Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge is What's for Dinner Tonight

pizza

(seafood pizza, lemon asparagus pizza, caramelized onion, mushroom and triple cheese pizza)

It's the time of the month again! Pizza is chosen as the October Daring Bakers Challenge, by our hostess Rosa's Yummy Yums. When the challenge was first revealed, I thought it was going to be a piece of cake. Why, I have made a few pizzas before, it's not the most complicated thing to make, if working with yeast doesn't intimidate you.

As I read on, I realize that, as part of the challenge, we have to attempt tossing the dough, and capture the moment. That would indeed be a challenge.

Unlike the pizza recipes I have worked with before, this recipe from Peter Reinhart takes 2 days. I am intrigued by the different in texture and taste developed from the prolong fermentation/resting. I must say that it's one of the best pizza crust I have made.

I don't have a pizza stone, so I simply use the back of the cookie sheet. The crust still turns out crisp. Instead of cornmeal, I use kamut flour, which I can't find other use after making a batch of kamut shortbread. Other than that, I follow the recipe provided.

seafood pizza

I make 3 pizzas from half a batch of pizza dough- Seafood Pizza, Lemon Asparagus Pizza and Caramelized Onion & Mushroom with Triple Cheese Pizza. As expected, the Seafood Pizza turned out to be the crowd pleaser. But the lemon asparagus pizza, which toppings idea I adopted from Elizabeth Falkner on foodandwine.com is surprisingly delightful.

The three pizzas are what's for dinner tonight, and that makes me a very happy girl! Thanks Rosa's Yummy Yums for selecting this recipe as our October challenge. I am glad to have another great pizza dough recipe under my belt now. I can totally foresee myself making it again soon for brunch or lunch party, as my friend T not so discreetly hinted.

I tried the tossing method, a skill I really want to master, but just couldn't get it right yet. :( I am going to try that again when I shape the remaining dough.

Check out other mouth-watering pizza creations from my fellow Daring Bakers here.

Basic Pizza Dough
“The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread” by Peter Reinhart
Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).

Ingredients:
4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled - FOR GF: 4 ½ cups GF Flour Blend with xanthan gum or 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup corn flour, 1 cup oat flour, 1 ½ cup arrowroot, potato or tapioca starch + 2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast - FOR GF use 2 tsp
1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar - FOR GF use agave syrup
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting

DAY ONE

Method:
1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.

NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.
The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.

Or

2. FOR GF: Add the oil, sugar or agave syrup and cold water, then mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.

3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.

NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.

DAY TWO

8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.

Or

8. FOR GF: On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the number of desired dough balls from the refrigerator. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a gluten free flour. Delicately press the dough into disks about ½ inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil. Lightly cover the dough round with a sheet of parchment paper and allow to rest for 2 hours.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.

Or

10. FOR GF: Press the dough into the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough).

NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.
During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping.
In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.
You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.

11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.

Or

11. FOR GF: Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

Or

12. FOR GF: Place the garnished pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.

13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.

Or

13. FOR GF: Follow the notes for this step.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.

If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.

14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.

To make Seafood Pizza
Toppings: 8 medium shrimps, 1/2 cup squids and 1/4 cup crab meat, cooked and cooled. parmesan cheese, provolone cheese.
Sauce: Smoked Salmon Cream cheese spread, leftover from my local bagel shop.

caramelized onion, mushroom & three cheeses pizza


To make Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Triple Cheese Pizza
topping: Caramelized onion, see instruction here; sauteed mushroom, brie, parmesan, provolone cheese.
sauce: marinara sauce

lemon asparagus pizza


To make Lemon Asparagus Pizza:
topping: 1/2 pound of asparagus, cut into 1/4 inch piece on a diagonal, provolone cheese, parmesan cheese, 1 lemon, preferably meyer lemon, sliced thinly.
sauce: none. just brush the top of the dough with extra virgin olive oil.

45 comments:

Y said...

Love the sound of your pizzas, especially the caramelised onion and mushroom one!

Piee and JSBanana said...

These are beautiful. Haha, especially the seafood one. Just looking at it makes my stomach growl... which isn't a good thing since it's so late at night already.

--JSBanana

Snooky doodle said...

Nice delicious pizzas :-)

Manggy said...

Gosh Mandy, I can't decide which one I like best! Maybe you can give me all three, stacked on top of each other. Great job!

smörgåsbroad said...

Goooood GOLLY those look amazing. Especially the seafood one. So colorful.

