Had to drag my tired body into the kitchen yesterday evening to start on the pizza dough for this month’s Daring Bakers challenge. I was debating wether or not it would be a better idea to just go to bed and make the pizza dough in the morning and then bake in the afternoon. Of course both ideas were good but alas not compatible. Because I wanted to photograph the pizza in daylight I made the dough in the evening.
With all the good bread we have in the Netherlands it’s surprising that bread flour is something that is pretty hard to find. In supermarkets you only have all purpose flour or bread mixes that already contain yeast, salt etc. The only option I had that was close by was try the health store. And hurray, they had flour made of durum wheat! However, when I opened the bag it struck me that the flour was very coarse, not as coarse as semolina but it was not dusty like regular flour 😦 The only alternative I had was all purpose flour but that has a low protein content so I wouldn’t be able to toss. So I used the flour I bought. The dough looked very weird, sort of like it curdled. The only thing I could do to save it was to add all purpose flour. I think I added several tablespoons (to half the recipe). In the end it was sort of workable but sticky. Instead of kneading for 5-7 minutes I did 10 minutes. The endresult looked ok-ish. Prepared them for the fridge and hoped for the best.
I let the dough sit on the counter for 2 hours and flattened the disk a little more before bouncing the dough on my fists. I don’t remember at which bounce the dough stretched till a millimeter thickness, it all happened so fast 😉 So it already looked like a tossed pizza but I hadn’t actually tossed it. To comply to Rosa‘s rules I threw the dough in the air and caught it while it was double. I was able to detach the halfs but the dough was even thinner than before and I still had to transfer it to my baking sheet. I didn’t know how to do that in neat manner so the dough folded again but again I managed to get it straight. The dough was really really thin, at one spot there even was a small hole. But all in all I was very happy so far. I managed to make it so thin that it measured 32 cm (12 Â½ in).
My goal for this pizza was trying to recreate my favourite pizza at my favourite pizzeria whilst I lived in Tel Aviv. Once I tasted the arugola pizza at Stuzzi I never tried a different one after that. Basically it’s a baked crust with tomato sauce. Once out of the oven it is topped with rocket, cherry tomatoes, parmesan, coarse salt and olive oil. The perfect pizza in my eyes, and it doubles as a salad.
So I topped my pizza with pureed canned tomatoes, baked it for 8 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes and added the rest of the toppings. Even though it didn’t taste exactly like the one at Stuzzi’s, it was close enough to enjoy thoroughly. I even ate the whole pizza in one go even though I had lunch 2 hours before.
I think that the crust was why it didn’t taste as good as the Stuzzi one. It was thin and crunchy but it needed a bit more salt (because I had to add more flour than called for). The tomato sauce tasted a tiny bit too intense, maybe because my crust was so very thin (I’m not even kidding, it was 1 mm thin in the middle part). Or maybe my hormones where acting up 😉 Probably a combination of the two.
I only made half the recipe and only baked 1 pizza. Still have 2 dough balls to toss. Will try the bouncing thing without flattening the disk first, see if that helps.
Loved doing this challenge, I’m sure I would never have tried tossing pizza dough myself.
And the list of all the other Daring Bakers is here.