Friday, August 26, 2011

Cooking: Pizza

After a bread class, I had a lot of dough leftover. Since I didn't have time to bake it into loaves of bread, I let it ferment more and made pizzas instead. I had a nice pizza stone (thanks to Ms. Lollipop) and wanted to use it again.

So I took the leftover ball of dough and let it come to room temperature. I kneaded it a couple of times, formed it into a ball again and let it rise again.

As the dough rose again, I prepped the toppings. I grated a few different types of cheese like mozzarella, cheddar, parmesiano, and some sort of Spanish cheese. As for meats, we had hot dogs, ham, and chicken.
I also sliced up some onions, mushrooms, and potatoes. There was also some homemade marinara sauce (not pictured).
Once the dough was ready, I stretched it out thinly onto a piece of parchment paper.
Then we started making our own pizzas. Mr. M&P made a ham, mozzarella cheese, and hot dog pizza.
As each pizza was prepped, we put the finished ones in the super hot oven on the pizza stone. The paper browned pretty quickly. However, I learned from the class that it doesn't do anything to the pizza itself. So I let it brown and burn until the toppings were melted and the crust bubbled and browned as well.
Mr. M&P's other pizza was hot dogs and cheddar cheese. He can be quite creative sometimes. But whatever, we were making personal pizzas.
This pizza went into the oven as well and came out beautifully. The cheese melted and the crust bubbled and cooked.
I made a potato pizza mimicking Sullivan St Bakery's version. I used very paper thinly sliced potatoes, Maldon salt, and thyme. I also sprinkled some parmesiano on top for extra flavor.
This pizza pie came out to beautiful too. I worked pretty hard on the scalloped look. I wish the potatoes would have browned some more though.
My other pizza was chicken and mushrooms with cheese. I kind of loaded up the toppings for that I could use all of it.
My chicken and mushroom pizza looked awesome. It was really heavy though. I guess I did overdo it with the toppings. Oops!
And here's the obligatory upskirt. The crust wasn't as crunchy as I would have like. I think the parchment paper prevented the stone from directly touching the dough and baking it quickly making a delicious crunchy crust. Well, it was still delicious but not as crunchy.
As for the toppings, they were great. But I learned one important thing, less is more. Piling on the toppings isn't always a good idea. And it effects the crust too. My potato pie had some room for improvement. It needed more salt and a little more flavor. I think I would use more cheese too next time. Otherwise, I enjoyed it.

I really liked making the pizzas. Using the parchment paper to move the pies on and off the stone was really good. However, ultimately a pizza peel would be great. I think that'll be my next toy.

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