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
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.
This post is shared on the From The Farm Blog Hop and the Clever Chicks Blog Hop, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up, What's Cookin' Wednesday, What's In The Box at In Her Chucks, and Foodie Friends Friday.
|The stone, broken edges pushed together, in its usual habitat. Bah. I need to clean my oven. Joy.|