. My dough was an amalgam of Alton Brown's recipe and Wolfgang Puck's. I got three pizzas about 6" in size from the dough.

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The first pizza had pizza sauce (from a jar), mozzarella, four-cheese blend (with asiago, provolone, and two others I can't remember), basil, mushrooms, jalapeno strips, and onions.

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The crust was very nicely crisped. The big problem with using the grill and stone together is that the heat doesn't radiate as well from above, and the top doesn't get sufficiently browned before the crust is done. It does get sufficiently cooked, but not browned.

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The second pizza had garlic oil, sauce, mozzarella, basil, jalapeno strips, onions, mushrooms, and more mozzarella on top.

I didn't get a picture of the third, but it had garlic oil, sauce, basil, mozzarella, jalapeno strips, mushrooms, tomato slices, and prosciutto.

-- There are infinite variations on food restrictions. --

Crooked Kitchen - my food blog

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