Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daring Bakers: Pizza

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Bread in its essence is the manifestation of the miracle of yeast with its ability to turn a pile of wheat dust into soft, elastic, inflated dough. Without yeast, one could knead and proof until one’s heart was content and only create a flatbread. My relationship with this leavener has always been proximal—I stand near my husband as he makes pizza snapping away (photography-like) happily.

This month, Rosa from Rosa’s Yummy Yums, Sher at "What Did You Eat?", and Glenna at "A Fridge Full Of Food" chose a pizza dough challenge. Sadly, Sher passed away suddenly this summer, and while I didn’t know her, I read her blog and loved her cats. This challenge is such a wonderful testament to her.

So, back to my laudatory dialogue about the yeast…I love when others use yeast to make yummy, yummy baked goods. Daring Bakers move you to do things you might not otherwise (Opera Cake, anyone?) so what’s a little yeast? Yeast turns out not to be as tough a foe as I might have thought. The Peter Reinhart recipe was a breeze, though it required an overnight rise.

The challenge in this month was more coordination than anything else. I do not mean time-management, but instead physical coordination. We were instructed that dough tossing was a requirement to the challenge. Yes, bread has been on the ceiling on many a kitchen this month, and as secrecy is in our DB bi-laws, we have had to keep this shame secret all this time. Our ceilings were actually fine, in part because I have terrible aim and kept throwing the dough forward rather than upward. Maybelle’s Dad resurrected some long subsumed athleticism to master a respectable pizza joint-style tossing technique. That or maybe his Italian-American family secretly practiced this skill at those family reunions. Don't believe he had mad skills? Well, look at these tossing pictures and be saddened that I snagged this man instead of you.






As for toppings, we made this recipe twice this month. So the toppings were many, many: Caramelized onion, fig, goat cheese, pesto sauce
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Tomato sauce, cheese, olives


Tomato and Cheese
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Apples, blue cheese and arugula pesto (not pictured);
Apples, ricotta, agave nectar, and blue cheese (not pictured).

As it is Halloween week, there was also the Red Kuri Squash, Garlic and Feta shaped like Pumpkins.
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Finally, one that breaks the rules (requiring sauce)—a skull with bloody eye sockets.
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35 comments:

Y said...

Aww I love that skull pizza! Great canape idea :)

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Great job on the challenge. Great photo of hubby tossing the dough!!!

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

I knew we'd get some fabulous and artful topping combinations from you. Beautiful!

Maggie said...

His catches are particularly impressive. I couldn't keep my fingers out of the way. All the flavors sound great and I love the bell pepper pumpkin leaves.

glamah16 said...

Cute! How can some people just toss naturally, while its a struggle for others? Not fair! I love Maybelles little Halloween pizzas. And the grown up ones look scrumptious too.

Courtney said...

you always have the cutest little decorated things. love all your pictures. Me and yeast are still foes but we are working on it. why wont it just be my friend :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

You totally blow me away with ALL your wonderful pizzas.
You really have nothing to fear from yeast especially with that skull pizza around!!
Breat job!

Alexa said...

Another great interpretation... I always have fun when I stop by your blog. Your pizza looks delicious. I especially love the fig, caramelized onion one. Great job on the Db challenge.

melissa said...

Those do look mighty tasty. And I am highly amused and impressed with dad's pizza tossing skills. Wow! Haha.

ila said...

gawd, that looks delicious. my favorite is the cheese & olives.
maybelle's dad makes it seem so effortless! i always buy pizza dough from trader joes and have a fight with it.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Ahahahah! You win the prize for funniest pizzas!

Dana McCauley said...

That skull is great - what a fun idea!

Of course, your regular pizza looks sensational, too.

Hypnosis said...

Yummy AND fun - how's that for a winning combination?

Helene said...

They all look great & that skull is so cool. Thanks for sharing.

Lori said...

So funny we had similar toppings. Ah great minds think alike, right. I love seeing all the different toppings.

Hannah said...

The video won't load for me, but the pictures look great at least!

Big Boys Oven said...

lovely pizzas you have there, and those olives look sop amazing beautiful!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Hee hee. That skull pizza is too funny.

I won't even attempt tossing the darn dough 'cause I know I'm just asking for a disaster.

OhioMom said...

Oh I love the different toppings, and the pizza tosser looks good too :)

Hillary said...

Very cute Halloween pizzas! It's a great way to think outside of the sweets box for Halloween. I loved this DB challenge!

Esi said...

Nice tossing pictures! I like your toppings, especially the fig!

Regina said...

Love the mini Halloween-themed pizzas! They must have been fun to eat.

Lynn said...

Okay, you get the award for a great unique pizza. The skull is amazing. I love it. I, also, love your other pizzas. Fun post.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Your pizza looks fantastic, almost like a painting or something. Cool action pic of the dough in mid air:-)

chou said...

What amazing tossing! I love the skull pizza. Little mouths would probably love it even more--I'll pass it on to my sister-in-law.

creampuff said...

Nice job on the scary pizza! I love the pizza toss, too!

Sophie said...

Your food art is awesome :)! I still have trouble with yeast...for some reason, when I mix it with gluten free breads, it takes on a funky flavor :P. Delicious pizzas, that looks like a cute flower on top of that first pizza!

The CFT said...

I like all the pictures, but love the last one.

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Girl, I love your pizzas!!! Especially the one with olives, looks beautiful! :)
Margot

Jude said...

I really like the arrangement on your olive pizza. I'd feel bad zipping a pizza cutter across that pie :)

Choosy Beggar Tina said...

Your pizzas are delightful!! The fig and goat cheese pizza, mmmm. Oh, or the apple, pesto and blue cheese!!! I'm also a big fan of pear, pesto, red onion and parmigiana. One day I'm sure that I'll meet a pizza that I don't like, but thankfully that day is not today....

Aparna said...

Love your pizzas. Especially the last one, perfect for the season!
And aren't you lucky to have such an experienced pizza tosser in the family?

Lisa Michelle said...

Great pizzas, photos and site. Kudos!!

cook eat FRET said...

you are one helluva creative son of a gun... you kill me!

didja love the crust?

Kevin said...

Nice looking pizzas! I like the sound of those apple ones.