Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Friday is Pizza Day, the best day of the week"

Avoid the Noid and make your own pizza.

One of my favorite cooking shows is Good Eats by Alton Brown. If you haven't seen the show, he chooses one food topic and talks about the science behind that particular food topic then shows how to make something. My Enginerd brain needs to know "why" something works so this show totally relates to me. I recently saw an episode on making your own pizza dough so I decided to give it a try.

Typically when you make any type of dough, the best way to do it is use one of those KitchenAid mixers. I don't like to bake and I don't make enough bread (yet) to justify buying one. Because of this, making any dough is a bit challenging.

I used the dough recipe that Alton Brown used on his show, which is a standard pizza dough recipe of:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure olive oil
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups bread flour (for bread machines)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Olive oil, for the pizza crust
  • Flour, for dusting the pizza peel
If you have a fancy mixer, you mix everything together for 15 minutes using a flat mixing attachment. After that, put in the bread hood attachment and let it go for another 15 minutes. Since I don't have a mixer, I kneaded it by hand for ~40 minutes, which BLOWS. The recipe says put in the fridge over night to proof. I did this, and the dough did not proof. I set it out in a warm dark place for another day, then it finally proofed.

Forming it into a round shape was a challenge within itself. I didn't use a rolling pin because the recipe says to form it by hand. The bigger it got, the more it tore. It took a while to get it the the current size roughly 10"

Then I added the sauce. I was lazy and didn't make my own sauce, so I bought a pizza sauce from the store. I tasted it before I put it on and it was actually pretty good. You don't want to put a lot of sauce on it otherwise it will make the dough soggy.

The next item is herbs. I used dry basil, dry Italian seasoning, and fresh thyme. The reason you put this on before the cheese is so it doesn't burn in the oven.

Next, my favorite part, the cheese. I used 3 types, Mozzarella, Parmesan (not the stuff in the green can), and feta.

For toppings, I used my favorite toppings, which most places don't have on a standard pizza. Jalapenos and Pineapple. Mmmmmmm

I cranked up my oven to 500F and let it heat up to temperature. I put the pizza on a cookie sheet and let is bake for 8-10 minutes. You need to keep checking it to make sure it doesn't burn. You then have to let it cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting. If you don;t, everything will slide right off of the dough.

It actually came out really good. The dough itself had a great flavor and was a bit salty, which I like. If you add in the time to make the dough prep it and cook it, it took over an hour for one little pizza. This is mostly because I kneaded it by hand. I don't think this is a good recipe for guys poker night, but could be fun for smaller groups where you have all the dough pre-made and rolled out, then everyone just adds their own toppings. Possibly putting them on the grill if you can get it hot enough. Also I think this would be a fun activity if you have kids to get them involved and making their own pizza. Watch the pizza video on my video page. IT'S FRIDAY!


  1. Monday - Hot Dog, Tuesday - Taco
    Wednesday - Hamburgers and Chocolate Milk
    Thursday - Sloppy Joes and burritos in a bag

  2. That looks awesome, man hand kneading that dough makes you really earn it.

    Just a word of warning, based on the fact that you chose jalapenos and pineapple as your toppings combination, I think you might be pregnant.