Friday, August 7, 2009

Homemade Pizza: Easier Than I Thought

Okay, yesterday was the day, the homemade pizza day. In all honesty, I was a bit nervous. While I very much enjoy cooking, I almost fear baking. I think my biggest problem is that I don't like to follow recipes (I guess it's my way of being rebellious!), and most of the time that's just fine when it comes to cooking. However, you really have to follow a recipe when you bake (at least when you are like me and don't know what you are doing...).

I remember baking with a friend who is an amazing baker, and she was shocked that I didn't measure things correctly, didn't mix ingredients in the order listed in the recipe, didn't let things rest and cool... - basically, I just did what I wanted to do. I guess it comes as no surprise that I have had my share of not-so-great baked goods, and therefore I rarely ever bake...

Now making a pizza crust isn't complicated but you have to follow instructions. And that's what I did for once. And it worked out! I should remember this... :o)

For the pizza crust, I followed (yes, followed!) Alison's recipe for whole wheat pizza crust.

Here is what I did:

First, I assembled the ingredients for the crust: 1 tbsp dry active yeast, 1 c warm water, 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 c white flour, 2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tbsp Canola oil
Next, I dissolved the yeast in some warm (but not hot!) water. See, I paid attention. :o) I let the yeast hang out for 5 minutes.
Then I added all the ingredients, except for 1/2 c of flour.
I mixed the ingredients together
Then I kneaded the 1/2 c flour into the dough for 5 minutes. Boy, this is a great dish for a day when you need to get out some aggression...This is what the dough looked like after I kneaded it for 5 minutes.
I coated the dough with a little oil and covered it with some plastic wrap.
Then I covered it with a warm, wet kitchen towel and let it rest and rise for 15 minutes.
And here is the risen dough...
I put a little oil on a pizza pan and coated the pan evenly.
I put the dough onto the pizza pan.
Here are the pizza toppings that I had prepared ahead of time (sauteed mushrooms, onions & shredded mozzarella cheese). I decided to keep things simple the first time around and use ingredients I had already, but I'll definitely experiment with all your suggestions from the other day soon!
Here is the pizza, ready to go into the oven!
And here is the toddler impatiently waiting for the pizza to be done...
Finally - the pizza is ready to take out of the oven!
But it has to cool first...
The toddler is NOT happy...
Everyone liked it! The toddler ate 3 slices! The teenager suggested to add a bit more cheese next time though.

Thanks again for all your inspirations to make my own pizza! I guess I can follow directions after all... :o)

Questions: Do you follow directions when cooking or baking? Have you ever had any disastrous results because you didn't follow the directions?

Be well,