Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pizza for the March Craft: Along

The other day, the projects for the March Craft: Along were posted over at Finnyknits. Both projects interest me this month. One is for quilted coasters. Now, I have no use for coasters since we do not own a coffee table and our kitchen table isn't really the type to require coasters. But I bought a walking foot for my sewing machine about two years ago now, and I have yet to use it. I am not really sure how. The coasters seem like a great opportunity to try machine quilting without investing much time or cash. So I plan to make those later this month.

The second project was pizza crust. Specifically, this recipe. I already had homemade pizza on our menu for the week, and I figured it would be easy enough to try a different crust.

Not being one to follow the rules in a recipe, I did make a couple of minor changes. First, I subbed 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour for 1/2 cup of the strong flour (also known as bread flour). I accidentally ran out of bread flour. Oops. Second, I had to add a ton of water-like half a cup, one teaspoon at a time-to get the consistency right. Third, my children do not like pizza sauce. They LOVE margherita pizza, which is sauceless, so to get some flavoring, I always add some spices right to the pizza dough. Here, I added 2 cloves of pressed garlic and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Nothing too fancy, but it does add some flavor. Finally, I used the dough hook on my stand mixer to do the kneading. I am just no good at kneading, and the mixer minimizes the floury mess, which I appreciate.

I rolled the crust out on a pizza stone and topped it with a block of shredded mozzarella, a sliced tomato and a bunch of fresh basil. This pre-baked pizza looks so pasty. Like not very appetizing.

The finished product. There weren't any baking instructions (or, at least, I didn't SEE any baking instructions) so I set the oven for 425 and stuck this gem in the oven for 15 minutes. In retrospect, I should have checked on it sooner. It got a wee bit brown. However, it was quite delicious.

So what is my verdict on this pizza dough? It is good, but I think I will stick to my regular recipe. It isn't so much the flavor as it is the time. My normal recipe requires no rising, so I can decide to make a pizza at 5pm and we will be eating it by 5:30. Now THAT I love.

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