Sunday, August 7, 2011

Neo-Neopolitan Pizza

During the nine days, there really isn't much to eat besides lots of dairy and carbs. (This week is a vegetarian's dream!) I still stay away from pasta so that wasn't an option. So, I decided to make pizza. Normally, I stay away from that to, but as my food choices are limited and I haven't had a slice of it in ages, I decided to go ahead and make some dough. I've made pizza plenty of times before and posted about it, too but this time I decided to go with a different recipe. I made Peter Reinhart's Neo-Neopolitan Pizza from his latest, Artisan Breads Every Day. What I loved about this recipe is that it makes enough dough for five pizzas and that you can freeze what you don't use right after mixing! I divided the dough into five portions, froze four in individual baggies and threw them in the freezer, leaving the fifth portion to ferment overnight. The next day, I made the sauce recipe that he provided and froze what I didn't use into individual portions. I felt so mommy-like with all this planning ahead! The dough comes together so easily in the mixer, and besides for a stretch and fold, doesn't require much. After it had risen overnight, (and when I was ready for dinner) I stretched the dough out onto a baking sheet and topped with sauce and cheese. I needed to bake the pizza for much longer than I did because I got no color on the sides and bottom, even though it was perfectly cooked. I think I'll bake directly on the stone next time. All in all, it was a delicious pizza and I'm really glad to have more pizza nights in the near future. This pizza is headed to Yeastspotting! Hope everyone has a meaningful fast!
UPDATE: I just made another pizza, baked directly on the baking stone. It made all of the difference. The flavor really comes out of the crust and it is just so delicious. Homemade pizza has never tasted this good. Lesson learned- always use the baking stone. 
Neo Neopolitan Pizza
from Artisan Breads Every Day

5 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar
2 cups plus 2 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil, optional
Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of your mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.
Mix on low for one minute until all the dry ingredients are moistened and a shaggy dough is formed. Allow to rest for five minutes to allow the flour to fully hydrate.
Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. The dough should be soft and supple but smoother.
Turn the dough out onto an oiled surface, and, with oiled hands, give the dough one stretch and fold.
At this point, I portioned out the dough and froze what I didn't need and placed them in greased ziploc bags. If you are not freezing, proceed as follows. Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover. Refrigerate overnight.
 Here is my dough the next day. Preheat your oven, with a baking stone, or without if you choose to bake on a baking sheet, to the highest your oven will go.
 Place the dough on a floured surface (I was baking on a sheet so I did it directly onto parchment). Stretch the dough gently with your thumbs into your desired shape.
 Top with your desired sauce
and cheese.

 Bake for about 4-7 minutes or until your pizza is a deep golden brown. Mine needs work. Oh well. I'll try again tonight.

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