Friday, May 17, 2013

Ode to a Pizza Stone and Better Than TJs Roasted Garlic Herb Dough

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/05/ode-to-pizza-stone-and-better-than-tjs.html

The title of this post has been kickin' around in my head for a while.  I started making pizzas after I became a stay-at-home-mom because the price of delivery pizza was more than our budget could handle, yet my spouse loved his Friday Night Pizza Nights.  Having the right tool for the job is important to him, in work and at home, so when we decided to take the plunge on pizza-making-at-home supplies he did some research.  That's how he rolls.  My records only go back to 2000, but I think we purchased our stone and pizza peel in 1999 from the King Arthur flour website. (I get nothing from putting this link here, King Arthur Flour doesn't know me or know I'm writing this, I'm just sharing where I think we bought the tools because they are good quality and continue to serve me well.)  These tools crossed an ocean, spent a few years making pizzas in Hawaii, crossed back and spent a few more years working on the East coast, then traveled overland to the midwest.  The stone broke some time ago in Virginia and is blackened with age.  Like a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, this stone works faithfully for me week after week.  It is not pretty, except to me.

Somewhere along the way I stopped making pizzas at home because it was cheaper than delivery, and started making pizzas at home because they were better than delivery.  Any time you start with fresh, local ingredients (from your garden, the farmer's market, or your CSA farm share) your end result is going to be tasty (Ok, almost any time.  Spectacular failures are shared on my FB page since they won't be appearing here.  Ever.).  Any time you make pizza exactly the way you want it, with the crust, sauce, toppings, and cheeses of your choice, the end result will satisfy your belly and your soul.  And when your soul is satisfied, you don't need to keep eating.  I've found my family and I eat more moderate portions when our meals nourish our souls as well as our bellies.

My kids tell me that an ode is a lyrical poem, so I quickly threw together one for you:

O, sooty stone 
Your faithfulness delights
O'er the miles you doth roam
Effecting my family's Friday Night Pizza Nights
On your cracked and scarred surface
Farm fresh vegetables find their purpose
Others may not see your beauty
Yet you are radiant to me


Let's have a recipe, shall we?  This is my take on Trader Joes Garlic Herb dough.  I used my own roasted garlic and used half whole wheat and half unbleached all purpose flour, so it's not an exact copycat recipe.  I think it's better. I make my dough a few days before Pizza Night, because older dough doesn't fight me like fresh stuff does.  It keeps easily 3 days in the fridge.  If you know it will be longer, you can freeze the dough and move it to the fridge to thaw the day before you want to use it.

I'm not sharing a sauce/topping suggestion for this pizza dough.  I'd got some ideas for sauces and toppings in my Pizza Primer post, you're free to look around and get inspired.  Here's what I did with mine, which I will share next week have shared right here.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/05/ode-to-pizza-stone-and-better-than-tjs.html


http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/05/ode-to-pizza-stone-and-better-than-tjs.html

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/05/ode-to-pizza-stone-and-better-than-tjs.html

Better Than Trader Joes Roasted Garlic Herb Dough (adapted from The Best Pizza Is Made at Home (Nitty Gritty Cookbooks))

1 1/3 cups (320 ml) lukewarm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups (8 ounces by weight) whole wheat flour
2 cups (8 ½ ounces by weight) all purpose flour
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic (here's how I put up my garlic crop)
1 Tablespoon Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle or other Italian seasoning combination
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Place water and yeast in a the bowl of a stand mixer and allow yeast to soften a few minutes while you get the other ingredients out.  [If you have no stand mixer but do have a bread machine, put the ingredients in the pan and follow the manufacturer's instructions for a dough cycle.  If you have no stand mixer and no bread machine--check a thrift shop--you can frequently find bread machines there which will do the dough mixing job for you.]  Dump the rest of the ingredients into the bowl, and mix on low speed with paddle attachment for 1-2 minutes until barely combined.  Scrape down the bowl with a spatula, then crank the speed up to medium for 3-5 minutes until the dough gets that flowy look like in the large photo.  Transfer dough to an oiled bowl or oiled zip top bag and store in fridge up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.  Refer to my Pizza Primer post for baking and topping instructions.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/05/ode-to-pizza-stone-and-better-than-tjs.html
The stone, broken edges pushed together, in its usual habitat.  Bah. I need to clean my oven.  Joy.

28 comments:

  1. I love my pizza stone, too, but have only had it a year or two - yours has much more love + mileage on it than mine! =) And your pizzas look delicious with that wonderful garlic herb crust. YUM!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amy,
      Mine is definitely showing it's age, but still going strong. Some things get better with age, and well-loved pizza stones and cast iron skillets fall into that category.
      Thanks!

      Delete
    2. I love the Ode to the Pizza Stone. I feel the same way about my cast iron skillet, although I've been wanted to grab a pizza stone for a few months now. I need to get on that, and I can't wait to see what you topped your garlicky herb dough with; both options look delicious.

