This year I was given a wonderful holiday gift of a pizza making kit, including an Emile Henry pizza stone in fire engine red and all the necessary equipment and goodies – a serving platter, a rolling cutter, rolling pin, et. What fun, I love pizza, who doesn’t?
I decided to bite the bullet and buy the book Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in 5 Minutes A Day because I saw Zoe Francois and Mark Luinenberg’s video on the Emile Henry pizza stone webpage (see link above, it is a cute video). I am glad I did because they go into great detail about types of flour and salt etc. and tips and techniques that I did not get from the brief recipe included on the Emile Henry handout.
Funnily enough my friend Stephanie reviewed their book on her site recently and posted about in on Facebook and I was able to chat with the authors. This is why I love social media and the synchronicity of life. Talk about timing!
So I get out my ingredients last night and look in my flour jar and it’s almost empty! Ack! Fortunately I had enough, or so I thought, for a half recipe so I started with mixing the hot water and the yeast and salt using my largest bowl which happens to be my beloved celery green Wovo salad bowl. I began the “scoop and sweep” method they recommend in the book for measuring all purpose flour. A half recipe calls for 3 3/4 cups of flour and after scooping out 2 cups of flour I was done. Out of flour. There was maybe a half a cup in the canister if I shook it out of the corners really well. Erk.
This deficiency is completely understandable because since I injured my shoulder, over a *year* ago, I really have not done any proper grocery shopping and many of my essential staples are depleted. I went shopping on New Year’s Eve and purchased a couple of hundred dollars worth of groceries but of course none of those kinds of staples were among them – I need to hire a sherpa or find a friend with a car to help me shop for the heavy stuff – flour, sugar, polenta, sherry, wine….. The pantry situation is getting desperate.
Happily my holiday gift included a 3 pound bag of King Arthur flour specifically formulated for making pizza but per the book its protein count was too high for their generic recipe and more suited for pizzas that were formed by tossing. My ability to toss things is really not back up to speed yet – can you imagine?!!. I decided to just go ahead and use this flour to complete my pizza dough and hope for the best.
The recipe calls for mixing the water with the yeast and salt, and then dumping in the flour and stirring with a spoon or dough whisk, of which I lack, until everything is moistened. I used a perforated spatula (see Ruhlman, there is a use for these kind of spatulas!), covered the mixing bowl loosely and let it rise for 2 hours.
Sure enough at 2 hours the dough had risen sufficiently in the bowl and the top of the dough had begun to flatten out. I gently scooped the dough into a plastic tub that I found at Daiso, closed the lid but did not seal it and popped the mess into the fridge. And went to bed.
Tonight is the big night, hope it all works out! I mean what could go wrong? My oven takes forever to preheat and who knows what temperature it really is – I think it runs low, the dough is made with the wrong flour and might be too sticky, I bought the wrong kind of mozzarella and I do not have a pizza peel. Heh heh. Wish me luck!