Thursday, October 30, 2008

My 3rd Daring Bakers' challenge - procrastinating pizza!

I've done it! I've done it! Well, try filming your own pizza-tossing video - I started 'fisting' one piece of the overnight-proofed dough (don't look at me like that; it's in the instructions to 'gently twirl it atop your floured fists', OK?).

Went out to turn on the video-mode on the camera on a Danish cookie tin on the dining table. Went back to the kitchen countertop to continue stretching the dough, which, by the way, was very soft and dangerously getting thinner and thinner. By the time I got in front of the camera, two holes had formed in the middle.

Hey! As it was the first piece of pizza dough I've ever made from scratch in my life, I didn't really care. (There are always the next two pieces to improve on.) Some flour got on the floor, I later discovered. Wipe, wipe, wipe!

Halloween pizza, it looks like. Double-yikes!

Then I ran out to buy some basil leaves to make my own pesto sauce, but the supermarket had run out of it, so I bought a small jar of Genovese pesto (cheating! I know). Also snatched up a pack of grated 'pizza cheese' (again it felt like cheating 'coz maybe I should artfully choose a nice chunk o' cheese and grate it myself? Sorry, it'd been snowing last night and today's been cold and lazy) and several white button mushrooms (at least this is fresh and I had to cut it myself).

Arrived home to further stretch the edges of the dangerously thin pizza dough. (The first mistake I had made yesterday was to put the three pieces of dough on semolina instead of on parchment in a pan which was covered in plastic and left overnight in the fridge.) It was dotted with semolina on one side, heh heh.

I strew semolina on an oven tray and placed the poor oval-shaped stretched dough on it. At least it wasn't amoeba shaped, all right? Then I painted some pesto on most of it. Since I didn't have tomato pizza sauce on hand, I squirted a wee bit of Heinz tomato ketchup on one corner (just to see what it'd taste like, ha ha, bad, I know). Arranged the sliced mushroom in such a way that it covered the smaller holes in the dough (more cheating!) and sprinkled some cheese where there were no holes. The centre is somewhat paper thin. I wondered how it'd work out in the hot, hot oven. Mmm...

Does anyone else see a face in the left mackerel pizza?

Popped the tray in the 220-degrees-C oven. After three minutes, I took the tray out and turned it around for even heating. Another three minutes and the centre was getting brown but the edges weren't coloured yet, so I added another two minutes but lowered the heat by 10 degrees. As a result the centre was brown, thin and crispy while the rest was almost brown, slightly chewy and quite thin. The ketchup-smeared bit tasted sweet - yikes! Enjoyed eating it very much - almost all gone. Will make the other two tonight for the poor unsuspecting other half. *cue: evil laughter*

How the pizza would have looked had it been a dog.

P.S. Do you think he'll want Heinz ketchup on his? *batting eyelashes innocently* (I mean the man, not the dog.)

In the end, he asked for Quattro Stagione (four seasons) and he got one with mackerel in tomato sauce and one with pesto, fresh button mushrooms, fresh sliced tomato, cheese and - you guessed it! - a small patch of Heinz tomato ketchup. (Oh, what? I don't take orders very well? Mmmff!) Silly me forgot to add some dried Italian herbs to Italianise it. But it must have tasted OK 'coz the man ate more than I thought humanly possible. (Myself, I'm all pizza-ed out for the next two months.)


Kak Teh said...

...and where are the pictures??

You always make cooking sound like an adventure worth taking.

My daughter, who doesnt know how to cook rice - just did her version of lasagne - and I must say its quite nice. Just finished two helpings. Its cold and am sure will snow tonite.

Argus Lou said...

Sorry, Kak Teh. Pictures will come later when the other half has taken a pic of me tossing the darn dough, and has sent the pics up to Picasa for sizing, etc.

Yes, making lasagne can be easier than cooking rice. :)

If only it'll be a white Christmas instead of snowing when it's not yet November. Weather!

My Food Safari said...

argus, my dough was also quite thin in the middle. But definitely taste much better than store bought ones. Thanks to DB otherwise I wouldn't have attempted to make pizza.

Argus Lou said...

Me too, YS. I'd toyed with the idea but never got around to it. Almost didn't meet this challenge although I had every intention to. Made sure the second and third pieces weren't thin in the middle as the other half doesn't like it as thin as I do.

fatboybakes said...

HAHAAHHAAH, i lurve your halloween pizza. yeah, i had that same problem, as i was tossing, it began thinning in the middle. so eventually had to move the fist around to the other thicker areas. (gosh, that sounds so wrong)

Argus Lou said...

Yep, FBB, it was thinning in the middle faster than a man with inherited male balding pattern who eats instant noodles every day. For the second and third pieces, I made sure I avoided the centre and concentrated on the edges.
And, yeah, that fist thing is rather difficult to write around. :P

Mix said...

hahah! I loved reading your posting!! It was funny :)

In the end your pizzas looked yummy though!

ARLENE said...

