Chapter 8: The Art of Pizza Night
The Art of Pizza Night: Celebrating the Bounties of Nature
One of our favorite ways to celebrate all the goodness nature provides is to invite family and friends to a pizza night. We want our pizzas to be great. So we began by learning how to make our own pizza dough with a specific type of flour called 00. We found that flour, yeast and the length of time it takes to rise all made a difference in how perfect the dough tasted. We all agree that a good pizza first depends on the crust. We prefer a tasty thin Neopolitan-style crust that has some strength to support the toppings, yet becomes crispy and bubbly at the edges. Making an excellent crust is an art! Chris is really interested in cooking and in perfecting his recipes. He has worked on developing the crust to the point of perfection. He has taken risks, and tried fermenting the dough for different lengths of time. He has arrived at a place where his pizza crust is loved by us all.
I use fresh tomatoes from the garden to make clean fresh tasting tomato sauces. We also use other fresh garden vegetables like onion artichokes and peppers. One season produced an abundance of chile peppers. I dried them, chopped them into flakes, and now they serve to flavor our pizzas. We try different combinations of things to create a pizza that is enjoyed by all.
When a pizza comes out of the pizza oven, we slice it and share it over a delicious glass of wine. Each pizza is revered by its distinct and unique flavor. Pizza night is always very casual and it usually punctuates the end of a work week. It gives us a relaxing social evening together spending quality time.
Chris has been asked by others to share his secrets. He wrote up his version of the dough recipe and is sharing it with you!
INGREDIENTS (makes 2x 12” pizzas)
153 grams 00 flour
153 grams all purpose flour
8 grams fine sea salt (1t)
2 grams active dry yeast (3/4 t)
4 grams extra-virgin olive oil (1t)
Use a food scale for precise measuring of ingredients
In a large bowl combine flours and salt
In a small bowl mix 205 grams lukewarm tap water, yeast and olive oil. Pour into flour mix. Knead until combined (approx 3 mins), then let rest 15 mins.
Knead 3 mins. Cut into 2 shape into balls. Place on heavily floured surface, cover and place in the fridge for 24 hours or 48 hours for cold fermentation.
Remove from fridge 4-6 hours prior to cooking to re-ball the dough and coat dough balls with a touch of olive oil, place back in fridge immediately
Remove dough ~1 hour prior to cooking so dough gets to room temp so it is more malleable / easy to work with