Thursday, January 7, 2010
I made personal sized pizzas for dinner. Nick complains that anchovies put on only 1/2 of the pizza have an irritating tendency to 'migrate' their umami goodness to the entire pie - his half. So, I made two mini-pies. Mine with anchovies. His without.
I am a prolific bread baker, and am a sucker for bread recipe books. My most recent acquisition is "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes Per Day". The basic premiseof this book is that one takes a wet yeast dough, consisting of flour, yeast, salt, and a relatively high percentage of water, mixes it all together, lets it rise, then stores in the refrigerator, where it gets even more flavorful over time. You make a large quantity of dough, all at once, taking out only the amount wanted, then baking it then and there, for a lickety-split loaf at din-din. These people are geniuses! Seriously. I am blown away by how easy this method is...for someone like me, during the week, to bake bread on a work day. You don't need to knead the bread, because somehow, some way, the gluten gets lined up and springy with only the help of the extra saturation of the water-heavy dough mix.
So, I used some of this stored dough, in my frig, to make two pizzas. I weighed the dough so that each pie used 250 grams of dough, and that way I knew that the pizzas would cook evenly, and that one of us would not get more than the other to eat. (Shades of when I was a little kid, and my mom made sure that my sister and I got our things given to us 'even steven'.)
I heated up my oven to 450 degrees F, with the Pizza Stone in there, then rolled out my little pizzas on my peel, which had been covered with cornmeal. On each pie went some red sauce, then mozzarella, then a bunch of chopped yellow and green sweet peppers. On one pie (mine), went 4 anchovy filets. Then I sprinkled home-grown dried basil on top. Closed the oven door, went to take a shower, came back...and - pizza for dinner.
This dough made a nicely chewy pizza dough, and was crisp on bottom, thanks to my use of the Pizza Stone. My Pizza Stone is nice and black, from years of use, and I leave it in the oven all the time.
So, to summarize, my dear and kind reader, Nick and I enjoyed a tasty, gourmet style (if I do say so myself) pizza dinner tonight. We had the pizza with a nice field greens salad, and our wine was some 2009 Beaujolais Nouveau that Nick got from one of his clients/vendors. Its fruitly sprightliness went well with the mood of our pizza dinner tonight. And Beaujolais Nouveau HAS to be drunk quickly, does it not? So that's why we opened it tonight and did not save it for another occasion.