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My First Pizza

I made my first pizza today! It was fairly straightforward; the only unexpectedly awkward part was trying to evenly distribute tomato paste over the slippery surface of olive-oiled dough. Also, the suggestion to use corn meal to keep the wheat dough from sticking to the baking tray means it is suitable for people with neither wheat nor corn allergies in its current form. Toppings were tomato paste with basil and oregano, fresh mozzarella, a Welsh cheddar from last week’s Real Food Festival, grilled artichokes, and fresh wild garlic leaves donated by my considerate next-door neighbor*.

* Source of last week’s wild garlic flowers which we deep-fried with tempura batter.



( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 11th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
I use olive oil to grease the baking sheet underneath the pizza, rather than corn meal. That would give you only one grain allergen, anyhow.
May. 11th, 2011 09:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

On the convenient side, the only person I know who is allergic to corn lives on the other side of the ocean from me, so I am not likely to need to entertain her anytime soon.
May. 11th, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
If you get more wild garlic, try making pesto with it. Stunning.
May. 11th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the suggestion! We have used wild garlic flowers before, but this was our first batch of leaves.
May. 11th, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
That looks very good.
May. 11th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
It tasted good too. :)
(Deleted comment)
May. 11th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
It was tasty! The dough recipe made twice as much as I needed, so I have another of them cooling down for another day to look forward to.
May. 13th, 2011 08:49 am (UTC)
I tend to make a double batch of dough and freeze half; I find the frozen dough makes even better pizza, as long as it's properly defrosted.
May. 13th, 2011 10:13 am (UTC)
Thank you for the advice! It's a useful quantity to make, following the directions, since the double batch uses exactly one of the yeast sachets.
May. 13th, 2011 10:25 am (UTC)
Out of interest, which recipe are you using? I find a 3:2 mix of plain flour to strong bread flour gives me good results.
May. 13th, 2011 10:31 am (UTC)
For my first attempt, I used the Joy of Cooking recipe. 3.5 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and yeast in a cup-and-a-half of warm water. I think that may have been all the ingredients.

But I have all sorts of other flours in the house I could make use of.
May. 13th, 2011 10:33 am (UTC)
Interesting - I'll have to try it with just plain flour to see what the difference is.
May. 13th, 2011 10:39 am (UTC)
I'll often go with Joy of Cooking recipes as a starting place for the mainstream version of a new-to-me recipe as I can count on them to work. Once I know what I'm doing, then it's easier to branch out and try other variations!
May. 12th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
Flour can often work to keep it from sticking, so long as you cook it in a hot enough oven.
May. 12th, 2011 02:50 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing any kind of flour should work for this. I have lots of dal and rice flours lying around right now...
May. 12th, 2011 12:25 am (UTC)
Welsh cheddar to me comes over as a contradiction in terms. Cheddar Gorge is in Somerset = South West England. Welsh = a different country. No real tradition of cheddar style cheese in Wales in my experience; Caerphili is more typical, more like Cheshire - a crumbly white cheese.

(Sorry, nitpicking from my ethnic background)
May. 12th, 2011 06:49 am (UTC)
Depends whereabouts in Wales the milk came from. Lot of places in South Wales with similar soil, topography and grass to Cheddar - after all you can see Barry from the top of the gorge. I grew up in both places and I don't have a problem with it.
May. 12th, 2011 08:03 am (UTC)
It's only partly the milk, only insofar as it's suitable for making a hard cheese - the key to it is the process of cheddaring, which is an extra step in the cheesemaking.
May. 12th, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
I agree that Welsh Cheddar isn't totally authentic, but no less so than Canadian Cheddar or New Zealand Cheddar, both of which exist. If it's been made with the cheddaring process, then that's what must qualify it as a "cheddar" rather than its place of origin.
May. 12th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
Yes. There is a protected designation, but it's "West Country farmhouse Cheddar".
May. 12th, 2011 06:12 am (UTC)
mmmm. Looks delicious.
May. 12th, 2011 08:22 am (UTC)
Congratulations! That looks utterly delicious!
May. 12th, 2011 11:57 am (UTC)
Yummy! That looks and sounds delicious. I use semola flour to keep my dough from sticking. Has a similar texture to corn meal but comes from wheat. There is no need to oil the surface of the dough before putting on the tomato sauce. Just a light drizzle on top of the assembled pie before putting it in the oven is fine.
May. 12th, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
The Joy of Cooking told me I needed the olive oil in order to keep the bread from getting soggy from the other ingredients. True/Not True?
May. 13th, 2011 03:49 am (UTC)
Shouldn't be a problem if your oven is hot enough. I crank mine up to 450-500, and preheat the pizza stone (recommended if you don't have one-- put the pizza directly on it) for at least 45 minutes before baking.
May. 13th, 2011 10:12 am (UTC)
My oven only goes up to 475°F, and I do not yet own a pizza stone. But we do have a nearby kitchen shop....
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )