Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thoughts on homemade pizza

By Paul Briand
This isn’t the first time I’ve featured homemade pizza here.
My niece’s husband (does that make him my nephew-in-law?) wrote about his Late Night Pizza in December 2011. And my daughter, Elizabeth, in August 2011 described her Grilled Pizza as “our new favorite Sunday dinner.”
I made pizza the other night, with a wheat-based crust, using store-bought dough.
A lot of folks struggle to get the dough in the shape they want. Here are a couple of tips I found helpful to getting my dough to shape perfectly into a large cookie sheet I used:

  • First, get the dough to room temperature;
  • Press it into a disk shape and use a little flour on your hands and on the dough;
  • Let gravity help you do the work of stretching the dough - hold the dough at the edges and just turn, turn, turn to let gravity stretch the dough toward the floor;
  • I placed the dough over the cookie sheet, draping about a half inch over the four edges;
  • And it rested for a few minutes;
  • Then I rolled the edges of dough over to build an edge for the crust.
This worked real well for me. I had a great looking crust with nice edging, and to the edging I brushed on some olive oil and sprinkled on some Parmesan cheese.
To the body of the pizza, besides store-bought pizza sauce and a package of mixed Italian cheeses, I added cut up pieces of chicken sausage that I had cooked on the grill, sweet onion and sweet pepper that I had grilled, and mushrooms.
It was a big hit, so big that my wife Jane said we can’t do take-out pizza anymore.

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