Wednesday, June 25, 2008

8. Basic Pizza Dough (p. 199)

The Book says that pizza dough should not just a vehicle for cheese, but rather, it should be really, really good bread. And making this dough by hand reminded me of that fact.

I've always been fascinated by yeast. I love the way it smells. I love that it's alive. I love the anticipation of waiting to see if the dough will rise or not. Harold McGee says that the active-dry yeast in those cute little packages is a fungus(!) known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae or "brewer's sugar fungus." Yum!

I haven't cooked a home-made pizza in a long, long time, so I appreciated The Book's instructions for shaping the dough. Forget about spinning. Instead, you hold the dough ball by one end and you turn it gently, like a steering wheel, as its own weight stretches it out.

The Book says that the dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a day or frozen for a month. You just need to bring the dough back to room temperature before you shape it. I made the dough on Sunday morning and used it that night. I think that the dough was still a little too cool when I shaped it, because it was a little hard to work with. Next time, I'll give it more time to get back to room temperature.

And how did it taste? It was great! Chewy with a nice flavor. The Book describes it as very airy with a blistered crust. It wasn't as airy as I was expecting it, but I'll be making this recipe again (I've got five more pizza recipes to make), so I'll see if more or less kneading or rising time makes a difference.

Date Cooked: June 22, 2008
Degree of Difficulty: Medium
Rating: B+ (Maybe it'll be better next time)

1 comment:

Kiki said...

And with that, the bread machine is indefinitely banished to the attic . . .