Join Date: Aug 2004
Pizza, What Went Right/Wrong?
I made a pizza last night, inspired by a youtube video of a Chicago pizza that made a two-crust pizza with a thick layer of cheese between the crusts, and toppings then on top of the 2nd crust. Here's what I did, and the results of my work.
1 1/2 cups bread flour + 1/4 cup
2 tbs. SAF Red Instant yeast'
1 tsp. salt
4 ts. EVOO
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup water
Heat cold water to about 100' F. Add sugar and yeast. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Let the yeast mixture proof to make a rich foam on top. Add the remaining ingredients. Knead doe ten minutes, or until you get the window pain consistency. I found the dough became a bit too stick, and so added the additional 1/4 cup of flour, and kneaded it in.
Heat a bowl of water in the microwave until steaming. Pace the bowl containing the dough into the microwave, on top of the water bowl, close, and let rise until the dough is doubled, about 20 minutes.
While the dough was rising, I grated colby-jack, sharp cheddar, and gruyere cheese in equal potions to make a cup of shredded cheese. I then made a sauce of tomato paste, with added dried oregano, onion and garlic, and a touch of red pepper. I thinned it with enough water to get it to the proper consistency, about 3 tbs. of water.
Sliced deli ham was torn into pieces for DW's side of the pizza. I thinly lsiced some of my home-made smoked kielbasas, and got out thin-sliced uncured pepperoni. The pepperoni of this brand is very mild, and I usually lay it out, sprinkle with red pepper and fennel, put it back into its container, and let it set for a week int he fridge to give it good flavor. I didn't want to wait a week for my pizza, and so used it straight from the package.
To assemble the pizza, I punched down the dough, and divided it into equal halves. I put 3 tbs. EVOO onto a 9 X 15 cookie sheet, and spread 1 ball of dough to cover the sheet. I then covered the dough with a layer of shredded cheese,leaving a half inch of dough at all sides uncovered. I then pulled and stretched the other dough ball to the approximate size and shape of the cookie sheet. I laid it on top of the first layer and carefully spread it to the sides, where I pinched it with the edges of the bottom crust. i then spread a layer of sauce, and topped one half with the ham, and the other side with the sausage, and pepperoni. I then covered all with the remaining sauce, folloed by the remaining cheese, which formed a thick layer.
The pizza was baked for 30 minutes at 475' F. The crust came out perfect, slightly crispy, fried by the olive oil, and cooked through. It was light, and not too chewy, but with enough chew to make it a true pizza crust. The flavor, however, was not what I wanted. I now understand why Mozzarella is the best cheese for pizza. The cheddar, Parmesan, ans Colby-jack were far too assertive. They drowned out the other flavors. The kielbassa, also, was overpowering. The flavors of pepperoni, and that really good sauce were just lost.
The concept was good. The execution was good. The ingredients were wrong. If I make this kind of pizza again, I will use Mozzarella cheese, and omit the kielbasa. I;ll use Italian sausage, good pepperoni,ham, and include seet bell peppers (orange and yellow), onions, and mushrooms, and maybe sliced black olives. The other consideration is to use enough sauce so that I can taste it, as I love sauce.
This concept is a good one. I believe that if executed with proper ingredients, it will make one fine pizza. The other take away from this is that I didn't use a pizza stone, or pizza steel, just a steel cookie sheet, with a coating of loive oil, and my crust came out perfect. The pan was tin enough, and conductive enough that it absorbed the oven heat and transferred it to the crust effectively, cooking it though, while lightly browning, and crisping the surface. Cooking time ws 15 minutes at 475 degrees F. The pan has a dark patina from years of use, which absorbs and releases heat faster than a shiny, silvery pan. That helps too.
Learn from my mistakes, and from what went right, and make your own perfect pizza.
Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…
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