Meet my friend, Sponge:
Sponge sat on my counter overnight getting spongy, fermented and delicious, prior to getting kneaded into a ridiculous amount of flour, which then sat in my fridge for a while, before getting rolled out and turned into:
I’m still amazed at how easy it is to make your own pizza dough. I seriously thought I messed this batch up because I’m pretty sure I kneaded way too much flour into it. Despite too much flour, not enough oil, and getting impatient during the last rise… It worked!
If you think pizza’s too hard, chillax and follow this recipe from Epicurious.
There may be faster ways to do pizza dough (this involves letting the sponge sit overnight, then letting the dough sit in the fridge for 6 hours, then letting the dough rise again at room temperature for another hour before assembling your pizza). The benefits of using this recipe despite this initial time factor, though, are that it’s apparently Elaine-proof; it’s tasty and has a good texture; there’s no added sugar; and it makes a crapload of dough, which can be frozen and brought out for quick and easy pizza making throughout the month. I separated the batch into four rounds of dough, three of which are wrapped snugly in plastic and tucked in the freezer. The remaining round I halved and rolled out to make two cute mini pizzas, probably 6-8 inches in diameter.
I’m sure there are healthier toppings we could have used, but for the first batch of pizza dough I’ve made since we lived in San Francisco, we went with the classics. Jarred pizza sauce, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and pepperoni.
I’m dying to do a pear, spinach and Gorgonzola version sometime soon, though!
I was surprised that making pizza gave me happy flashbacks to the single college semester I spent away from home, in Michigan. It was a really tough time for me, but I had some wonderful friends there. My roommate — who was sweet, talented and amazing — came from a big family that had a Friday pizza night tradition, and she was the sibling in charge of doing the dough. I remember her using leftover dough to make these adorable calzones, telling me about it with a huge grin on her face. She then told me that there’s a slight chance that canned olives will kill you (botulism), right after draining a can and adding olives to the dish. She was awesome.
Reminiscing aside, if you ever want to try a new recipe, check out Epicurious. The free iPhone app makes it incredibly easy to decide on something on the go and make sure you’re not forgetting anything at the store. My other favorite Epicurious recipe that I made recently was this awesome chicken salad, which tastes heavenly on toasted ciabatta bread (preferably from Truckee Sourdough Company).
I had so much fun with this overnight pizza dough, I’m tempted to look up sourdough recipes on Epicurious. I always thought that baking sourdough would be kind of like having a pet, what with babying your starter goo and all. (Feed me, Seymour! Feed me!)
Do you bake your own breads?
Do you have a bread-baking tradition?