Monday, September 13, 2010
The Best Pizza Ever...
So it seems lately that my cooking is either hit or miss. I make a recipe that is amazing and then the next one (or two) are so-so or just disasters. Of course I don't post the ones that aren't spectacular so this may be a big surprise to you all who think I'm an amazing cook! I've made English onion soup that was just meh and I have two failed lemon tarts under my belt so things are not just a bed of roses and cookies over here.
However. This pizza recipe is a winner! Let's get started.
Jamie Oliver is my boy. If I could pick 3 celebrity friends they would be a) Conan O'Brien, b) Ellen DeGeneres, and c) Jamie Oliver. I recently purchased this cook book of his and have made just a couple of things out of it but love it so far.
I looked through the whole thing and pretty much read it like a novel, and the pizza recipes caught my eye but I didn't think much of it at first because the concept of making homemade pizza dough and sauce is a little intimidating. But then I saw an episode of his cooking show where he actually made these things and I thought to myself Hey that's not so hard!! So let's get started and I'll show you just how easy it was.
These are the recipes I used.
I probably can't reprint them due to copyright stuff but the cookbook is great and I recommend you buy it anyway!
So this is the stuff I used to make the dough.
Olive oil, salt, bread flour, semolina flour, an ittybitty bit of sugar, as well as yeast and water, which aren't pictured for some reason.
Mix the yeast, sugar, olive oil, and water in a bowl and set aside to let the yeast do it's thang.
Put your flour and salt on your work surface.
You're going to make a big hole in the middle of the mound of flour like so:
Now this is the fun part. Pour the liquid mixture into the hole!
Look mom! A pool on my kitchen table!
For this next part you're going to get down and dirty with your dough so you might want to remove any metal objects.
With a fork gradually start mixing in the flour from the inside out until a sticky dough forms. Then you can probably just dig right in and mix the dough with your hands.
A stretchy malleable dough will form. Dust a large bowl with flour and cover with a towel and put in a warm place so the yeast can continue to make the bread rise.
Put the dough aside and now let's work on the sauce. This is what I used:
Basil from the garden, garlic, canned tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. That's it!
Chop the garlic and tear up the basil and throw them into a pan with some oil for a few minutes.
Then add the tomatoes and salt and pepper. Simmer on the stove until bubbling while mashing the tomato chunks with your wooden spoon.
Now this is probably the hardest part of the whole process. You have to strain all the chunks out of the sauce to get a nice creamy sauce. How do you do this? Well you have to push all the liquid through a strainer. Harder than it sounds.
In the end after much toil you end up with this pretty sight:
Yum yum. That would be tomato, garlic and basil that was too big to fit through the holes! (Which is the point, because underneath you get this:)
Throw that liquid back into the pan and simmer until thick enough to spread on the dough as a pizza sauce. Jamie says 5 minutes, I say more like 30 minutes. This is what mine looked like once I was tired of waiting!
Ok back to the dough now. Your dough should have doubled in size.
Lightly dust your work surface and knead the dough until it's soft, stretchy, and looks like pretty dough.
This huge mound of dough will make like 7-8 pizzas so what I did was separate the dough into individual packages and stuck them in the freezer.
They remind me of huge heroin balloons that drug mules swallow to smuggle drugs into the US. But nevermind that.
Roll your dough out. VERY IMPORTANT. Make sure your surface underneath is dusted very well with flour otherwise your dough will stick and your pizza will end up in a weird shape and may get screwed up - I learned this from experience!
Get out your toppings and prep them. I used green olives, tomatoes, chilies, and mozzarella.
Put your pizza dough on a pre-heated cookie sheet or pizza stone, spread your sauce, and add your toppings.
This is the weird shape I was telling you about .You can see how the edges are all crinkled and overlapped, which ruined some of that part of the pizza for me. Luckily Kobe is not picky!
Here's the pizza as it's cooked. Yum yum!
I also made another pizza. I used a green pepper from my garden. It was tiny but so good! I'll just post these as pictures as I'm sick of talking about pizza and it's time for bed.
The pizza is definitely worth making! Better than any Pizza Hut or Domino's pizza you could buy.