The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pizza

hsmum's picture

who needs a pizza peel when you've got one of these babies?

March 17, 2009 - 6:30pm -- hsmum
Forum: 

I'm really still very new at this bread-baking thing, so I hesitate to say it, but I may have discovered a tolerably good and low-cost alternative to a pizza peel! 

Today I tried making pizza for the first time.  I realized last-minute that even my rather large spatula (roughly 6"x6") was just not going to transfer these little babies onto my baking stone.   Silly of me. 

niagaragirl's picture

Would like a softer pizza crust

March 16, 2009 - 7:58pm -- niagaragirl

Yes I know it sounds like a stupid request. I finally found a dough recipe I really like, but are there any tricks to getting the end crust a little softer? It's just our preference. The dough has standard ingredients - flour, sugar, oil, water, salt. I bake usually at 425-450 depending on how much stuff is on it.

I don't use a stone (we bought one years ago but can't find it ha ha). If I did use a stone, would that good expanse of heat help me get the middle cooked faster and get it out of the oven quicker? Sorry if this sounds stupid.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

This has become a regular around here.  Pesto Pizza:

I use Peter Reinhart's pizza crust, Costco's pesto (which is actually quite good), frozen shrimp or chicken, and parmesan cheese.  The kids love it, we love it, and it is quick and easy, easy enough to do on a work night (or Valentine's, which is when this was from).

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I've not posted much, but I've still been baking, and I think my re-engagement with this site has encouraged me to try a few new things. Most recently, I made a variant of Jeffrey Hammelman's excellent Flaxseed Bread, which contains 60% rye. I've altered his recipe a bit, using whole rye instead of medium rye, increasing the hydration to 80% (to account for the extra absorbtion of whole rye) and used a rye starter at 100%, simply because that's how I keep mine. The recipe may be found in the handbook here.

Usually, I just let the sourdough do its thing, and don't add any commercial yeast. But, I was under some time pressure here, so I went ahead and added 3/4 tsp of instant yeast like Hammelman. Wow! I couldn't tell any difference in flavor, which was hearty with a good tang, but I got quite a bit more volume. As for the rise, Hammelman calls for 80 degrees. Well, it was about 64 in my house, so I just threw a cup of boiling water in the bottom of a cooler, stood the dough on an upturned bowl and closed it up. The bulk rise took about 45 minutes and the final rise was just over an hour (I intended to go just one hour, but got stuck on a conference call, as I work from home -- augggggh!).

Here's a picture. As you can see, I sprinkled sesame seeds on the top right after shaping.

Earlier in the week, I decided to give the Sullivan Street Potato Pizza from Glazer's Artisan Baking Across America a shot. You think you've worked with a wet dough? Trust me, until you've made the dough for the crust in this recipe, you've not worked with wet dough. The hydration on this puppy is something like 104%! It's a batter, and since I don't own a stand mixer (the recipe says to leave it in the mixer for 20 minutes) I went the food processor route, a la Peter Reinhart, and let it churn away for 45 seconds.

Did it work? I've no idea. But the dough (if you want to call it that) was smooth, and I was able to spread it over the pan.

It was a good potato pizza, but a little too starchy for my taste what with bread and potatoes together. Not sure I'll make it again.

I also decided to give Ponsford's Ciabatta from this same book another go, which has previously given me fits. As usual, probably because my house is so cold (below 60 at night sometimes) it took about 36 hours instead of 24 for the biga to develop. But this time around, I actually got a decent loaf of bread. Truth be told, though, I thought the poolish ciabattas I've made before tasted better. I don't see much advantage in using so little yeast (1/4 tsp of yeast is disolved into a cup of water -- then 1/2 tsp of that water is used to leaven the biga!) for the home baker, though I can see how it would be a big advantage for a professional baker to be able to let it ripen 24 hours.

 

Finally, I made a couple of Colombia batards, also from Glazer's book. MountainDog turned me on to this bread, for which I'm very grateful. Clearly, as bulbous as these loaves are, I should have let them proof another 30-60 minutes, but odd-looking bread for dinner is better than day-old bread the next day (well, most of the time). They tasted lovely, as always.

 

And the innerds, which, had I waited another 45 minutes, would have likely been more open. But, alas, the soup would have had no accompaniment.

Soundman's picture

When in Connecticut

October 28, 2008 - 12:40pm -- Soundman

I did a search of TFL and there is no record I can find of anyone ever posting about the fantastic pizza available in Connecticut, specifically in my home city of New Haven.

I suspect, therefore, that the TFL pizza-lovers out there (who eat restaurant-baked pizza) won't know that our small city is famous, around these parts anyway, for pizza, or as it is often written and spoken, "apizza."

Eli's picture
Eli

This week I am going to be a baking fool! I have some time and I have been behind so I am going ro catch up granted,nothing earth shattering should appear as usual. I wanted to start out the week with some pizza dough from Crust & Crumb and I am leaning towards Pizza II. I will say it is better with about 72 hours in the fridge utillizing a slow rise. PR says it should hold about 48 hours but mine is doing well after 72 hours (much more taste and great texture). My fresh ingredients are slowing down in  the garden but I still have plenty herbs. Today the list is Pepperoni (not from the garden), Mr. Stripey Tomato slices, Better Boy Red Tomato puree, Genovese Basil, Thai Basil, Fresh Mozeralla, Calamata Olives, Fresh Thyme, Oregano, Vidalia Onion and my favorite, Honey Roasted Garlic. Turned out quite nice and the crust was delicious!

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