Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Stuff the Crust, Roll the Dough

This month was officially going to be Giada month, but that has gone out the window now. The eggplant bushes have yet to start fruiting and almost all of the recipes I wanted to use from the Giada cookbook were eggplant-related. And no, I am not going to the store and purchasing eggplant when I have two (count them, two) whole eggplant bushes just waiting to mature.

Though, there has been cucumber already:

Alas, this summer is now the summer of Giada with other things mixed in. Consider this a thing mixed in. It's an oldie but a goodie. Pizza! True, I have blogged about pizza before. However, you never stop learning, especially when it comes to upgrading recipes in the kitchen. My pizza, as always, is made from scratch using the Barbara Kingsolver recipe. It just makes the perfect crust. If you don't believe me, try it for yourself.

The trouble for me with homemade pizza has always been how to get it from that raised ball of dough to the flatter-than-a-pancake disk that a good pizza requires. I have tried various methods. I have tried the age-old way so popular in movies, where you toss the dough into the air. By some miracle, the dough evens out into a thin flat surface. Or at least, it's supposed to. For me, it stays a ball mostly, and there's a good chance that ball will fall on the ground at least three times.

I've tried stretching it out on all sides, but this results in an uneven crust, usually with holes in the thinnest spots that need mended by dough from the thicker spots.

I've tried holding the dough by its center on my palm and letting the weight of its hang-off shape it. This causes results similar, though by no means as terrible, as those for the stretching method.

Listen close, now, because if you have this same issue, I have discovered the secret to perfect thin pizza crust every time. The answer is so obvious, I feel stupid for wasting time on alternatives.

Here's what you do:

1. Get a rolling pin. I'm partial to the big heavy metal ones.
2. Roll out the dough on your pizza pan or stone as though it where a pie crust (which it sort of is)
2. When the pizza is at desired thinness and bigness, stop. You have a pizza.

You might also notice that in the above picture, the crust of my pizzas are bigger than usually. Rolling out pizza dough really lets me get it ultra thin (I love me some thin-crust). This also means that I can make it thin enough to make the crust thin enough to stuff and roll back over itself. Yes, that's right. Those are cheese-stuffed crusts. It's like the fun of breadsticks right at the edge of your pizza and for a fraction of the cost you would have to spend to get the same results from a pizza at Pizza Hut.

For stuffed crust, follow steps 1 and 2 above, but for step 3, roll the dough to beyond the plane of the pizza pan. Then, place scoops of shredded cheese onto the pizza dough, lining it along the circumference of the pizza. This will take quite a bit of extra cheese, but it's worth it. Then, roll your crust around the cheese, sealing the outside edge as you go. Bake that puppy up and you have your very own stuffed crust pizza.

( Shown here with veggie toppings)

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