My first challenge as Daring Bakers. Am I out of my mind?!! I have said million times that I just don't bake (much). Cause I am scared. Too many unknown factors. However, I love challenges. What's better way of challenging my baking skills (or lack off) by joining Daring Bakers? And of all things I fear most to bake, yeap...bread type of baking and surely, my first challenge just has to be pizza!
That said, I do make pizza dough quite often; my aunt's recipe and I have been sticking with that very one recipe for years. So I was both excited and nervous when I see this month's Daring Bakers task. For this challenge, we are using a recipe by Peter Reinhart, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread.
The first step of kneading went great. Did not use mixer - cause I don't think my hand held mixer can take the abuse. I was bit worried when my dough did not seem to be sticky (supposedly, the dough in this recipe would be somewhat sticky) but it seems completely fine, based on my minimal knowledge of 'bread' dough. Next day though, woohoo..it smells heavenly, a tad of yeast smell. The dough looks delicate and just right (whatever 'right' is)
Problem arises when I was hoping that Vik would take picture of me tossing the pizza - it was somewhat of a rule in this challenge: toss the pizza and take a photo of flying pizza. He called from office and said he'd be running late. And he has a soccer match to catch within 1.5 hour. Factor in: getting ready, eat, catch up for a bit - I just couldn't wait for him. I tempted using the recording button - but yeah..it might end up recording just the ceiling or my feet or something.
Anyway, so move on to the last few steps. Now the dough becomes kinda super soft, softer than what I accustomed to. Did some knuckle stretching, rotating, flip about 1/8" to the air. Actually I did send it to the air and guess what, somewhere in midair, it decided to fold itself together. Take a deeeeeppp breath. Okay, so..that's the reason I took out 3 parts of dough from the fridge, knowing that some trial and errors may occurred. It turned out okay though, I 'repaired' it - by stretching and patting it back together.
Hence, I had 2 pretty good round shape pizza and one splattered looking oval. Did not use any rolling pin!! Usually I used rolling pin for pizza. I have decided on topping early on. First one is inspired by our favorite pizza from Terroni (it's one of our favorite places) - Polentona. Tomatoes, speck (smoked prosciutto), fontina, mozzarella and pine nuts. I used smoked mozzarella and holysmokeee..it was so smokey, so sweet. The sauce is just a simple tomato paste with chopped up garlic and basil, the whole idea of this pizza is to showcase the rich smokey salty flavor of prosciutto.
Second one, I have always loved mushrooms in my pizza. So I went ahead and do vegetarian pizza of creminis, capers, artichokes, olives with goat cheese and basil pesto as sauce. Then I did the last one, half and half for Vik's lunch the next day.
I have another 2 doughs in freezer and so tempted to whip up sweet one this weekend, after seeing so many great inspiration on other DB posts.
The verdict: This pizza sure worth the effort!! The process is slightly more complex than the other recipe I got, but the result is super rewarding. Vik ate 3/4 of the prosciutto pizza and about 1/4 of mushrooms one. When he got back from soccer, he did second round dinner.
Thank you Rosa for hosting this month Daring Bakers!