The Saturday Night Pizza Challenge – Take 3

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Who doesn’t love pizza?  The crunchy crust…..the ooey-gooey cheese on top, the yummy toppings.  As you see in this scene in Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts…pizza has universal appeal.  And of course Julia makes perfect sense or her character does don’t go all the way to Italy and “NOT” eat the pizza…that just would be a crime!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZY86k2NjTY]

You see its those kind of moments that keep me marching on with the pizza challenge and well last night for the first time since I started the pizza challenge I felt I was finally making headway.  So before I move on with my exact details with the pizza challenge I have to thank you for all your encouragement and ideas but I have learned something in the last 3 attempts and that is yes pizza is basically flour, water, yeast, oil, honey or sugar and salt.  (Of course I use honey) BUT….Pizza is 99% technique and 1% recipe this is what I have learned because last night as the pizza was cooking he smelled the kitchen and he said “I think you might be finally on to something babe….”  My soul sung of course because when I take on a challenge I take it seriously and so I was thinking this it is this is the moment…..”Well almost!” and here’ s why….

On my last attempt Carol M. from Montana was generous enough to share her pizza recipe with me.  Here it is if you didn’t get it from her comments:

You can make 2 thin crusts or one thick, we prefer the thick and I bake on a stone.

In 3 quart bowl with electric mixer mix;
1 cup hot tap water(I use well water)
2 TBSP seasoned wok oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 large TBSP yeast
Mix on medium speed with hand mixer for 2-3 minutes.

By hand stir in
1/2 cup of flour
sprinkle flour onto a silicone cooking mat and knead dough for 10-15 minutes working in another 1/2 cup of flour. The dough might get a little sticky before the gluten is nice and kneads well with out adding flour. Add as little additional flour as possible.
Place dough back into the greased bowl and cover for 1 hour. Either use for one crust or split to make 2.
Press dough out onto a pizza stone by hand stretching, poke holes with fork to keep bubbles from forming. Bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes til lightly golden, remove and put toppings on pizza, place back into oven and bake 8-10 minutes or until done. It may take less baking time for thin crust.
We normally eat pizza about once a month, we had it last week and it was pretty darn good!

If you decide to give this a try I would love to hear your results. This recipe has been so tweaked over the years to get a recipe I was happy with.

Carol first of all your dough smelled amazing and tasted delicious!  Keeping it as moist as you recommended was difficult but I did it and even my husband thought that I had not added enough flour but I stayed true to your word and mixed as little flour in as possible.  Very tricky to work with but I just kept saying to myself if Carol can do this so can I!  So because the dough was very moist it was tough to work with and you can see I didn’t quite form it in to a crust.  The other challenge is I went to look for my stone and could not find it anywhere so I had to use a regular pizza pan that was a recipe intended for a stone pizza pan.  I also did not have seasoned wok oil so I used half canola and half olive oil to see if that would possibly make a difference.  However I don’t know how I did it but the Pepperoni Pizza turned out perfect and my son – YES MY TEEN– gave me “Props” for the Pepperoni pizza I was ecstatic but then they said I undercooked the mushroom pizza and put too much sauce on it.  So I said in theory your problem with this pizza has nothing to do with the crust recipe and the unanimous decision was that the problem was a technique issue.  So thank you Carol M. for sharing this recipe with me and my family and all the blog followers here.  So lets review the pepperoni pizza it had a crisp crust, tender inside and I had that “aaaaah” moment but now have to tweak this recipe one more time and cook it on a stone also I have to try Robert’s recipe he stopped by the blog the other day and gave me a recipe to try as well.

However I am finally on to something with Carol’s help.  Carol I do believe a big part of them not liking the dough in previous recipes was it getting to dry in the prep phase so thanks again!

Now lets calculate the savings:

2 Large One Topping Pizzas from a local Pizza Shop – $6.99 each we don’t count tax since I pay tax on my ingredients as well so that puts us at – $14 approx.

I had 4 mushrooms left in the container so we will say – 50 cents

I used about 12 pepperoni slices and I still have a big bag of them so we will say about 75 cents

1 tbsp. yeast, 1 tsp. honey, salt, flour –  probably not as high as $1.00 but I’ll make it a dollar just for argument’s sake… maybe I buy all these items in bulk basically except for the honey which is local.

mozzarella cheese bag – $4.44 but I only used half putting it at $2.22

so for my 2 pizzas we are at basically – $4.47

a savings of $9.53 and think of all the money you save by not ordering the add ons like sodas, extra bread, wings, and if you get delivery and tip etc…  If you get to go you  have gas involved.

My husband has brought up the time factor and it take me 10 minutes to go drive and get our pizza, 5 minutes or so to wait and then 10 minutes back.  I probably spent the same amount of time making our pizzas.  Actually we had shopping to do last night so I made up the dough, turned the crock pot on with some warm water in it and then put a cookie sheet on top, then I put the 2 bowls of dough on top and covered them with wax paper and towels.  It was getting super warm so right as I left I turned the crock pot off and my dough was rising while we were out running errands.  How’s that for fast food?  All I had to do when I got home was punch down the dough gently and place it on the pans, put the toppings on and bake…..it all came together fairly fast of course now that I am doing the challenge I am getting faster.  It’s really true what my Coach said when I was growing up “Practice Makes Perfect”.

Thanks for stopping by our Lil’ Suburban Homestead and make it a great Sunday!  Keep sharing your ideas with us we are a work in progress!

my siggie :)

This blog is part of the Fat Tuesday Blog Link Up @ Real Food Forager.com

8 thoughts on “The Saturday Night Pizza Challenge – Take 3

  1. What an airhead! I wrote a comment but didn’t hit the send button, so lets try again!!
    Happy to hear you were at least somewhat pleased.
    The addition and subtraction of flour can be elevation, or just the days humidity. You really have to learn how your dough should feel. I am a bread baker. so….sticky but not, it will not let go of you sticky, it is going to come along with you a little while kneading, but it should not be “stuck” to you. It looks pretty good though maybe another 1-2 TBPS of flour would have helped.
    As far the crust color yes, it looks like the mushroom pizza could have baked a little longer in the first baking. When I am in WY I have to bake longer than I do in MT.
    When you are done searching, please do come back and try this with seasoned wok oil. I am telling you will will be glad you did!

    Have fun on your pizza journey.

    1. Carol it was really good I will be tweaking your recipe again before I move on….so far yours is the best recipe I have tried…..I agree you spent years perfecting your recipe so its going to take me some time to get the dough mastery down. I need to go by some wok oil by the way my husband found my pizza stone 🙂

  2. I love homemade pizza, make it all the time. I have yet to make homemade crust, but have sourdough starter on counter now, so… Will be making sourdough pizza crust soon and check that out. My problem with making pizzas it that I want all of the toppings on it, and therefore end up with too much stuff on it. I’m learning, just a few shrooms and a few olives and some pepperoni….lol.

    1. Marcia I do too…it’s more challenging now that I no longer eat gluten but I still take my pizza seriously lol 🙂 Thanks for stopping in and sharing!

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