Missy said...

your pizza looks so delicious!!

Dana McCauley said...

Looks like a pizza trifecta - nice work!

Sarah said...

the lemon asparagus sounds amazing...i will have to file that away for the future. great job!

Alexa said...

They look wonderful... very creative. I would love to try the lemon asparagus one-- it's so unusual.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Every one of your pizzas looks sensational, but the lemon and asparagus is calling my name. It's gorgeous!

RecipeGirl said...

Mandy- these all look amazing! I guess we were thinking along the same lines... I made three pizzas too :)

Maria said...

Wow! All of your creations look fabulous! I think I will take a slice of each! I am really wanting the lemon and asparagus one though!!

Regina said...

A very interesting idea to use lemon slices as a topping! I'm curious to know if the rinds were edible...

Courtney said...

oh my goodness lemon asparagus pizza, how i would love that combination.

great pizza making your pics are to die for.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What wonderful pizzas! They all look incredibly scrumptious! Very well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

Olga said...

Lemon asparagus pizza? That sounds great!

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Engineer Baker said...

Wow, that lemon asparagus one has me intrigued. It looks and sounds wonderful!

Divya Vikram said...

Looks gorgeous..

Zoe Francois said...

These pizzas look and sound amazing!

Zoe Francois said...

Wow, the lemon asparagus looks fabulous! They are all lovely.

maybelle's mom said...

Love the meyer lemon on the pizza.

creampuff said...

Nice job on the pizzas!

kitten said...

your pizza toppings look scrumptious and your crust is baked to perfection! fantastic !

Pam said...

All three of your pizzas look and sound amazing. Mine seem pretty boring now. By the way, you take really beautiful photographs.

Elle said...

ALl of the pizza look fantastic, but I love the idea of the lemon asparagus one especially...and it's really pretty. I didn't master the toss,ethier, but had fun trying.

Tanya said...

All of your pizzas look absolutely amazing, but I think i would enjoy that seafood one the most! Wonderful work!

Audax Artifex said...

Scrummpy yummy seafood pizza. Great photos. Congrats about getting on foodspotting. Lemon Asparagus this sounds lovely, I really like spinach on my pizzaz, fab work on this challenge. yours audax

fatboybakes said...

what brilliant toppings!!! yummy.

Anonymous said...

What does "FOR GF" means please....

Sandra Avital said...

lemon & asparagus is so creative but I definitely woulg go for the caramelized onions, mushrooms & 3 cheeses (I mean 3 cheeses!!!!)!
Very nice pizzas!!

MissGreenTea said...

Caramelized onion is the most delicious ingredient on a pizza. A good friend of mine shared a similar pizza recipe with me except made with a barbecue sauce instead of marinara. Either way...a must try for everyone. Is it lunch time yet???

MissGreenTea said...

Caramelized onion is the most delicious ingredient on a pizza. A good friend of mine shared a similar pizza recipe with me except made with a barbecue sauce instead of marinara. Either way...a must try for everyone. Is it lunch time yet???

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Your pizzas all look terrific. But I think I'd be heading toward the carmelized onion and mushroom. Yum! Great job on the DB challenge!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Yum, the shrimp one looks really good!

Lynn said...

Your seafood pizza is to die for. Your pizzas look amazing. I am impressed. Well done.

Tarah at Genesis of a Cook said...

Yuum! I love the shrimp one! Look delicious!! <3

Anne said...

Wow! All the pizza variation you've made looks absolutely delicious :)

ring-a-ding-a-ling said...

I am enticing my hubby with your pictures so he can drive me to visit you asap!! haha then i will get to eat yummy food and pastries~~

Eileen said...

Great pizza! I'm sorry I didn't get around to the challenge this month :(

Deborah said...

I've never heard of lemon asparagus pizza, but I bet it was amazing! In fact, they all look delicious!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

What wonderful choices for toppings! You know what? I just had lunch ans I would still have a piece of each of your pizzas!

Venus ~ Vi said...

Mandy,

I want a bite of all your pizzas! They look so amazingly scrumptious!

mikky said...

your pizzas look sooo good... lovely combination... i'm drooling, too bad i can only stare... :)

~munyee~ said...

wow Mandy... they look so gourmet... *slurp* I don't usually like pizza, but yours look really deeeelicious. :)

Mandy said...

regina,
i remove the lemon rind when eating the pizza. But I like the flavor it imparts.

thanks everyone for your comments! :)

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