Oh, sweet goodness. You know how you hear a certain set of people try to argue the misconstrued and dangerous notion that over-imbibing does not, in fact, impair their driving skills? Without getting anywhere near a car or endangering anyone except myself, I can disprove that pretty succinctly using nothing more than the deterioration of both my picture taking and cooking skills in such a state.
My pizza dough? Lovely. The pictures? Very nice.
The sauce? Tastes great but the kitchen is trashed. Oh, and I was going to add anchovies pasted up and hidden in there, but I forgot. And I was planning on adding some wine to the sauce. Whoops. Where's the cornmeal? I just got it out!
I did manage to get the two pizzas assembled and baked. I should have taken the battery out of the smoke detector. Pizza number one fell victim to the scorched crust campaign. For some reason, I was convinced that broiling the pizza was the way to go (what was I thinking?). Luckily the carbon black parts peeled off pretty easy and the toppings were cooked great. Then I chickened out for the second pizza and dropped the temperature to 475° instead of the 550° it should have been. It was cooked all the way through, but the color was a little lackluster and pale.
Then I came down to the kitchen this morning. What's that crunching under my toes? Oh. I found the cornmeal.
1 C of water (slightly warm to the touch)
1/2 ts of sugar
1 packet (2 1/4 ts) of dry active yeast
4 C of flour
1 1/2 ts of salt
3/4 ts of pepper
1/4 C of olive oil
Add water to bowl of stand mixer, add sugar, and sprinkle yeast on to. Let it sit, dissolve, and start to foam which should take about 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and pepper.
Turn mixer on to stir setting and gradually (not necessarily slowly) add flour mixture to yeast and water mixture.
Then, while mixer is still running, drizzle in the oil.
Up seed to medium until it is all combined then drop to low (level 2). Continue kneading on low for about 10 minutes.
Dough will look pretty smooth. Grab the finished dough with your hands and fold it in on itself so that it forms a nice smooth ball.
Stick it back in the mixer bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in the fridge for about 5 hours.
Alternately, I imagine you could let it rise covered in a warm but not hot spot in your kitchen for about an hour.
3 tbs of olive oil
1 small can of tomato paste
1 (14.5 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
1 ts of fennel seeds (poorly kept secret ingredient sort of thing)
1 ts of sugar
1 ts of salt
1/2 ts of pepper
2 cloves of pressed or minced garlic
Whirl up onion and carrot into an unrecognizable mush. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add fennel and carrot/onion. Sautee.
Whiz up the crushed tomatoes (or not if you want it chunkier) and add that along with tomato paste, sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic.
Stir. Cover and simmer on LOW for about a 1/2 hour. Check on it at 20 minutes to make sure isn't evaporating too much.
Preheat oven and pizza an to 550°
Take dough out of fridge. Take it out of the bowl and divide into 2.
Start smooshing and stretching the dough into something that resembles a pizza shape on a cornmeal covered work surface .
Tip: Use a cornmeal covered rimless cookie sheet to work as a makeshift pizza peel (that wooden paddle the pros use to move the pizzas in and out of the oven).
Add 1 ladle of sauce and smooth it around.
Add toppings (not too much or many or the dough won't cook through).
Carefully remove preheated pan from oven, transfer pizza to pan, and quickly get it back inside the oven.
Set the timer for 10 minutes, but I recommend you use your eyes more than the timer. Watch that thing like a hawk. It can turn quick.