The Daring Bakers' October Challenge - Pizza Napoletana
A whole month has already passed, since our last Daring Bakers' Challenge. This month the challenge was hosted by Rosa of http://www.rosas-yummy-yums.blogspot.com. She chose to have us make “Pizza Napoletana,” a recipe taken from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice. (Recipe HERE.)
The recipe makes enough dough for six small to medium sized pizzas, half of which I froze for later. The part that was most challenging for me was Rosa's requirement that we toss at least two of the crusts! Now I've watched those fellows at the pizza restaurants toss pizzas high into the air, but I'd never tried it before, myself. When I pictured myself doing it, all I could think of was that famous I Love Lucy episode, where she tries her hand at it.
But I finally worked up my nerve to make the dough one night - that part was easy - and then, the next evening, to shape the crusts, top the pizzas and bake them off. The crusts were both tender and crispy, and as good as I've ever had! They had to bake, on a stone, in an oven pre-heated to "as hot as possible," which, for my oven, was 550 degrees. They baked quickly (about 5 minutes each), and the high temperature was what made for the nice, crisp crust, but was also what caused the house (and the pizza chef) to overheat!
Here are a few pictures from the preparation.
For Dan's pizza, I sliced up some fresh mushrooms.
I sauteed them in butter until they were just slightly browned.
For mine, I used black olives, and then topped it with fresh sliced tomatoes after pulling it from the oven.
Both of our pizzas had ground beef and freshly shredded mozzarela cheese.
Here are the results!
Dan's, with ground beef, sauteed mushrooms and red bell pepper.
Mine, with ground beef, black olives and topped with fresh sliced tomatoes.
Click HERE to see a real pizza-tossing pro. Maybe the music is the magic ingredient I was missing.