This month I joined the Daring Bakers, a group of bloggers that take on a baking challenge every month. This month's challenge was homemade and hand-tossed pizza dough. Coincidentally, I'd been wanting to try making my own pizza dough for weeks. This was the kick-in-the-butt I needed to actually do it.
The recipe made enough dough for 6 medium-sized pizzas. I prefer to use whole wheat flour as often as possible when baking. For this challenge, I decided to use white whole wheat flour. It's 100% whole wheat, but has a lighter taste and texture that traditional whole wheat flour. It gave the crust a slightly nutty taste, which I didn't mind.
I tested the first three with my brother, Z, and his friend. Tough crowd. I bought the necessary non-vegan toppings for them: cheese and pepperoni. The funny part was that when I went to the grocery store, I couldn't remember where these items were kept. I also picked up Davanni's pizza sauce and spinach for myself for a simple pizza. Unfortunately, between my nervousness and my appetite, I forgot to take pictures. However, the verdict was good: we all enjoyed the pizzas.
Having completed the challenge so early, I tossed the 3 extra dough balls in the freezer and forgot about them until last night. So I tossed one in the fridge to defrost last night, and I set out to make myself dinner tonight. I borrowed my mom's pizza stone and heated the oven to 500F. Then the trouble began.
I split the dough in half to make two small pizzas. I then tossed the dough and topped the first pizza with some of the leftover white bean and walnut bruschetta topping. At this point I realized that I had no means of transferring the pizza to the stone in the oven. So, using my hands and a spatula I clumsily dropped the pizza onto the stone. It turned out great.
Then the fire alarms started. First in the kitchen. Then in the hallway. Then in my roommate's room. I frantically ran to each one, flailing a towel in front of it to fan away the smoke. As soon as I had one off, another would start again. I opened my roommate's window, which I'm sure she'll really appreciate when she gets home.
So I took to my second option: the toaster oven. This worked surprisingly well. I turned out a perfect, albeit oddly shaped, pizza with tomato sauce, spinach, and basil. Next time I won't push my old oven to 500F.