Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Experiments in Pizza Dough

A few weekends back, I decided to play around with some frozen pizza dough and see if I could somehow fashion something with any semblance to the traditional, accepted versions of the dish. After allowing the dough to thaw and rise for some hours, in my warm and yeast-activity-inducing apartment, I was surprised at the glomerular texture and the difficulty I had in attempting to spread the dough across a flat, moderately deep baking pan. Harnessing and harvesting as much of my pathetically limited upper body strength as I could muster, I managed to get the dough mostly evenly to the corners of the pan.

In this experiment, a number of my cuisine processes were quite flawed. First mistake, I decided to make the sauce from a can of tomato sauce, as opposed to paste; though inconvenient, this required longer cooking and simmering of the sauce to thicken it. Subsequently, the simmer sent splattered tomato onto my oven top, kaleidoscoped fruit of red on white. In addition to the actual tomato sauce, spiced rather generically with red pepper flakes, some onion, and garlic, I sauteed vegetables to scatter between the layers of sauce and cheese: more onions, orange bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, and some fresh grape tomatoes, sliced thinly.

Since the filmmaker is lactose-intolerant, he cannot relish in the delights that are dairy cow products; thankfully, however, he can still consume ridiculous quantities of sheep's and goat's milk cheese with me. For this first attempt, I selected two cheeses: first, a layer of goat ricotta above the vegetables and finally, a sprinkling of shredded manchego to melt and brown ever so slightly.

Second mistake was an underestimation of the necessary baking time for the dough, and ensuing thick crust. Fearful that I would burn the bottom of the pizza, I was a bit overly cautious with how long I allowed the pizza to bake; this gave the dish a sort of casserole or foccacia texture and taste. When I reheated slices later in the week, the crust crisped. The last mistake, which is a dramatic denotation and possibly a misnomer, so, the last less than optimal decision was the choice of manchego cheese; while delicious, this hard cheese does not melt as smoothly and desirably as a mozzarella.


  1. yummy! That looks so good!


  2. yum ! homemade pizza is the best ! you may have more luck if you use LESS DOUGH, or roll it out thinner, since you aren't using a pizza stone. then again, i like my pizza pretty thin and crackery. our fave combo : caramelized onions, thyme, sundried tomatoes, bacon, and bleu cheese ... and of course lots of olive oil.

  3. I've been planning on making pizza with my sister. We may even attempt to make our own dough. Will be sure to blog how it goes!

  4. that looks so yummy!


  5. It looks delicious!
    Follow each other? :)



  6. Pizzaaaa :X I loff it. I should try making that one for my blog. I'd probably throw on some veggies :P Not a vegetarian but pizza tastes funny with meat.

    Castle Fashion

  7. Yummy,yummy!!!It looks delicious!!!
    I am used to cook homemade pizza too!

  8. I'd suggest trying to make your own dough. Before you think I'm crazy hear me out. I had the same terrible experience with store bought dough. I tried to stretch and flatten it for about half an hour but was still left with a 1 1/2 inch thick blob. I found a dough recipe that requires only water, flower and yeast and tried it out. Voila I had perfect pizza dough. I'm not going to lie, I don't remember the exact measurements but I sprinkle a teaspoon of yeast into a cup of lukewarm water and let it stand for to waken for 15 minutes. I then pour 2 cups of flour into the bowl, mix it up. From here onward, pour small amounts of water while mixing. It will reach a point where you'll need to remove it from the bowl, place it on a wooden cutting board sprinkled with flour and knead it by hand until you've reached the desired consistency. I like my crust thin so I usually split this into two pieces, but if you like it thicker leave it as it is and let it rise for a few hours before baking.