Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daring Bakers - Basic Pizza Dough

Pizza Margherita
Originally uploaded by watchjennybake.
This month's Daring Bakers Challenge was the basic pizza dough recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, hosted by Rosa's Yummy Yums where you can find the recipe if you are interested.

The Bread Baker's Apprentice is written by one Peter Reinhart, who happened to open a pizza restaurant fairly recently in Charlotte, NC. Since Charlotte is two hours from me and on my way to a conference I attended earlier in the month, I was able to make a stop at Pie Town.

Pie Town Margherita
Pie Town was a classy place, and was pretty busy during the lunch rush. Our waiter was excellent, and the menu had a lot of options even for us vegetarians. I ordered the Pie Town Margherita pizza (with local Chapel Hill creamery cheese), and N- ordered the wild mushroom. I loved the crust - it was chewy but not overly so. The middle of the pizza was a bit soggy but I loved that they served chili oil to drizzle over everything. I filed that little detail away for when I made the crust.

While I was at Pie Town, I picked up an autographed copy of Reinhart's other book, American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza. I flipped through it while plotting my own pizza recipes, and I really appreciated his advice for the home cook. So many pizza dough recipes I encounter assume you can or want to track down a tile or create your own pizza oven, and most of us just don't have the storage or resources!

From American Pie, I made crushed tomato sauce, white sauce, sauteed mushrooms, and followed his general recipe for pizza margherita (pictured at top of this entry). I had purchased basil oil for drizzling on the top, but it is still sitting unopened, whoops. Next time.

He also said you could substitute another flour for unbleached bread - 1 tbsp for every cup, so I did add about 1/4 cup of rye flour to the dough. I liked the additional texture and flavor depth that brought without altering the consistency.

Red and White Mushroom Pizza
I had read about Pizza Bianca, or White Pie, throughout the book, and decided to make a version of it using this crust. The white sauce I made only covered half the pie, so that was an easy fix with additional crushed tomato sauce. On top of that went the sauteed mushrooms, and fresh mozzarella. The white side of the pie was pretty sweet, since I cooked the onions in the white sauce so long. Sweet as in sweet-tasting, not sweet as in "dude!"

Butternut Squash - Goat Cheese Pizza
The last pizza I made comes from Entertaining for a Veggie Planet. Sometimes I'll see recipes and they go into my mental storage to pull out at an appropriate time, and this butternut squash - goat cheese pizza recipe was the best possible combination of fall flavors and pizza! Also included were carmelized onions and fresh sage. Delicious, and the goat cheese really balanced out the sweetness of the squash and onions. I think I liked this pizza the most out of the three because the other two had sauces or cheese that made the crust a little soggy.

Categories: Cheese, Daring Bakers, Dough, Onions, Pizza, Squash, Tomatoes


Ruth said...

Your pizzas look great. So delicious and I love the white pizza one. It sounds great!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a wonderful looking pizza! very well done!



Sarah said...

what creative flavor combinations! i would have never thought to have put butternut squash on a pizza. great job!

Nichole said...

The pizzas look great!

Barbara Bakes said...

How fun to visit Pie Town and get the book before you made the recipe! Your pizzas sound yummy!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Wooo, goat cheese, butternut squash, carmelized onions and fresh sage! I'm going to have to make another pizza! How excellent.
Beautiful pizzas and what a score getting to Pie Town!

Dragon said...

Great toppings on your pizzas. Well done!

Treasure Ann said...

Oh wow, can I have a slice of your pizza? That pizza looks deliciously cheesy. Nice.

Baking Soda said...

Oh Dude, these sound sweet! Goat cheese, sage and caramelized onions; I'm drooling!

Sara said...

I love Peter Reinhart's books, I'm jealous that you got to go to pie town!

creampuff said...

Wow, Jenny! Those topics are all spectacular! You really did your research for this one!

Jude said...

Looks so delicious. I wish I could visit reinhart's new pizza place!

Argus Lou said...

I love the view from the side of that thick torn crust. So appetizing!

Jules said...

looks yummy. how was the squash texture?

Amypierson said...

Oh my, that looks like some of the best pizza I've ever seen! Do you make lots of other types of pizza, or just the white stuff? I'm new to this blogging thing and I'm trying to get people to check out my baking blog. Please do so: