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This cook starts out with a confession: Before now I have never made or ordered a Pizza Margherita. When cooking it always looked too simplistic, in a restaurant it was always "What is it, 5 ingredients? Can't be worth the price." So with "Elements of Pizza" in my lap and a tomato plant on the deck pumping out tons of dime size, sweet cherry tomatoes I decided to try it for the first time. Big revelation. With a good crust and all premium ingredients this is a prime pizza. I used the "24 to 48 Hour" dough from "Elements", some sauce made from Italian San Marzano tomatoes, good Parmesan and Mozzarella and fresh basil leaves. Added some of the little cherry tomatoes from my really happy plant and got a really colorful and flavorful pizza. Sometimes simple is better...
Inspired by other contributors, I, too, picked up Ken Forkish's The Elements of Pizza, and just made my first two pies last night. I made the Pepperoni, Mushroom & Onion on a parbaked crust, and a Margherita pizza with arugula. Both turned out great, and my wife is also quiet pleased with the results. I used the Saturday Night Pizza dough recipe, even though it was Sunday. 8:10 am, mix dough. I used Gold Medal all-purpose with an extra Tablespoon of vital gluten. It took me a few minutes to make sure I was doing it right, and it came together fine. 8:25 am, let rest 20 minutes per instructions 8:45 am, remove dough from tub and do the fold/knead operation for a couple of minutes. Dough is looking good and feeling smooth. Cover and let sit for bulk fermentation. Go to church and pray for delicious Za. 11:30 am, remove dough from tub, separate into three pieces and make the dough balls Put the balls on a plate and cover with wrap -- the day is mine 5:00pm light the PB 24, install the deflector after it gets going well and the temp is climbing Lay down three 3/4" copper elbows as spacers, lay round stone on it. It's stable! Yay! 5:30 pm, cursing my Maverick 735 for being 100 degrees hotter than three other thermometers. Grrr, even with a new probe. Dome is climbing over 450, an oven thermometer on the stone is saying ~395, and my Maverick Bluetooth remote is saying ~475 Patience .. OK, go make a pizza (see dough ball pic) Did the 3-minute parbake, then fully dressed that shell with pepperoni, etc. Cooked for another 6 min, looking good Removed and admired. Tastes great! (see pic -- crust could have taken a bit more, but it was tasty with great texture) Made up the Margherita pizza, no parbake, and cooked that for ~ six minutes.Rookie mistake: lifting up the crust too high with fresh moz cheese a bit runny. Removed and admired Covered with arugula, creased with pizza slicer, then folded over in half to wilt the arugula. Awesome. Parbaked the remaining shell for later. Hope you enjoyed the time line.