Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pizza Party

After as significant amount of hemming and hawing (internally), I finally decided to do the 'personal pizzas for dinner' thing.

My dad is somewhat obsessively into pizza at this point, so I got his input, then I went surfing. And given that I needed to make the dough ahead of time, found this recipe for The Best Pizza Dough Ever at 101 Cookbooks. I was a little put out by the 1 tsp of yeast - in my mind, yeast should be measure in packets - but other than that, it seemed to be what I needed and so I decided to roll with it (my dad had never let his dough rest overnight, so I wanted to make sure I accounted for that).

The seven minutes of mixing without a mixer were (I'm sure) great for my arm muscles, but a bit exhausting (and I doubled it, but in two batches as I was worried about how much dough I might have to mix if I doubled it in one batch (so 14 minutes)), but I persevered (my brother has been very direct about the importance of gluten in dough). The suggestion then was to put the dough on a cookie sheet, put the whole thing in a bag and then put it in the fridge. Now, I don't know who has cookie sheet sized baggies (or room in their fridge for a cookie sheet), but I don't, so I put them on a plate and put them in a freezer ziploc - which was mostly fine (the dough got a little enthusiastic and ran over the edges a bit (I need a square plate that is the same size as the ziploc so that doesn't happen). I pulled out 9 of the balls 2 hrs before (6 for us, 3 in case anyone wanted seconds).

I had toppings ready
  • Sauce - Clearly this guy is a little past the obsessive point, but I couldn't not follow his general guidance on sauce (I'm a little obsessive myself (and a couple of epicurious recipes also suggested using whole tomatoes, not sauce, to start with)). I did add salt, pepper, oregano and dried garlic to the sauce -- it tasted good
  • Buffalo Mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Hot Italian sausage
  • Pepperoni
  • Lightly sauteed mushrooms
  • Roasted red pepper
  • Onions
  • Carmelized onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Kalamata olives
I'm sure I was missing something, but nothing that I wanted. It all went perfectly (except for grabbing a hot pan without a pot-holder, though the pain does seem to be fading - finally (I've already gone through an entire tray of ice cubes (it's a finger, so it's one at a time))).

But it was beautiful! And delicious!

I also made an salad (arugala, kalamata olives, cherry heirloom tomatoes, little mozzarella balls in a sherry vinaigrette) - I did this so that the folks who were waiting for pizzas would have something to eat. That said, the timing was less that ideal - it took longer than I thought it would. And I couldn't fit 3 in, only 2 at a time. And 3 of the 6 ended up sticking and getting messy getting off the pan, so it wasn't an overwhelming success -- but mine did taste really good!

Finished it up with DIY banana splits. I feel a little over-fed at the moment.