Saturday, January 16, 2010

Finding My Pizza Rhythm

The Big Saturday Afternoon Sheet Pizza That Ate Lawrenceville
Up close and personal....

What do you do with leftover pizza dough? Well, you make MORE PIZZA, of course! But this isn't your standard, sheet pan/Brooklyn/Old Forge/Sicilian style pie. No sireee! This is the result of careful Saturday afternoon scavenging in the refrigerator.

The brief backstory: Had a bunch of folks over last Saturday evening for a homemade pizza party; dear friend John Hamada, the twins' Catholic godfather, and his 12 yr. old son Joseph (whom the kids positively idolize); and Scott & Nicole Hibberd, new parents of 3 mo. old daughter Paysen (whom I teasingly keep calling PayPal, Peyton, Pesach etc.)and almost 4 yr. old daughter Quinn (with whom the twins just LOVE to run around the house and scream!).

I made a HUGE batch of pizza dough in the big Cuisinart stand mixer, and the kids and I had fun punching it down throughout the afternoon as it rose in its gigantic bowl. Just before the two families arrived, I stretched out dough to make 4 small (9-in.) pies on two big sheet pans, and set up the kitchen table so the kids could design their own pizzas. Scott and John each brought various toppings and we got them all into small bowls and lined the kids up to make their own pizzas. It was great fun, and each small child was intensely creative in their own way, a terrific thing to watch. Their pies went into the oven, and we set to making as many large round pies as we could. In total, we made the 4 kids' pies, and 9 other big pies, including a gluten-free dough pie for you-know-who (more on her later...).

After it all shook down, there was lotsa leftover slices of pizza for taking home, and a small portion of dough left, which went into the fridge in an airtight container. Little bit of pepperoni left over, some mozz, and that was about it.

So today, I discovered the dough, took it out and let it come to room temperature, whereupon it begain to rise again, almost fresh as a daisy, with no sign or smell of fermentatiuon (sourdough pizza, anyone?). It looked a bit too large to stretch over one of my ancient charred pizza pans, so I took out one of the baking sheets, sprinkled some cornmeal around it, and began to stretch the dough with some additional extra virgin olive oil. It was exactly enough to make a full sheet size pie. Around here they would call this size a "Brooklyn" pie, which means a thin crust, rectangular pie made with fresh mozz and sauce and basil.

One problem: no red sauce. Anywhere. Not wanting to take the time to make even a small batch of sauce, I resorted to jar of salsa (Newman's Own, medium heat), pureed it a bit with the stick blender, and built the pizza with grated pecorino, salsa, some leftover sauteed peppers and onions (made for a weekday meal of Sicilian pork chops), mozz and thickly sliced pepperoni.

25 minutes later in a 450-degree oven, and we have the beauty pictured above.

I think I have my pizza rhythm back. I reall missed it. Ever forward!

1 comment:

Rob Britt said...

Atsa nice pizza pie there. It's always fun watching youngsters go at it in the kitchen. They seem to take the process very seriously, yet still have lots of fun. Looking forward to grandkids someday, my own are mostly past that (late teens to mid twenties)
Hope it tasted as good as it looked.