Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daring Bakers - Pizza!

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms 
with every spiritual blessing in Christ." Ephesians 1:3

This months Daring Baker project is pizza, brought to us by Rosa of Rosa's Yummy Yums and Sheri of What Did I Eat. The recipe is “Pizza Napoletana” from Peter Reinhart's “The Bread Baker's Apprentice.” I've read this book, but I can't find it in my collection, which would indicate to me that either I lost it, or aI got it from the library because it was a bit expensive. It's a puzzle to me.

Well at this point I have my pizza doughs in the refrigerator just waiting their turn in the oven. Tonight we are maybe having some young couples over and we are all going to toss pizzas. And if no one shows up, Riley and I will toss them ourselves. Actually I think that our grandson Christian will also toss a pizza, as he loves pizza.

I've decided to make Jamie Oliver's tomato sauce for the sauce of my pizzas.

Jamie's Tomato Sauce

olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
a bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked and torn
3 x 400g tins of good-quality, whole plum tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place a large non-stick frying pan on the heat and pour in 4 generous glugs of olive oil. Add the garlic, shake the pan around a bit and, once the garlic begins to colour lightly, add the basil and the tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mush and squash the tomatoes as much as you can.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper. As soon as it comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat. Strain the sauce through a coarse sieve into a bowl, using your wooden spoon to push any larger bits of tomato through. Discard the basil and garlic that will be left in the sieve, but make sure you scrape any of the tomatoey goodness off the back of the sieve into the bowl.

Pour the sauce back into the pan, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes to concentrate the flavours. It will be ready when it’s the perfect consistency for spreading on your pizza.

Store the sauce in a clean jar in the fridge – it’ll keep for a week or so. Also great to freeze in batches or even in an ice cube tray, so you can defrost exactly the amount you need. But to be honest, it’s so quick to make, you might as well make it on the day you need it.

The sauce turned out great. Because I have just been making the applesauce, I had my food mill handy and I used that instead of a strainer, and I think it was even better. The sauce took longer to reduce than five minutes though. I say maybe 20 to 30 minutes. I really liked the flavor.

By seven o'clock we were ready. The pizza balls had been sitting out for about 2 hours, and the pizza stone had been in the oven for about 45 minutes.

Our guests arrived at about 7:10. It was only one young couple - Jake and Merideth - but they were just the right number of people for the evening. We promptly set about tossing pizza.

Riley got his all tossed and round in no time. He claims it's because he watch the pizza thrower at the Old Towne Pizza for quite a while the other day. Whatever it was, he did a great job.

Merideth was next. She wanted a heart shaped pizza, and that's just what she got. I was struggling with the whole tossing thing, even dropping it on the floor once - I picked it up really fast, so that didn't count.

And Jake was just having a good time throwing pizza dough.

He finally settled on an alien shaped pizza, and adorned it accordingly.

All in all the pizzas were a big hit, and the tasted quite good. I'm keen to try on with anchovies, just like at Ken's Artisan Pizza, my favorite pizza restaurant. It was really very easy to do, except for the tossing, but then, I can get Riley to do that. I showed Merideth how to make the dough, and sent her home with two balls of dough, and a jar of the sauce.

“Be who you are and say what you feel 
because those who mind don't matter 
and those who matter don't mind.” 
Dr Seuss


Tammy said...

I based my sauce on Jamie Oliver's too. very simple but tasty!

Big Boys Oven said...

i am sure you will be having fun tossing thos pizzas! ;)

Miss Ifi said...

Well it looks like it was a lot of fun tossing those pizzas, maybe next time I'll have a tossing party like you seemed to have!
Congratulations on your challenge, well done ^_^

p.s. the alien shaped pizza makes me laugh

Lori said...

You all had so much fun! I love this Dr. Seuss quote here.

Cakelaw said...

Great pizzas Molly, and I love the tossing photos.

allison said...

Your pizza party looks like lots of fun...very yummy.