Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pizza Fridays

Friday nights are eagerly anticipated by everyone in our family. Not only is it the start of the weekend, but it generally means pizza and movie night with friends. The kids love to make a large fort with blankets and chairs from which to watch the movie or we all hunker down on a giant "pillow pile" and fight for the best viewing space and comfiest position.

Sometimes the pizza is store bought but more often than not it's homemade and we experiment with different recipes to make the perfect crust. This month's DB challenge fed right into pizza night with Peter Reinhart's pizza dough recipe. The dough came together easily on Thursday night, although I did find it stickier than what I was used to. Apparently there is a higher ratio of water than with the more typical pizza dough recipe. The disks went into the fridge for an overnight rest to be brought out Friday afternoon for tossing, forming, topping and eating.
Well, tossing the dough wasn't a huge success - given its pliability, the dough didn't really need tossing and after a few halfhearted attempts, we decided to simply stretch it out and free form it into circles. Everyone topped their own pizzas from a selection of traditional toppings - mushrooms, black olives, pepperoni, onion, red pepper, and tomato.

The oven was turned up to 500F and the pizza stone was preheated as directed. However, despite being in the oven over 18 minutes (twice as long as the recipe called for), it never got the crispy all over crust that I get from my usual dough recipe. It eventually did come together but I found the recipe more finicky and more work than what I traditionally use and the results not really any different in terms of taste. I was kind of surprised to read how much others really liked their results. Maybe I was missing something?!? Oh well, with the red wine flowing and dominoes out, a good time was had by all.

Thanks again to my resident photography for the great pics and to Rosa of Rosa's Yummy Yums for a great challenge.