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Certain Someone Highjacked This Months Daring Bakers Project Pizzas and Toppings

I never thought it would happen to me. There I was picking up a few items in the store for the weekend , planning to make a bare minimum pizza with ingredients we mostly had on hand before Certain Someone flew out for a few weeks . I came home and saw miracle of miracle , he had went to the store too! I mentioned we were having pizzas that weekend and the Inquisition began. What type. He sneered when I said basic with some odds and ends scraps from the fridge. He sacrificed his Bresola, and Prosciutto that he had just purchased( was going to be for breakfast) and insisted I buy another long list of expensive things. I protested my that wasn't in my food budget, etc. and he said he would buy it. You see we just cant have plain pizzas in my house. He has to take over after I do the hard part( dough making, sauce making, prep, etc) and like the gourmand he is he takes over and dictates the assembly.This time he even took over the photos because he was trying out his new Nikon D90. Instant addiction to food photography. You see where this is going. Certain Someone is stealing my blog. At least for this post. So these are 3 the pizzas we created. I have three more dough balls in the freezer for later use.
1) Hawaiian Pizza( no foodie snob snickers). He loves this and while its not traditional, its damn good! Authenticity is nice, but so is experimentation and fusion.No hate comments please, its good and we like it.

2) Spinach, feta, bresola, prosciutto,sun dried tomatoes,Parmesan /reggiano, mozzarella.

3) Salami, green peppers, thinly shaved onions, sun dried tomatoes,parm/ reg, and mozzarella.

What a great recipe Rosa picked out for this months Daring Bakers Challenge in memory of her late co host Sher! Who wouldn't like this one! The only difficulty I had was in the required dough toss. I tried, but resorted to stretching it out bu fists and then rolling it out. I kept getting tears .This was the thinnest crispiest dough ever! My best by far. The super hot oven temps and preheating helped. I found my best pizzas were the ones in my old cast iron skillet, not the pizza stone. I love my skillet that's older than me and wouldn't trade it for all the new shiny stuff out there.
Here is the recipe. The dough was taken from "The Bread Bakers Apprentice...Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread" by Peter Reinhart.Be sure to check out my fellow Daring Bakers too!

...Prior to her sudden death (9 days before), Sher had shared with me her recipe idea for the October challenge that she, Glenna and myself should have hosted together. When she died, it was clear for me that I would respect her choice and that I would still submit her recipe. This is my last ode to a very appreciated blogger, DB member, skilled baker and cook whom I miss a lot!~ Sherry “Sher” Cermak 1948-2008 ~
Thanks to Sheltie Girl (Natalia) at (USA) for her precious help and for giving me a glute-free version of this recipe!!!
You have to use the tossing method (as explained below) for at least 2 Pizza Crusts. If you are not comfortable with it, then you can switch to the rolling method, but you HAVE to try the traditional method and exercise it, using at least two dough pieces. You should also capture the moment by either filming or photographing yourself while tossing the dough.

This month’s recipe leaves you with much freedom! You can either make the Pizza Dough gluten-free or the normal way. You may use the sauce (anything liquidy, saucy and spreadable like cream cheese, flavored oils, pesto, Nutella, Peanut Butter, pumpkin puree, etc...) and toppings of your choice, may they be savory or sweet, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian or non-vegan/vegetarian. You must use BOTH (sauce & toppings).JUST USE YOUR IMAGINATION!!! POSTING DATE: Wednesday, October the 29th 2008
Stand mixer with paddle and dough hook attachments (optional, see recipe), cooking thermometer, baking sheet, parchment paper, cooking oil, plastic wrap, pizza peel/scraper, pizza stone or pan.RECIPE SOURCE: “The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread” by Peter Reinhart. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA. Copyright 2001. ISBN-10: 1-58008-268-8, ISBN-13: 978-158008-268-6.
~Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).
4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g)
Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled -
FOR GF: 4 ½ cups GF Flour Blend with xanthan gum or 1 cup brown rice flour,
1 cup corn flour,
1 cup oat flour,
1 ½ cup arrowroot, potato or tapioca starch + 2 tsp xanthan or guar gum1
3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast
- FOR GF use 2 tsp1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)1 Tb sugar -
FOR GF use agave syrupSemolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting
Method: 1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.Or2.
FOR GF: Add the oil, sugar or agave syrup and cold water, then mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.
3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.
NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.
8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.
Or8. FOR GF: On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the number of desired dough balls from the refrigerator. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a gluten free flour. Delicately press the dough into disks about ½ inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil. Lightly cover the dough round with a sheet of parchment paper and allow to rest for 2 hours.
9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).
NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.
Or10. FOR GF: Press the dough into the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough).
NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping. In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.
Or11. FOR GF: Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.
Or12. FOR GF: Place the garnished pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.
Or13. FOR GF: Follow the notes for this step.NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.