Anyone can make pizza; not everyone can make art. Your first pizza looks like a Warhol!

Argus Lou said...

Hi, Mix. Thanks for visiting and your kind comments.

Arlene, thanks for appreciating my pizza-only-a-dogma-could-love. (I'm godmum to a dog.) Warhol?! *runs off to giggle*

Jude said...

Mackerel pizza? Sounds interesting!

Argus Lou said...

Hi, Jude! Mackerel is like tuna pizza, only tastier. ;-)

Life for Beginners said...

Halloween Pizza? Well, that certainly explains the Face in the Dough. (Sounds like the title of a children's book... Written by Argus Lou... Illustrated by Kenny Mah... in tomato paste!)

Happy All Hallow's Eve (and Happy Baking too)! :D

Life for Beginners said...

P.S. JINX! I just posted a comment at your blog, almost simultaneously! And we both sorta blogged about Halloween's too! Eerie...

Argus Lou said...

Hey, let's do it, man! I mean Mah! ;)
'The Face in the Dough' - and you'll hafta illustrate it Gorey-style.

What's eerie is your posting the same line in this blog and in yours. It's like I'm seeing double (bad enough I've to wear multi-focals when I'm not donning contacts). ^_^

Just me...Naz said...

thoroughly enjoyed reading this and your pictures are v. nice.
I once tried making roti canai..well, let's put it this way, I think the roti canai made me :)

Argus Lou said...

Hi, Naz. Nice to 'see' you here. Thanks for your kind comments. I've made roti canai several times - even taught it to three women - and every time it was a different experience. :)
You can see it here:

Queen Of The House said...

Oh, the self-satisfaction of making your own homemade pizza, from scratch some more!! I am too lazy now, but I used to love making them for my kids - like 10 years ago!! It's faster to just call for delivery now. Ya, bad mom!

Kak Teh said...

do you know that I hate pizzas with a vengeance? says kak teh standing at a tangent!

haha - but it is true..i hate it because the children love to order pizza when I am not cooking. I am trying to bake the bread in your last entry, but there's something wrong with my oven. so must wait until I get a new oven.

Hey, argus, just to say - thanks for being so sporting and joining in the fun in my blog. and also, am glad that two of my wonderful friends, naz and Queen, have found their way to you. This is the most positive side of blogging , ever! says kak teh feeling so clever!

Argus Lou said...

Dear Queen, thanks for visiting. (If your marmalade is in short supply, do scroll down a couple of posts for a really good recipe that includes yummy grapefruit.) I only did this pizza from scratch because it was the latest challenge from Daring Bakers, of which I'm a member.

Kak Teh yang bijak berpantun, I gelak macam kartun;
bila Argus baca your teka-teki,
she giggle almost ter'pee'.
Thank you for the laughter,
kata si Argus yang pakai muffler.
Jikalau ada extra boot cantik,
hantarlah sini kepada adik.
Nasib baik hari ini ada mentari
Nanti boleh Zugerlake pergi.

Queen Of The House said...

Argus Lou, I remember coming across Daring Bakers (in my zest to collect recipes!). You're a member, wow, it must be interesting and gratifying (when you do meet the challenge). I'll be sure to check out your recipes. Yes I'm a recipe hoarder ... collect tak serupa bikin, hehehe.

Argus Lou said...

No problem, Queen. When the inspiration strikes you, you'll have the recipe on hand, kan?
I've only recently joined. So far, it's been Choco Eclairs, Lavash crackers and pizza.

Jenny said...

I'm still stuck on the concept of snow already. Your pizzas look delicious. I could use some practicing for tossing too.

Argus Lou said...

Thanks, Jenny. Well, yesterday and today were a bit warmer but misty.
Guess tossing pizza dough is something one has to do frequently to get it right.

Life for Beginners said...

Gorey-style is something I'm keen on attempting... Just need to find the right material for it. :)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Your video is so funny!! You're too beautiful to wear that pizza dough mask, though. hahaha.

fatboybakes said...

GUFFAWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!! HILARIOUS VIDEO!!!! love the music choice too.

Argus Lou said...

Kenny, your life is great material for it. Imagine giants bees chasing you through the dark jungle!

Lyrical sweetie, glad to have made you smile. Thanks but when you give me compliments like that I just wanna run to the kitchen to torture more dough. (Very shy one.)

FBB, happy to imagine you guffawing. Other Half asked, "What music?" I said, "Traditional Italian folk." And that's what we got. :)
(Another friend said the intro strains were in 'The Omen'. How apt.)

My Food Safari said...

Video is very funny, reminds me of three stoogers, where are Lenny & Benny?

Argus Lou said...

Glad to have briefly entertained you, YS. ^_^ 'The Three Stooges' was my favourite TV series when I was six and my dad would watch it with me. I remember them as Larry, Mo and Joe (who replaced or was replaced by Sham).

My old living-room

My old living-room
In Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

A cherished dream

A cherished dream
To live on a pale beach by a crystal clear sea. (This was taken on the east coast of Johor state, Malaysia.)