      Delete
  2. I love the idea of garlic herb crust! Saving this one for our next pizza night. And I agree... homemade pizza can be so much better than delivery. :)

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    1. Beth,
      Roasted garlic and herbs seem to pair well with so many pizza toppings, so it's a natural fit.
      And as I bit into my first anchovy pizza of this deployment last night, I'll agree with you--homemade pizza really does rock.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  3. I don't have a pizza stone. I've figured out if you par-bake your crust at a high temperature, then you get that brick oven taste. But I still wonder if I should invest in a pizza stone sometime...

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    Replies
    1. Julie,
      You're right, a high oven temperature is a key factor. If you have the storage space, though, think about a pizza stone. In a very conservative estimate (making 2 pizzas a week, a mere 40 weeks out of the year, for only 10 years though I know it's been longer) I've made at least 800 pizzas on this stone. So the per pizza cost to me is worth the initial investment.
      Then again, my family likes their Friday Night Pizza Nights to the point of obsession . . . I am sure most other people have pizza less often.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  4. That pizza stone looks beautiful to me, too.

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  5. Thanks for the inspiration! I need to use my stone more often. I usually just chuck my pizza in a pan and go with it. I do have a large cast iron pizza pan that makes a lovely crust. I wish I had two, but they are pricey. Guess I need to ask for another one for Christmas, which was where I got the first one. I also need to do more with flavored crusts – I stick with whole wheat. I know my family would get behind garlic dough, though. Baby steps...
    Sarah

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    Replies
    1. Baby steps indeed Sarah, you can't just go all Beet Crust on someone who's never had, say, spinach crust before!
      Last night the kids ate a meatball pizza, and both the meatballs and the dough had an ingredient (I'm calling it that for lack of a better word) made from grilled zucchini+black beans+pesto. (It didn't work as a stand alone dip, but does work as an ingredient in other things). They didn't bat an eye and had seconds.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  6. We use an extra-large ceramic tile from the Home Improvement store for a pizza baking stone. They have marble tiles too, which we use for serving on - they make EXCELLENT cheese boards!

    -momdrinkstea
    www.stackedstonefarm.blogspot.com
    http://pinterest.com/stackedstoneorg/boards/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a great idea, momdrinkstea!
      I've used tumbled marble tiles as coasters before, but never looked for larger stones.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  7. You're so right....homemade pizza is the BOMB! And I would be so upset if my stone broke....all that hard work to season it...gone, just gone. :(

    But, I'm lovin' that dough recipe! Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Wendy,
      I don't mind my broken stone as long as I can push the edges together, but some day I'll get a new one. Other things I'd rather have first, and it's still working fine.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  8. LOVE it! Pizza and poetry. I make pizza too but must admit that because I'm still working, I don't do the homemade dough very often. My favorite is to use cottage cheese as a sauce and then cover it with spicy sauteed greens. Add a dash of your favorite pizza cheese. YUM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tammy,
      I've been thinking about how to work all day and come home for a Friday Night Pizza night. I have an idea of having the kids take the dough out of the fridge when they are rooting around for an afterschool snack so it is ready to shape after I get home and start preheating the oven. I'll have several opportunities to try it this summer and let you know.
      Now that my CSA farm share has resumed, your cottage cheese and spicy greens pizza is going to inspire me--as I found a cottage cheese here that I love.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  9. G'day! I love pizza stones too!
    Thank for reminding me with your photo and recipe to do
    Cheers! Joanne
    What's On The List
    http://www.whatsonthelist.net
    Foodie Friends Friday Party!

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    Replies
    1. Joanne,
      Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  10. I love your big square stone, that is awesome! I make homemade pizza all the time (dairy-free) but I have never thought to add seasonings to the crust :) I will have to try that next time, thank you so much!

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    Replies
    1. Lisa,
      For some reason I'm compelled to start quoting Disney movies (from The Lion King "stick with me, kid, and you'll never go hungry again!"). If you ever get bored with your homemade pizzas, I've got some inspiration!
      Thanks!

      Delete
  11. I love making my own pizza dough and am always looking for new recipes!!! Can't wait to try this one out! Thanks for sharing with Foodie Friends Friday!! :-D Zannie from mymixingspoon.com

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    Replies
    1. Zannie,
      I'm glad to share a new recipe--with your skills it is a snap to make different doughs.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  12. With all of these pizza dough ideas...you could write a book! I'll go ahead and put my pre-order for it now :)

    Thanks for sharing and linking up!

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    Replies
    1. Heather,
      That's kind of the idea. ;)

      Thanks for hosting!

      Delete
  13. Sorry to see your broken stone! I have the same one and I couldn't bake without it! Thanks for sharing our products with your readers. Happy baking!

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    Replies
    1. Allison,
      I'm happy to share something that's been a good value for me and my family.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  14. I would recommend, if you haven't already, that you consider an Emile Henry Pizza Stone or the Baking Stone. I love this stone. Mine broke too because I used it on my grill and it got too hot (apparently). I now know how to use it on the grill. You do not have to preheat it. You make your pizza right on the stone (or ceramic) cookware, start up the grill, and then you just put the baking ceramic cookware on the grill. It really makes great pizza. We love using our pizza stone during our weekly pizza night with our kids. You can check out our pictures at http://www.bestpizzasupplies.com
    Because our kids love pizza so much we put together this website. We share our pizza night experiences. Enjoy

    ReplyDelete