My very first Daring Bakers post! I am so excited to be a part of this group! I have been watching the current members bake beautiful gorgeous masterpieces for a few months now. Chocolate éclairs, intricate Danish braids! YUM! I have to admit I was a little intimidated though. How am I ever going to match up to these bakers? I don’t know how to bake! I can’t make éclairs or Danish Braids! I was so excited when I found out this weeks challenge was pizza dough, chosen by Rosa of Rosa Yummy Yums. Pizza dough I can do! Coincidently I had decided a few months ago to take on the mastering of pizza dough as a mini project and I had been practicing!
The recipe we used for the pizza dough comes from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. The recipe can also be found here and I have to say I totally agree with Heidi Swanson, it is the best pizza dough I have ever had. And it is so easy to make!
I am glad I had a whole month for this challenge; it gave me plenty of opportunities to practice making the dough and make many different kinds of pizza. I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to eat (or let anyone else in my family eat) pizza hut or domino’s or frozen pizza ever again! (Not that I ever ate them to begin with!) I made two batches of dough and froze them each in six balls. The dough thawed out beautifully and was so easy to work with. Tossing it was so much fun! The first batch I made at home with my husband as the guinea pig. I kept it simple and made a salami and green olive pizza and I cooked it in my cast iron skillet. It was good although I think I prefer pizza on the grill or in the oven better.
The second batch of dough, Eddie and I took over to our friend’s house and had a little pizza party. We each took turn tossing the pizza dough and making a pizza with our favorite toppings.
We made four savory pizzas:
Pepperoni and black olive
Chicken, pesto, and sundried tomato
Pizza Bianca with Sage
Cheese pizza topped with Arugula Salad
Two sweet pizzas:
Pear, gorgonzola, and honey
cinnamon, banana, chocolate, and caramel
I’ve been reading that the best way to way to bake pizza in an oven is to preheat the oven as hot as you can (550 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least an hour and use a preheated pizza stone. Well, we didn’t have a stone so we used the back of a baking sheet instead. Our pizza still turned out really good and cooked really fast in the hot oven. Although cooking six pizzas in a row caused the fire alarm to go off many times because of all the smoke coming out of the super hot oven! After the second pizza we learned our lesson and had a designated person to fan the alarm whenever we opened the oven (Thanks honey!).
Here is a little video I made of Eddie and our friends tossing pizza dough!
I was amazed at how delicious our pizzas turned out. They were all so so good. I didn’t think there would be any way for us to finish the pizzas but somehow we managed to eat it all! I think the Pear, gorgonzola, and honey was my favorite but only by a small margin. We made a huge mess baking all the pizzas but it was so worth it. I am definitely throwing more pizza parties in the future!
If you want to see the other pizzas my fellow Daring Baker’s made go to the blogroll.
Because of how good this recipe was I want to share it in more ways than just posting pictures of my pizzas. I have been inspired to post my very first contest.
I am giving away a copy of Peter Reinharts book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice to the winner!
All you have to do is answer one simple question in my comments:
What is your favorite pizza topping?
You have until Saturday, November 1st at 10pm PST to post your comment. I will choose the winner at random.