As much as I love Ken Forkish’s Flour Water Salt Yeast for making bread, I just never latched onto his pizza book in quite the same way. Maybe it was because I bought them so close together. Or maybe the detailed instructions felt like too much for a Friday night dinner (They really aren’t). It didn’t make sense, but either way, the book made its way to the basement shelves and stayed there.
This week, I’m giving it another shot with his 48-72 hour dough. So far, so good. The process is very similar so far to FWSY. The dough came together quickly without all the folding, just a countertop rise, shaping and into the fridge. Why did I think this was complicated?
One book that has unexpectedly stuck with me this year is Shonda Rhimes’ memoir Year of Yes. I’m fairly certain I’m not the target audience. I’m not a woman. I’m not black. I’m not a mother. I’ve never even seen a minute of her shows. But I am a bit introverted and increasingly my default position for a great night is reading a book on the couch. Maybe I’d let the dog in the room with me. And a bottle of wine.
So when Michelle suggested, not just adding a side trip to DC, but also to NYC during our drive to see family over Thanksgiving, my knee jerk reaction was a hardy hell no. Nothing could be further from my comfy couch than Midtown Manhattan during Thanksgiving week. It all sounded like a recipe for a stress and anxiety milkshake.
Deep breath. Say yes. Let’s do this….
We all hit the wall at some point. It’s late summer and you’ve just returned from the farm with another box of fresh, organic CSA produce and….you feel nothing.
Don’t worry, it’s totally normal. The dog days of CSA happen to the best of us. One more eggplant or ear of corn can turn your stomach. Don’t panic. Don’t toss everything in the compost bin.
There are quick and easy ways to get a good dinner on the table and not waste those fresh vegetables. It’s name is pizza and it’s your savior at this time of year.
So you’ve taken the plunge, tackled the basics and found that you just might like this homemade pizza making thing. If you are looking to take your home pizza game up a notch, here are a few more tools you might consider. None of them are essential to making good pizza at home, but each one can potentially take your homemade pizza from good to great.
You might notice a trend with the tools on this list: they all help with consistency. You might make a great pie once in a while with the essential tools. And a blind squirrel might find a nut. But if you really want to have consistent, predictable results, say, you want to invite people over for pizza and know that you will produce something worthwhile, you need to be confident that your processes and recipes will produce results. These tools, along with some high heat, can help.
Making pizza at home isn’t all that difficult and with a little practice you can often turn out pies that are just as good and probably better than your local corner pizza joint. You do, however, need a few pieces of equipment.
Sure, you can get by with just an upside down cookie sheet and a maxed out oven in a pinch, but a few essential tools can really push your home pizza making to the next level.
Some days the pizza craving comes on strong and fast. Too fast to think ahead and have dough prepped. Too strong to put off another day. You need the pizza and you need it tonight. If you find yourself suffering from pizza fever, for the love of god, don’t settle for mediocre (or worse) takeout pizza. Making pizza at home isn’t a big undertaking and the results (maybe with a little practice, but not much) are far, far superior to your average suburban pizza shop.
Weeknight pizza is not typically in the cards at our house. Too many other moving parts: piano practice, homework, day care pick up. The pizza making is usually reserved for Friday or Saturday given the number of pies and the amount of time it typically takes me.
However, we are hosting Christmas dinner this year and, before we shop this weekend, we needed to clear out some space in the fridge and freezer. After I pulled out all the half-eaten jars, containers and bags, the only thing I could think of was put it on some dough, cover it all in cheese and bake it till bubbly.
It worked out ok. This pie was quick, easy, unique and relatively healthy. It paired well with the side salads from the crisper drawer clean out.