Pizza 101

Pizza

So… I have a confession: I’m mildly terrified of yeast/dough. Yeah, totally pathetic for someone who loves to cook so much from scratch, I know. Something about it though just makes my heart start to race and gives me visions of dismal, gummy failures. I’ve deftly managed to avoid it for years, other than an occasional batch of bread in the safety of my bread maker (which, honestly, does that even count?).

This summer is the time for that to change. My goal? To conquer yeast. Yes, I know that’s a strange goal, especially with the current paleo and gluten free trends that seem to have taken over, but I want to know how to confidently make a loaf of bread, rolls, or… pizza!

Guys, I made pizza dough! With an overnight rise and yeast and bubbles and stickiness, and it was great! I feel like a champion, not going to lie.

I’m not even going to begin to break this down myself, because Deb at Smitten Kitchen has done the most AMAZING job of going into the science behind it all, even including different amounts of yeast for different rise times, which blows my rookie mind. Do yourself a favor and go check it out here: Lazy Pizza Dough

Here are my thoughts/tips after making the 22 hour rise dough:

  • I bought a new bag of King Arthur AP flour and a new container of yeast (mine got thrown out when we moved across the country, which is good, because it was old, and old yeast is bad yeast), since Deb used the same flour. Nervous Nellie right here.
  • I definitely had to add the extra tbsp or 2 of water to get my dough right.
  • We made the sauce that Deb used, and I would recommend making sure it’s very well seasoned. It brings a lot of the flavor to the pizza. We added dried oregano from our old garden in TN (I miss you, garden), which was an excellent addition.
  • I put my baking sheet in the oven while it preheated, and assembled each of my two pizzas on separate sheets of parchment paper on which I first rubbed a thin layer of olive oil and sprinkled a dusting of cornmeal. Then I just placed the parchment with the pizza on the very hot sheet and put it in the oven. The edges of the paper did get scorched and resulted in a little smokiness in the apartment, but there was no sticking and the bottom of the crust got nice and crispy. Worth it.
  • This dough is seriously wet and sticky. Don’t freak out. Just take your time and laugh a lot. A beer helps with this process.
  • We used some mozzarella and just a few things (marinated artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes) we grabbed off the Whole Foods antipasti bar, which made this super easy to assemble.

Try it out! I can’t wait to start experimenting with it more.

Yeast, I will win this fight.

 

 

11 thoughts on “Pizza 101

  1. My home economics teacher at school let everyone in the class bake a cake with yeast until everyone was able to make a decent yeast dough. I love to make Swedish cinnamon rolls with it. Have you ever heard of “Herman cake”? That might be a fun thing for your Yeast Project.

    • My mom used to have a Herman going when I was really young, and I’ve thought about starting one myself!
      I so wish I had been able to take a class like Home Ec, but sadly my school didn’t offer it anymore.

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