I bought the book Artisan Pizza & Flatbread in 5 Minutes a Day, because I wanted to play with refrigerator dough. On Friday, I made a batch of the “master recipe” for pizza dough and put it in the fridge in my new dough bucket. It looked beautiful!
On Sunday, I made a batch of tomato sauce in the InstantPot, using roma tomatos, onion, red & yellow pepper, garlic, and spices. I didn’t have any tomato paste or sauce, so it was just the fresh ingredients. Turns out, that’s awesome! I had also bought some ground Angus chuck patties, after realising that I may not have bought any meat thus far this calendar year, and cooked one pattie’s worth with onion and garlic, and some McCormick’s Smokehouse Maple meat rub that I’d bought after Margaret used it on some pork ribs that were delicious. I was going for something sort of Near Eastern/North African, and thought the sweetness of the maple flavor would do the trick. It wasn’t quite right, though. Then, I remembered that we had eaten that rib-meat in sandwiches with tangerine marmalade, which added a bit of tang and bitterness, so I added a spoonful of that to the meat mix. Eureka moment! The sweet-tartness of the marmalade, and the bits of tangerine peel, really brought the exotic flavor I was hoping to achieve.
Grabbing my dough, I stretched out 5 small rounds, about 5″ across, and topped them with the meat mixture. I decided to press the meat into the dough a bit, to keep it from falling off too much after cooking. Popped them into a well-preheated 450 degree oven, on an equally well pre-heated pizza stone for 10 minutes. While those were baking, I got out a bigger portion of dough and tried to stretch out a 10-12 inch round for pizza. This is very elastic dough, and did not want to stay stretched! I was using parchment paper underneath, and the dough would promptly retract and crinkle up the paper. Resistentialism!! Finally, I got a rather lop-sided crust spread out. I topped it with the tomato sauce, slices of fresh mozzarella, and a bit of Parm/Asiago/Romano mix cheese shreds. By this time, the meat pies were done. Meat pies out, Pizza in, again for 10 minutes. Meat pies looked great! Cleaned up the kitchen, pulled out the pizza and sprinkled it with shreds of basil.
Debrief: The dough was really crispy and tasty, but it will take some experimenting to get a handle on working with it. Supposedly, letting the dough rest a bit before stretching will help with this. The parchment paper was fine for the meat pies, with their small surface area, but the pizza was problematic. I’ve now ordered a pizza peel to use, instead, as it won’t crinkle up under the crust. I need to figure out how to turn the pizza stone in the oven, too, as it’s clear that the back of the oven cooks faster than the front (no surprise, there, I just don’t usually think about it.) The meat pies are fantastic, except that the spice rub is super salty. I’m going to try other options for that, because I’m not a big salt fan. The pizza was amazing. A. Maze. Ing! The tomato sauce was sweet and tomato-y without being overbearing, the fresh mozz was stringy and creamy, and the other cheeses gave it a nice bite. Crust was crisp, yet chewy. Overall, an excellent experiment, and I’ll happily do it again.