Sometimes, you just get a feeling. You know, that intuition that comes with many failures and the occasional right. When you learn to drive, you slowly get the feeling of knowing when to slow down when you are at a stop light. You do it so often that you don’t have to think about it, it just comes. As someone who spends a good portion of her life toodling around the kitchen (yes, I toodle; does everyone? Don’t answer that.), I am slowly but surely getting a feeling for certain things. How much salt to add when pinched out of your hand, the scent of oil at the smoke oil, the taste of perfectly creamed butter & sugar, and (my favorite) the feel of a yeasty dough when it’s ready for its rise.There are some times you’re full of crap, but really just cross your fingers and hope you’re right.
Intuition, cockiness, confidence, whatever. Anyway you call it, you just know.
Pizza dough. First time without a recipe. Let’s be frank-I was lazy. Laziness=winging it. Yup.In a medium sized bowl, pour 2/3 inch warm water. Add one packet of dry yeast and a brief handful of sugar. Stir it up, and let it sit and slightly foam for about 5-7 minutes.
Add a couple cups of flour, a generous pinch of sea salt, and a couple few gollups of olive oil. When the dough forms a ball that starts to pull bits of dough from the side of the bowl, pour it out into a floured surface, and knead for about 8-12 minutes. The more you develop the gluten, the dough will have more elasticity, which means that when the yeast (which is active & living-yes, like the Bible) creates its gas, it will push up on the dough. But once the gluten forms a strong ceiling, the gas pushes up on the dough and cause the dough to rise, rather than breaking through the ceiling like a superhero.
Once you have your dough to the place you want it, let it rise in an oiled bowl, cover with with a towel, and set it someplace warm 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Now, pizza sauce-taste it out.
Take two few roma tomatoes, cut into small chunks, and throw into a saucepan with a lil’ run-around of sea salt (a lil’ run-around is equivalent to a generous pinch and a half). Let them simmer, then add a half a can of tomatoes paste. Let them cook together, then add seasonings as you see fit. I added oregano and three cloves of minced garlic.Also, crazy town! Some people add a bit of sugar to their pizza sauce to counteract the acidity of the tomato. However, if you add a scant 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, it helps neutralize the pH balance of the sauce, causing it to be a bit sweeter. Crazy, eh? Speaking of eh . . .
He came in town for two weeks. I took off work, and we traipsed around Springfield, had adventures, laid in hammocks, watched hockey, made 150 cupcakes and 150 cookies for a wedding (coming soon!
), watched favorite movies, read favorite books, and laughed way too much together. Love, eh? ;)I’m sure you’re not here for the gushy stuff. My apologies (but not really at all).
Ok! Your dough should be a-risin’, so throw it out onto a slightly floured surface and punch that sucker down.
Lightly grease a pizza pan and spread out your dough to the edges of the pan.
Those are my sister’s beautiful hands, BTW.Brush the top of the dough with oil that can infuse with . . . whatever. Sea salt & Greek seasoning & oregano & white pepper & etc . . . crazy combo infusion is a beautiful thing.
Pop in an oven that is preheated to 350 for about 7-10 minutes. You want it to start to bake before the sauce and toppings get added, just to ensure the middle doesn’t stayed doughy (bleh
).Take it out & spread your sauce.
Here is the fun, beautiful part! You get to add whatever you want. Want to add dollops of bacon & chive chevre (goat’s milk)? Do it. Maybe you want to add quartered artichoke hearts, slightly sauteed summer squash slices, and arugula (post baking). I didn’t do that, but that does sound delish . . .
I added about 1- 1 1/2 cups of a mozzarella & parmesan mix, and slightly sauteed red pepper slices, white onion slices, & slices mushrooms.
Put it back in the oven for about 8 minutes longer (give or take a few), or until the cheese (s) are all melty, just like you like.Because pizza is too good to not have it just like you like, right? Always.
Pizza. Cutting boards. And sorry, I had to sneak another in.It’s Wednesday-perfect pizza night. Throw one together. Get that feeling. Use that intuition. And go crazy.
Watching: “Because I Said So”