October 23, 2009

Pizza

I think I have a chemical imbalance. Or maybe adult ADD. After a very very long, grueling and headache inducing week all I wanted to do was veg out. But somewhere between walking Chloe and making pizza dough, I realized I was not vegging out, but instead making something from scratch that I've never made before but I easily could have ordered. I didn't even realize what I was doing until it was too late! And to top it off, the only sensical thing I could think of to do while waiting for the dough to rise for over 80 minutes, was to clean my apartment. Issues...serious issues.

Friday nights have always been pizza night from as far back as I can remember. It was always a fight on where to order from as Columbus has some great pizza places - Donatos, Rubinos, Bexley Pizza Plus to name a few. But the Tidwell staple no matter where it comes from is sausage, pepperoni and banana peppers. But that's not to say other kinds can't hit the spot - it depends on the mood I'm in or whoever I am with. You can almost put anything on pizza and you'll have a winner. Just be careful when ordering in another language - one of my first nights in Italy, we ordered a pizza thinking it was one thing and ended up with a pizza with baby shrimp. Baby shrimp freak me out so that was a disaster. But back to the adventure - pizza 100% from scratch!

All you need: active dry yeast (1/4 ounce), unbleached all purpose flour (2 and 3/4 cups), salt, olive oil, cornmeal, pizza sauce and toppings. Mix the dry yeast and a small teaspoon of sugar in warm water. In a separate bowl mix flour and salt to blend together. Then pour in the yeast mixture and oil and mix until a dough forms. The dough should not stick to your fingers, if it does, add more flour and mix again. Place the dough in an lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and sit out for 40 minutes. Then, fold the dough a few times, recover and let rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450. Take dough and knead on a lightly floured surface and form a ball.
Meanwhile sprinkle a pizza stone or baking pan with cornmeal (don't over do it). Stretch or press the dough into the shape you desire, working from the center outward. Spread sauce over the dough and arrange your desired toppings over the pizza. Sprinkle with seasonings. Bake for 15 minutes, cut and serve! Not as thin as I prefer, but not a bad start for my first attempt.


Until I can swing this purchase, a handcrafted terra cotta oven, I will continue to learn on my pizza stone - a great stocking stuffer from my mom last year!

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