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Proud Italian Cook said...

Girl, you went to town with all those pizza's! Wow!! Look out, CS is moving in on your territory, and doing a great job I might add. You're a good team! Awesome photo's and great job!!!
(totally jealous about the camera;)

Audax Artifex said...

Well I love Hawaiian and that's my choice. I made a spinach pizza also! Great minds think alike. Sun-dried tomatoes again one of my fav's. Love all the photos. Yes my cast iron pan does the best job and I have a handmade baking stone. Sad news about Sher.

marye said...

Awesome! I like the pineapple/canadian bacon one too...and I will admit it!

linda said...

The pineapple and ham pizza is very popular in the Netherlands too (I presume CS knows it from Sweden?)

Love how you guys topped the pizza's. A basic one would have been lovely too though, a good margaritha can be heaven.

Sorry to hear the tossing didn't work, still have to toss mine so fingers crossed ;)

TeachGirl said...

All of them looks divine. I like a good Hawaiipizza, so you won't hear any complaints from me.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, what scrumptious looking pizzas! You did a great job here! Wonderful!



maybelle's mom said...

Oh, they sound wonderful (and kind of romantic.) Hawaiian sans the ham was one of my childhood favs. still love it.

Rosie said...

WOW Coco what a divine lot of pizzas!! Well done!!

My tossing of pizza dough didn't work well either to fits of giggles from the family!

Rosie x

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

great photos and the pizzas look yummy!

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Great job on the challenge!!! You really outdid yourself here!!! I love the variety of toppings you put on them.

Mary said...

Your pizzas look amazing! And personally, I think a Hawaiian pizza is delicious. :)

Alexa said...

Your pizzas look beautiful. I love all the pictures. It was a brilliant idea to use your iron pan instead of the pizza stone. You took this challenge to new heights!

Jen said...

Your pizzas look amazing and cooking them in a cast iron skillet is such a good idea- I would have never thought to try it.

Ivy said...

Your pizzas look gorgeous, I want all of them.

~Amber~ said...

I love a good Hawaiian pizza, so delicious. All of your pizza creations look amazing. Great job.

Courtney said...

all of the pizzas looks so good and too funny your challenged got hijacked. that will never in my house happen, but I would sure love it one day :) ahh daydreaming!

Ben said...

Good for him for taking over the challenge! LOL I love all the selection of toppings, my favorite is of course Hawaiian. Great job guys!

Deborah said...

Your toppings all sound amazing!! And I'll have to try in my cast iron skillet - I would have never thought of that!

Megan said...

There is nothing wrong with Hawaiian pizza. I happen to like it very much. :) I would of never thought about a cast iron pan. Brilliant!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Sher would have loved all your toppings.
I think pizza is really all about creativity and your toppings are tremendous! At the same time I think you're right on simple what's in the refrigerator is just right sometimes too.
Certain Someone is doing good with the camera.
That baby shower cake is fantastic Glamah!

Hendersonville Epicurean said...

Sounds like a lot of fun in the kitchen with Certain Someone! What a great time. Of course the pizzas look terrific!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

The pizzas look great! It seems you had a lot of fun! Hawaiian pizza is quite popular in Sweden!

Gabi said...

Lovely job! Nice that CS takes and interest- your pizzas were delicious combinations of flavours! I love the photos!

