adventures in pizza dough

So Kevin and I were still feeling a little down this weekend, and because I’m not remotely affectionate I express my love through food. I decided it was time for me to tackle bread making. Yes, I’m a yeast virgin. Unless you count the time my cousin Chrissie and I decided we were going to compete with Auntie Anne’s and start our own soft pretzel business. My Aunt Susan appeased us and provided the ingredients but we got so distracted playing with the dough that the pretzel thing never really took shape, literally.

I had to babysit Kevin last night so I thought it would be fun for us to make pizza from scratch. I was up early yesterday so I started the dough. I used Giada’s recipe because she’s the Italian goddess. I was pretty happy with it- although I’m glad I read the reviews from other people. The ingredients list 5 cups of flour and 1 1/2 cups water, but you should start with 4 cups of flour and 1 cup warm water (mixed with the yeast) and then add more flour and water to get the right consistency. I also only split the dough in half instead of three pieces after the initial rising period.

I was at a bar crawl/Sheila’s going away party for a few hours during the day and then came home to take on my babysitting duties while my parents went out to go wild and crazy. Just kidding. Kevin had been waaaaaiting foreeeeeever for his pizza so I got right to making a quick tomato sauce. I set him up grating the mozzarella cheese which lasted about 5 seconds because it was “too hard.”

I let the sauce cook together for a little bit and then ladled some onto my rolled out dough, sprinkled with cheese and stuck it in the oven at 375. No exciting or extravagant toppings for the child who lives on pasta and butter. It was perfect fuel for our marathon 50 turn Mario Party Wii game. I won, naturally.

if the audiology thing doesn’t work out maybe they’ll hire me at dominos

Next time I do dinner for one I’ll make the same size pizza but perhaps with some spinach and caramelized onions. And bacon. Or a buffalo chicken pizza! The possibilities are making me drool.

not usually a fork and knife gal for pizza, but i’m trying to be more ladylike for this. usually i slather it in ranch and eat at a competitive pace.

With the other half of the dough I made bread. My mom’s friend Lisa brought us some of her delicious homemade pesto when she visited and we had a little bit of it left, so I spread it onto the dough and topped with provolone. I rolled it up and baked at 375 for about 20 minutes. I had intended to put an egg wash on it but we didn’t have any eggs, so I brushed it with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkled kosher salt on top. I ate about half the loaf because it was phenomenal, and justified it because the rest of our dinner was grilled chicken and salad.

an egg wash would have given it more of a golden crust. it looks a little albino but it was yummy

Overall I’d say my first endeavor with yeast was a success. I still have a bunch left so I plan on baking a variety of breads so that our house in Baltimore is the best smelling one on the block. Kelly and Molly- stock up on dipping oil.

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