Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MoFo 29: Pizza!

This month's Daring Baker challenge was pizza. That's two savory baking challenges in a row! I'm lovin' it!

Homemade Vegan Pizzas
Originally uploaded by Marni Molina
Anyhow, I'm a little ashamed to say I've never made my own pizza dough, so this was a real challenge for me. I know what you're thinking. Really, Marni? Pizza dough? A challenge?

Yes. Dude, yes. Why? Because we had to get our pizzafreak on and twirl the dough in the air!

Let me just say, I never played sports as a kid. I was much more content to play piano, or write a story, or spend hours and hours attacking my Death Star replica with an army of X-Wing Fighters and ... oh, is my geek showing? Back to pizza then.

Point being I'm not all that skilled and throwing things and I'm even less skilled at catching them. But, in accordance with the rules for this challenge, I flipped and twirled my dough all over the kitchen. It was actually pretty damn fun. I'm thinking I may join my local adult softball league.


Yeah, I'm totally joking.

For pizza the first, I decided to go the traditional route and bake it. I covered my dough with homemade pesto sauce, oven roasted tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts. I baked it on one of those pizza stones and it came out just perfect.

I still had plenty of dough leftover and wanted to try something different. So I intuited my way through making a pan-fried pizza. I'm not sure how they traditionally go together, but I'll tell you how I made mine.

First, I caramelized two giant onions in olive oil with salt and freshly ground pepper. I then fished them out of the pan with tongs and laid my prepared round of dough in the hot onion oil. I waited 'til it got good color on the bottom and then flipped it. After that, I piled on the caramelized onions. When it looked done, I pulled it out of the pan and drizzled it with a balsamic reduction.

I have to say, I am most impressed with myself. I'm not sure pizza dough is something I ever would have thought about making, but now that I've done it, I've got all kinds of ideas. Mini pizzas, sweet pizzas, dessert calzones, and the list goes on. I'm thinking making pizza will now be a regular part of my cooking repertoire.

And in an effort to connect this back to this month's theme, I looked up homemade pizza dough storage and found the following info in How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman:

"You won't believe how simple it is to make pizza at home. And because pizza dough freezes very well for at least a couple weeks, it's even practical to whip up a batch for one or two people, wrap up half of the dough tightly in plastic wrap or a resealable plastic bag, and tuck it away for another day."

So there you go. I made extra dough that I have frozen according to Bittman's instructions and will report back some time in the next couple weeks on how it performs.

That's it, my friends. Pizza out!


Joey Biscotti said...

beautiful pizzas!!!

Bex said...

your pizzas look amazing! I'm drooling here.

KayO416 said...

How excited am I to see your pizzas!???!!! Indescribably. I'm putting them down in my recipe book for future pizza-making adventures! Thanks thanks thanks! Great pies, awesome toppings!!!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome Pizza!!!

DK said...

Thye look amazing :) great challenge

Dragon said...

Your pizzas are lovely! Great job!

Hannah said...

Yum, your pictures are making me hungry! It all looks so good.

HoneyB said...

They look so good! I love your pizza toppings!

jessy said...

isn't homemade pizza dough the best?! yours looks super amazing - and holy jeebus, Marni - the pan fried pizza with the balsamic reduction!?! holy sh*t that's one glorious pie of the most delicious deliciousness! ooooooo! yay!

dessert calzones - yes, yes, yes! you should totally create some! i cannot wait to see what you do with your other pizza dough! squeeeeeeeeee!

allularpunk said...

thank goodness you have joined the pizza train. hint hint: try mexipizza. it's on my blog and it is the best. ever. and i'm glad you're into making your own dough now! pizza dough is soooo easy and pretty much foolproof (as evidenced by the fact that i cannot mess it up).

guh, i love pizza. thanks for letting your geek show. i played piano and kept my nose in a book instead of playing sports, myself. throwing dough in the air scares the crap outta me.