Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daring Bakers Pizza- Greek, Summer Squash, Hummus, BBQ Chicken, Nutella, Mexican, and Thai

Greek- my pizza sauce, greek-seasoned chicken, baby spinach, red peppers, mozzarella and feta

This month's Daring Bakers Challenge was pizza. The pizza dough used cold fermentation as the method and we were supposed to toss the dough. No pictures of tossing here- by the time I let the dough rest in the fridge over night and sit on the counter for a few hours the next day, it was so elastic, I could barely hold it up. I got it onto my fists and the dough was already streched out to an enormous size. I attempted tossing but couldn't get any pics of it, because it happened too fast. Sorry. This dough came together easily and I went a little crazy with the toppings. I actually made 7 dough balls because I wanted a dessert pizza too. Check out what other DBer's did with this challenge by visiting the Daring Bakers Blogroll!

Summer Squash- my pizza sauce, thinly sliced summer squash and zucchini, fresh basil, garlic sea salt and mozzarella

Hummus- roasted red pepper hummus, spinach, yellow, orange and red bell peppers, feta

BBQ Chicken- BBQ sauce, cooked chicken, pineapple chunks, green bell peppers, cheddar and mozzarella cheese

Nutella- granulated sugar instead of cornmeal on pan, after baking- Nutella, fresh strawberry slices and blueberries

Mexican- refried beans, black beans, red, yellow, orange and green bell peppers, taco cheese blend, added fresh, chopped tomatoes from the garden after it was done baking

Thai- peanut sauce (creamy PB, tamari, and rice wine vinegar), fresh bean sprouts, green onions, matchstick carrots, cilantro,- after done baking- cucumber slices and roasted peanuts

My Pizza sauce: (makes enough for 2 large round pizzas)
1 Tbls olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbls fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, removed from stems
2-14 oz cans petite diced tomatoes, flavored with olive oil and garlic
1 6-oz can tomato paste
To make sauce- heat oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Add onion and saute, until almost tender. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add herbs and saute for 1 more minute. Add tomatoes and cook until bubbly. Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Reduce heat and let simmer for a few minutes. Scoop mixture into blender and puree, for a few minutes, until completely pureed. Set aside
BASIC PIZZA DOUGH ~Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart
Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter)
4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled -
FOR GF: 4 ½ cups GF Flour Blend with xanthan gum or 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup corn flour, 1 cup oat flour, 1 ½ cup arrowroot, potato or tapioca starch + 2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast - FOR GF use 2 tsp1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar - FOR GF use agave syrup
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting
1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).
2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.
NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.
2. FOR GF: Add the oil, sugar or agave syrup and cold water, then mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.
3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper
.4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).
NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.
5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.
NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.
6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.
7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.
NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.
8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.
8. FOR GF: On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the number of desired dough balls from the refrigerator. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a gluten free flour. Delicately press the dough into disks about ½ inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil. Lightly cover the dough round with a sheet of parchment paper and allow to rest for 2 hours.
9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C). NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.
10. FOR GF: Press the dough into the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough).
NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping. In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.
11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.
11. FOR GF: Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.
12. FOR GF: Place the garnished pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.
NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.1
3. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.
13. FOR GF: Follow the notes for this step.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.
Come back in the morning for Sarah's Pumpkin Pancakes and Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake!


Emily said...

Holy Pizza! You are super creative! They ALL sound/look so good! Great ideas!

Sarah said...

wow! that is a lot of different pizzas and they all sounds amazing. i am intrigued by the mexican one. great job!

April said...

Yum! they all look delicious!

Maria said...

Nutella on pizza...a dream! All of your creations look great!

Mary Ann said...

Emily- Thank you- they were tasty!

Sarah- The mexican was kinda like nachos, but with a chewier crust!

April- Thanks for stopping by!

Maria- The nutella pizza did disappear very quickly! It was great!

Aggie said...

Holy Pizza is right! You've got me with this post, I am drooling over all of your pizza creations!! Great stuff Maryann!!

Shari said...

Wow, you sure did a lot of variations! They all sound great!

Deeba PAB said...

Yes I think holy pizza sounds just right...what an exotic feast you got laid here girl. Toss or no toss, wonderfully done!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Golly, Mary Ann all those toppings are wonderful! What an array! And hummus, yes I forgot about that. I think I need me one of those! And the Mexican! I need a lunch bread now, just wish I still had a crust waiting in the fridge!

Pamela said...

Wow! All of your versions look amazing. Especially the Greek! Yum.

Di said...

Wow, quite the variety! I like the sound of the squash--I've never tried it on pizza, though I do like it with tomato sauce. Great job! Oh, and I can't wait to see tomorrow's coffeecake--sounds yummy. =)

La Bella Cooks said...

I would be the one standing very close to the nutella pizza! They all look wonderful. You were so creative in your combinations!

Heather B said...

wow! That's a lot of pizza! They all look delicious, great job!

Pamela said...

I'm back again to let you know I have an award for you. Please stop by when you can!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

wow--it's a pizza bonanza! i'm loving the summer squash and mexican versions!

Alexa said...

Your creativity shines through one more time, Mary Ann. It all looks so delicious. I would be happy trying a slice of each one of your creations.

Cathy said...

Holy moly! I want to be at your house on pizza night! Seriously, one of your pizzas looked better than the next! How would I ever choose?

Prudy said...

Mary Ann:
If you are coming this way you are soooo coming to our Halloween party. You have to! I'm leaving Saturday morning at six AM for NY and then Europe so if you are here on Friday night--please please please let's get together! Your pizzas look so heavenly, how in the heck do you not win every possible contest in the world? Girl, you are just amazing! I'm so looking forward to pumpkin perfection tomorrow, too.