Week 17, Meal 1: I suck at making pizza

I knew there was a reason I always ordered pizza from Rubinos. It’s because making pizza at home, if you have no prior experience working with dough, can be one of the most frustrating kitchen experiences you can have.

Where did all that flour I just put on the counter go? Why is this ball stickier now than it was before I added the flour? What is going on here?!

The worst part? I have two more pizza recipes to get through. I’m either going to screw ’em up, or go pro by the end of the week.

But first, check out how bad I screwed up Week 17, Meal 1: Fresh tomato, ricotta, Parmesan and arugula pizza after the jump.

The Recipe (Yield: 2 pizzas)

2 rounds of pizza dough (recipe here)

Pizza Sauce

1 15-oz. can San Marzano tomatoes or Hunt’s fire-roasted tomatoes
1 T dried oregano
1 T honey

Toppings
1 roma or vine ripe tomato sliced thin (preferably 8 slices, then cut slices in half)
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
About 1 oz. arugula
2 T grated parmesan

Once you make the dough, the rest of this recipe is pretty simple to put together (theoretically).

Start by combining 1 15-oz. can of tomatoes with 1 T of oregano and 1 T of honey. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.

Next, drop the 8-slice-dice on 1 roma tomato. Next, cut those 8 slices in half. This is also the time you want to preheat your oven to 500 degrees. If you’re using a pizza stone (I’m using a thick granite tile), let it preheat with the oven.

When you have the dough rolled out to your desired thickness, spread a generous amount of the sauce on it. Make sure to really flour the surface you are working on, or else the dough will stick and you won’t make it to pizza paradise.

Place 8 half-slices of tomato around the dough, and top each one with 1 1/2 t of ricotta cheese.

You’re pizza might be oven-ready, but are you? My too-sticky dough wouldn’t detach from the pizza-prep surface, so instead of sliding easily onto the pizza stone, my pie kinda did a flip and tumble, tearing holes in the center and twisting everything into a pretzel. Bad form be damned, I just kept on cooking (though I was mighty frustrated, I will admit).

Bake for 8 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and crispy on bottom (done and done). Try not to make it look like a mutant pretzel. That helps come presentation time.

When the pizza comes out of the oven, sprinkle each with 1 T of grated Parmesan cheese and top with 1/2 oz. of arugula. Cut into 8 slices, or do what I do and just tear it apart with your hands.

While this one isn’t much of a looker (except for that macro shot at top, that turned out purdy), this was quite a tasty pie. The dollops of ricotta sufficed for a lack of gooey mozzarella and the dough was perfectly chewy while maintaining a satisfying crispness.

I’m excited to eat the dough again tonight, but apprehensive about putting it all together.

Wish me luck. =)

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3 thoughts on “Week 17, Meal 1: I suck at making pizza”

  1. You have completely highlighted the exact reasons why I have always been afraid to tackle making my own pizza.

    I laughed. I cried. I felt like I should help.

    That being said, here is a link to a website that has really thorough instructions for making your own pizza. I am hoping the “Shape Dough into pizza” section might help you out.

    http://billyreisinger.com/pizza.html#shape

    Good Luck.

  2. You need a pizza peel and some cornmeal. Sprinkle the cornmeal on the pizza peel and place your streched dough on it. Put your toppings on the pizza and give the pizza a shake to make sure you easily get on the stone in the oven. It just takes some practice. You’ll do great next time. Keep up the good work!

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