Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October Daring Bakers: Pizza

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!

28 comments:

Elra said...

Ya, my first trial on this tossing action landed my dough on top of my kitchen cabinet. But, I had so much fun of doing it! Some people it was a bit too much, oh well!
Pizza look delicious, especially creminis and capers, my two favorite ingredients.
Cheers,
Elra

Esi said...

Welcome to Daring Bakers!! Love your choice of toppings.

Girl Japan said...

You scared to bake... NO.... you are perfect, I thought I could not stove stop either but things or recipes and such came out well, but I prefer to bake rather than cook (sweet tooth) hehe

I should join the daring bakers team.. = )

Girl Japan said...

and of course it look fabulous...

noobcook said...

congratulations of your first DB attempt ... the pizzas look good! Hope I can learn to make my own pizza dough next time too ... I get my pizza fixes from store bought frozen pizza ... I'm so sloppy! hehe

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your pizzas look really scrumptious! I love the choice of toppings! Very well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

Tasty Trends said...

your pizza looks yummy! i just love homemade pizza and can't get enough of it!!!

congrats on your first challenge!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I admit I'm not daring enough to join the daring bakers. However, I love it when the next challenge comes up so I can see what everyone did. It's something I really look forward to in the blogsphere!

Your pizza looks great. It looks rustic and homemade in the best way.

And don't worry. I don't think I could ever toss one either.

RhodeyGirl/Sabrina said...

wow this pizza looks amazing!!!! any tips?!?!

Peter M said...

Great looking trio of pizzas and glad to meet another TO blogger...get-together? Anytime!

Passionate About Baking said...

Welcome to DBs Cecil...you've come in with quite a bang girl! The pizzas look absolutely yummy, & I love your choice of toppings...YUM!! Am envious of what you are gonna do with the remaining dough coz mine is history! Well done!!

NOT SO VANILLA said...

wicked pizza choice! I just noticed your a DB from TO. I'm a DB from London, ON!

Julie said...

Fantastic job on your first Daring Bakers challenge! I would have had a tough time choosing between the mushroom pizza and the one with the speck as they both look incredibly delicious!

Jessie said...

Oh wow, I'm drooling at the sight of all that proscuitto! Yum. I'll bet it was great. And I'm with you...can't wait to see what November's challenge is!

+Jessie
a.k.a. The Hungry Mouse

Maria said...

I will take a slice of the veggie pizza please! It looks awesome!

Lynn said...

Well, if this is your first challenge and things turn out this fabulous, I can't wait to see what you do in the future. Your pizzas look amazing. Well done!

Erica said...

How much fun! I need to get in on this daring bakers stuff. Your pizza looks great- love the different toppings!

Bharti said...

How delish!

Dayna said...

You're pizzas look delicious.
Welcome to the Daring Bakers! I'm sure you'll have tons of fun.

Alexa said...

Hi Cecil,
Your first DB challenge is a roaring success. Your pizza looks fabulous. You used some great ingredients in your toppings. Have a great Halloween and weekend!

Adam said...

I'm glad to see that your tossing is a success! Anything I can do to not break out the rolling pin is worth it in my book. For some reason I get a tougher workout rolling, than actually working out :)

Love the saltiness of the prosciutto!

Jude said...

It's going to be fun to learn about baking with everyone at DB :)

The Mediocre Cook said...

I really want to try to make pizza dough. Both myself and my wife love fresh homemade pizza but we still buy the dough already made. Takes some of the fun out of it :( Your toppings look great and prosciutto... yum!

Eat4Fun said...

Congratulations on completing your first DB Challenge! Great job on your pizzas!

Phiphi said...

the pizza looks yummy to me.:)

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I could not chose between those 2 gorgeous pieces of pizza love! They look so good both! Yummmmmmm!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

ceci, pizzanya kerennnnn

Dee said...

No, you're definitely not out of your mind! Your pizza rocks, Cecil :) I've been meaning to join too, but everything's a little overwhelming at the moment. Maybe soon...

Hope you're having a great week!