Pizza dough schadenfreude: are you ready for maybe the dumbest experiment ever? Then Again... PART III
A PRETTY GOOD PIZZA I WILL NEVER MAKE AGAIN... Probably. Never say never, but this looks likely. The batch of no-knead Neapolitan dough that I just whipped up on the spur of the moment yielded a pretty good pizza here. The pie in the picture is a sweet Italian sausage, Spanish chorizo, crimini mushrooms, and serrano chilis. (Low-moisture mozzarella and Romano cheeses.)
It tasted great if lacking structure. As you may know, that's one of my criteria: does the pizza have the form and chew of good American-style pizza. This was more like a soft, Neapolitan-style pizza. Granted it was good. But what seems to be happening here is the dough is too wet to do what I want it to do in a home oven. It had form, just not enough of it.
Therefore, I will not be sharing this dough recipe with you. I want to spare you the angst this has caused here in the Free The Pizza household kitchen. Indulge your joys at my pain if you wish. Schadenfreude is all relative. At least it's just pizza. And if any of the dough left from this experiment proves me wrong, I'll be sure to start laughing out of the other side of my pizza hole and broadcast it to you. FREE THE PIZZA!
Pizza dough schadenfreude: are you ready for maybe the dumbest experiment ever? Then Again... PART II
So, last week, we described the impromptu silliness of trying to make a pile of no-knead neo-Neapolitan pizza dough on the fly. We are also realistic enough to know it may not work. But, we have a pizza. So far, there is no clear and tragic failure in which y'all can take delight. No schadenfreude. That's the good news.
But the resulting pizza is a resounding, "Meh?" It's an OK pizza. Not great. Not awful. The pizza itself was of uneven thickness, making it uneven in flavor. The thicker parts tasted better.
The big challenge here was stretching the dough. As with my previous, albeit brief foray into no-knead pizza dough, it was very elastic and sticky.
It's hard to stretch, but that may also be operator error. So we're going to be trying more. Folks are attracted to no-knead recipes, and it's understandable. I've made no-knead bread with great luck.
So, on this National Pizza Day, we've made an effort and will continue to work on it. If and when it works out, we'll make the recipe available.
Free The Pizza!
GET READY TO TAKE DELIGHT IN MY FAILURE! Who knows how it'll go? Nobody! But, after whipping up a giant batch of standard Neapolitan-style dough yesterday, this happened: your procacious Pizza Geek wondered what would the result be if he mashed up a standard no-knead dough recipe with the sugar and oil from a typical recipe for neo-Neapolitan dough.
If you're new to all this, Neopolitan is the traditional pizza of Naples. Flour, salt, water, yeast. That's it.
Neo-Neapolitan is the evolutionary style that made New Haven pizza famous. It contains all the components of Neapolitan-style dough, along with oil and sugar, which is verboten in Naples. Yes, there are even laws about this stuff.
No-knead dough is easy. Pizza failure is hard. You end up scraping glop off of hot steel and calling your local 30-minutes-or-less outlet. Anyway, this is all a big mystery.
Maybe it'll become a PLO. (Pizza-Like Object.) Maybe it'll be amazing and easier than ever. We don't know what's going to happen, but stay tuned...
Blaine Parker is the award-winning author of the new, unusual and amusing how-to pizza book, Free The Pizza. Also known as The Pizza Geek and "Hey, Pizza Man!", Blaine is fanatical about the idea that true, professional-quality pizza can be made at home. His home. Your home. Anyone's home. After 20 years of honing his craft and making pizza in standard consumer ovens across the nation, he's sharing what he's learned with home cooks like you. Are you ready to pizza?
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