Monday, July 5, 2010

The Neverending Pizza Saga

My attempt to blog every week sucks. My attempt to blog every other week sucks! Just for the record let me say I deserve an A for effort, I think of blogging often but never quite make it to the computer. So there you have it.

My latest pizza crust recipe is from the same cookbook as the Tuscan Flatbread recipe. This one is deep-dish pizza. The source is Cook's Illustrated magazine (I love that magazine). The intro to the recipe talks about the world being divided into those who are willing to make their own pizza and those who would never attempt. Those who attempt the feat find it worth the effort- especially if they find a recipe like this one. Can you believe this? I'm reading this all the while thinking this is going to be a great recipe, maybe I've finally found "the best pizza crust recipe." aaaaaaahhhhh But wait there's more... a secret ingredient: a baking potato. I remember my mom telling me about spud nuts and even tried them, they were delicious. For those of you who don't know what a spud nut is allow me, it's a doughnut made with a potato. Now you understand why I instantly thought of a spud nut and the correlation.

The potato did what the 1/4 cup of sugar did in the previous recipe, it was sweeter with a tender crust. My taste buds are leaning towards the Tuscan flatbread recipe. That sweet crust and salty cheese combination has got me. When I had my kids taste the pizza they both liked it better than the flatbread. UGH! I was hoping we would all be on the same page, but I can't expect them to like every thing I do. Their opinion was the potato gave the crust tremendous flavor. So I like one recipe, my kids like the other. So now what?I decided to take some down time and went to the Arts Festival with a friend. I told him my dilemma as we strolled among the booths drinking wine. He suggested I have pizza and wine party! At first the thought was nothing more than a fun and silly idea. The more I mulled it over the more I thought it was a great idea. Now I'm definitely going through with the whole affair. I've decided I'm going to make three different pizza crusts, the Pizza Hut recipe, the Tuscan Flatbread recipe and the Deep-dish recipe. I'll make up little cards for everyone to write down their favorite crust and provide feedback. I'll get some good wine, play some jazz music, it should be a fun night for all. Maybe I'll receive some insight I'm missing or maybe I've found more than one good home-made pizza crust recipe. It could happen.

Deep-dish Pizza

1 medium baking potato
3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/1/2 teaspoons quick-rise yeast
1 cup warm water
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
Cook the potato until tender.(The recipe tells you to press the potato through a potato ricer or grate it. I mashed it up and put the whole thing in the recipe). Mix 1/2 cup of flour, the yeast and 1/2 cup of warm water. Let stand for 15 minutes until bubbly. Add the remaining 1/2 warm water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the remaining 3 cups flour, the potato and the salt. Mix until blended well then knead for about 5 minutes until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, let rise for an hour or until doubled.

  In my down time from pizza crust I made a mean egg salad sandwich and for dessert strawberry and cream cake.