Monday, November 12, 2007

Pan-fried pizza

So, I'm a huge Mark Bittman fan. I have How to Cook Everything and The Best Recipes in the World and have cooked numerous recipes from both. I don't know how long ago he started doing the New York Times column but I also have been reading his weekly column there for a few months. I have made a few dishes from his 101 Summer recipes, but this weekend I decided to make his most recent recipe: Pan-fried pizza (registration may be required for both those links).

I had never made pizza dough before and only once made anything with yeast (potato rolls, a story for another day). It wasn't that bad. Instead of using two cups of white flour I used a cup of whole wheat flour and one of white (my attempt to be a little healthier). I made the dough just before the Bears game and didn't touch it for about four hours. It seemed to double in size but I couldn't get four crusts out of it. I don't know if using the whole wheat flour impacted that and if I should have used more yeast or what.Also, I didn't mix it in my food processor. I attempted to do it that was, but the flour, water and oil weren't combining and I ended up using the KitchenAid. I thought it was odd that he suggested using the food processor to begin with. I have an old one that my folks gave me but it sits in the box on the shelf most of the time (unlike the KitchenAid) and I only use it when a recipe specifically calls for it. My knife skills aren't all that great but I rather chop stuff up myself.

Sorry for the digression, back to the pizza ... I still got two pretty good sized pies out of it. I don't have a rolling pin and was having some trouble when Rory suggested using a can on Pam non-stick cooking spray as a make shift roller. It worked like a charm.

I cooked the dough as the recipe suggested. It was chewy, not anything like your traditional Chicago-style pizza, but still really good. I used traditional toppings, some sausage, mushrooms and and mozzarella cheese. I was feeling lazy an used some canned pizza sauce instead of making my own. The Ragu was just OK, I'll probably try something else in the future. I sautéed both the cheese and mushrooms before hand.
Depending on what you were looking for this could be a good appetizer suggestion or with a little bit of planning a good dinner. I think you would be fine letting the dough rise a little bit more than an hour. But if anybody know how using the whole wheat affected the recipe let me know.

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