Peter M said...

I;'ll take #2 & #3 pizzas and a tall PBR on draught, please!

Chi-town grrl knows her 'za!

CookiePie said...

WOW - your pizzas all look fabulous!!! Personally, I love Hawaiian - if anyone else doesn't, that's more for us! :) Great job!

kellypea said...

I am completely bowled over by the sheer variety. Amazing! I could tell there was going to be wonderful offerings when you started to reel off the things he brought home from the store...Breasola...They're beautiful, and I agree. The cast iron skillet worked very well.

Lynn said...

Wow, I am tired from just reading all you did. I am truly impressed. Your pizzas look delicious. Great post.

giz said...

So many choices, such little is cruel sometimes. Okay, I'll stop complaining - your pizza looks to die for....all of them.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

tossing the dough eh? i'd probably toss it all the way to the land of melamine milk, china hehehe

Mary said...

I don't care what people say, but I like Hawaiian pizza too. :) So smart to use a cast iron skillet instead of a baking stone. You're one clever cookie.

Lorraine E said...

What a great range of toppings! And I love ham and pineapple too, forget the food snobs, they're missing out :)

Andrea said...

I have no problem admitting that I like ham and pineapple on my pizza. My kids like it, too. :-) Your pizzas look awesome!

Bellini Valli said...

I would have had my sahre of all of those delicious pizzas Glamah:D

~~louise~~ said...

Courtney & CS those pizzas look way too tempting. That's saying a lot for me because I just started eating pizza last year. I always thought I didn't like it until someone suggested I try a Hawaiian Pie. Love at first bite:) I'm looking forward to trying one of these recipes in my favorite of all faves cast iron pan. Thanks for sharing you two!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

They all look amazing, but I have to admit to being more attracted to the second two. My D would love the Hawaiian, however.

This was such a fun DB challenge!

Laurie said...

OH MY GOSH!! You really do cook Courtney! :)
I am in awe of your passion as well as your energy to preparae all those toppings.. You did great!

Luca and Sabrina said...

Spinach, bresaola, feta.... that's our favourite one!!!! We are getting hungry! Dear Glamah, what a big surprise, we love pizza and your creations are truly awesome! We'd like to live door by door so we could ring your bell for a nice slice of pizza now!
Thanks for your support, we are solving our computer problems, thanks for being so close!
A big hug by Sabrina&Luca

Darius T. Williams said...

Yes Ma'am...this rocks!


PAT A BAKE said...

Gr8 write-up and even better photographs. Lets see what the next challenge has in store.

chou said...

Courtney, I really like the photo montage. My dough tore, too, but it was so yummy when baked up. I think I would've been a bit more daring if it hadn't been at 10:30 after a long day . . .

Toni said...

You mean, Hawaiian pizza isn't normal? Tell them over at California Pizza Kitchen! I've gotten used to pizzas with just about anything on top, and love them all. These look fabulous, and I love Reinhard's recipe for the dough. It's long and arduous, but in the end, it's the best pizza dough I've ever eaten in my life.

Dharm said...

Woo Hoo!! What fantastic looking pizzas. Great, great Job Courtney!

Big Boys Oven said...

Gosh did you have a pizza feast that nite? wow I honour you, the Queen of Pizza! incredible!

Nina Timm said...

Excuse me, but who ate all those pizzas? Hawaiian goes down very well in my house too, although I am a purist and like a damn good Margherita best!

Lori Lynn said...

Terrific photomontage!

celine said...

Amazing variety and Topping pizzas you got there. Got Pizzas?
I guess you are ready to open a Pizzas Parlor... great job!

Sunshinemom said...

That is such a lovely array of pizza! The caramelized banana looks good too.

Jeanne said...

Is there no end to your talents?!? Pizza dough tossing would scare the heck out of me! Looks like you had a great time, what with the hijack, umm, team effort and all. I like the look of the second set of toppings - very big of CS to sacrifice his precious cured meats...

And do you think while you have NIck over there you could get CS to get him into food photography too??!