A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pizza and Wine

Maybe I shouldn't be lifting the curtain on the glamour implied by close-up food photos against a lovely tile table, but here is a recent dinner we ate.

I have no idea what we were watching on TV. I do not know who that man is.

I make pizza often. When I make a batch of dough, I usually separate it into four pieces, each of which goes into an oiled 1-quart freezer bag. I freeze all the dough unless I'm going to cook it the very next day; freezing improves the flavor and texture so much that even a few days in the freezer is well worth it.

Making pizza dough the same day as I want to eat it is never worth it. New dough just doesn't taste good or behave properly.

If I take the dough out of the freezer in the morning before work, it's perfectly thawed on the counter by dinnertime. And at that point the dough is so soft and stretchy that I just gently remove it from the bag with oiled hands and pull it into shape.

Peter Reinhardt's recipe for New York style crust is about my favorite; this is it, except with the options removed:

5 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
Almost 2 cups water

Mix, knead, and let rise for an hour or two, then divide into four balls and handle as above. Try never to roll out or punch down the dough -- let it rest if it ever gets tough. Bake at highest temperature possible on hottest surface possible. This makes four 10" pizzas.


Kris said...

Where did you learn about freezing the dough? Was it experimentation? I think I'll try it.

Eva said...

I'd always read you could freeze bread dough, and I tried that a few times with some success. I don't remember if I applied it to pizza myself or read about it and tried it. I 'm sure I never read about freezing improving dough, but I swear it does. Makes sense: it gives the dough time to age and flavors time to develop without all the yeast going too crazy (i.e., pooping out a bunch of alcohol and then dying). Let me know how it goes with whole wheat flour!

Mark Richardson said...

I think the man on TV might be Tiger Woods.