Monday, July 30, 2007
Farmer's Market Pizza
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Even though I have made both pizza crust recipes in TBB several times, to excellent results, I tried something new this weekend: the Neopolitan pizza dough recipe from
The Bread Baker's Apprentice. As an apprentice, I did not do so well.
The good news is that the recipe makes enough for six pizzas, so I have five in the freezer. The bad news may be that there are still five in the freezer. I'll see after next time.
Peter Reinhart gives instructions for stretching the pizza dough by tossing it in the air. Like anybody could do it. So I tossed it for a while, but after a few tosses, I started getting big holes in the middle of the dough. I'd shape it back into a nice patty, and start tossing it again. Again, I got big holes in the middle. Finally, I resorted to a rolling pin, which worked fine, although it didn't have that same air of savoir faire.
Then he suggested putting the stretched-thin pizza dough on a wooden paddle and sliding it onto a pizza stone. I figured that the sliding was going to go about as well as the tossing did, with far more disastrous possibilities, so I put the dough on a pizza pan.
Reinhart says you should bake it at as high a temperature as your oven can go--800 degrees if possible. I set my oven at 800, being very impressed that it would go that high. But instead of turning on, the oven flashed the number "800" and bleated pathetically. I finally understood it was telling me that it did not understand this number. It didn't understand 700 or 600 either, but settled down at 550.
For the topping, I sauteed summer squash, fennel and onion in olive oil. Then I added some sliced cherry tomatoes and a sliced Italian pepper. I topped it with fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, and grated parmesan, and stuck it in the hot oven (burning my arm in the process, which made me think they knew what they were doing when they decided not to allow their ovens to go up to 800 degrees).
Within six minutes, the outer crust was browned nicely, and the cheese were melted, and I strewed on some fresh basil. Things were looking up. Unfortunately, when I cut into the pizza, I realized that the bottom crust was not cooked through, so we had some really excellent pizza until you got into the middle. Then we had something soft and soggy, topped with a lot of vegetables.
I think that things might improve if I put the oven rack at the very bottom next time, so that it will cook through. I think maybe I shouldn't put so many vegetables on, especially rather wet vegetables like summer squash. It would also probably be a good idea not to bump my arm into the preheated pizza stone.
Posted by Marie at 5:27 PM