Daring Bakers Get Tossing (Pizza not their Cookies)

October 28th, 2008 · Lisa · nut-free, Recipes, Savory · Comments


Oh Reinhart. You are a wizard, a master, a genius.
You hold the secret to carbolicious dining.
This month the daring bakers got rolling and flipping in their kitchens…like something out of Naples.
It was great to work on another Reinhardt recipe-especially since it did not require any veganizing. That is probably another thing I like about the guy. And the fact that he encourages the use of whole grain flours-I mean he wrote a whole book on the subject.


The October challenge was selected by Rosa from Rosa’s Yummy Yums. She upped the ante by requiring that everyone actually toss their pizza dough rather than simply rolling it out. We were supposed to take a picture of us tossing the dough…but since I live alone, I never had the chance to have someone else capture the brief chaotic moment of ‘dough-in-air”.

Nonetheless, I had a great time with this recipe. It is a two-day process. Although the hands-on time is actually quite limited. I decided to use whole wheat (red fife) flour instead of the all purpose. I’m sure it impacted the result but since I haven’t had white flour in quite some time, it tasted great to me.

Here is the recipe the Daring Baker’s used:
~ BASIC PIZZA DOUGH ~Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).

Ingredients: 4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast
1/4 C- use up to (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting
DAY ONE
Method: 1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).
2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.
NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.
3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.
4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).
NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.
5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.
NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.
6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.
7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.
NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.
DAY TWO
8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.
9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C). NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.
10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.
11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter – for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.
12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.
NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.
13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.
14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.

I made two pizzas and still have a few more servings in my freezer (the recipe says it keeps for 3 months in the freezer). I wanted to use fall ingredients to give the pizza a special “October” taste.

On the first pizza I pulled out some pesto I had whipped up this summer and slathered it all over the dough. Then I added some roasted butternut squash and sweet potato, sauteed mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and spinach.


The second pizza was topped with a sundried tomato hummus, sweet potato, the same mushooms, spinach and some extra basil leaves.

The dough was baked up quickly (5-8 mins) in a really hot oven-leaving the thin centre just barely cooked and the edges with the perfect amount of chewyness. It did actually remind me of the pizza I tasted in Naples-although the whole grain flour does make it a little denser.

I have seen the incredible creativity the other Daring Bakers brought to this challenge. I encourage you to check out all the variations that have now invaded the internet.

Happy Tossing!

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