Pizza Pizza

It’s a shame I didn’t try this earlier:  sourdough pizza crust.  I’ve been cranking out dozens of loaves of sourdough bread, but still relying on a no-knead partial whole-wheat pizza crust recipe.  No more!  My rationale for the no-knead is that the dough would sit in the fridge for up to a week and…[wringing hands] maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t get to it for two weeks.  Sourdough benefits from long cold ferments, and my aha moment came when I was pulling a batch of sourdough out of the fridge to bake.  Couldn’t I just make pizza crust with this?

The specs:  olive oil, simple marinara, organic garlic/sun dried tomato paste, mozzarella, smoked gouda, and local arugula bathed in lemon juice and olive oil with a dash of salt.

Result:

Pizza noms

The crust was chewier than the no-knead, probably because of the full bout of kneading and gluten formation, plus it doesn’t have any whole wheat flour so it’s a little stronger.  With a little more oven time it could have gotten even crispier, but it ranks much higher than any other crust I’ve made.  Arugula and lemon juice go together like Bert and Ernie, and when you mix in garlic and olive cheese, Mama Mia!

But wait!  This blog is about learning from my mistakes.  Hey, come on, this is Uncle F#@k-Up you’re talking to.  Of course something went wrong.  I learned that smoked gouda becomes charcoal gouda when subjected to pizza oven temps of 650+ degrees.  I nibbled my fingers and peered in the oven as the cheese turned black within the first minute.  The great quandary:  should I take the pizza out before the crust is done, or let the cheese burn even more and impart a carbon al carbon flavor to everything below it?  Truth be told, I didn’t even notice it once all the toppings were on.  Learn from my mistakes—mix in the gouda with the mozzarella or just leave it out completely.

Charcoal Gouda = not good

Writer, architect, father, husband.

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4 comments on “Pizza Pizza
  1. Seth says:

    Do attempt shredded gouda or do you just crumble it into little chunks? I always find it too waxy to shred. But I do love smoked Gouda on pizza!

    p.s. I think you were right to let the gouda char. Toppings can be picked off but a crisped crust is a thing of beauty.

  2. psoutowood says:

    Oh. Was I supposed to pick off the charred gouda? I just ate it with everything else. Rustica!

  3. mulligansoup says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/19/dining/19pizza.html?ref=dining

    Here’s an interesting article in the NYT about achieving that special crust of a pizzaiolo at home. Someone else recently told me of a way to fashion an inexpensive pizza stone in your oven using untreated patio tiles. Something like six bucks for a quality tiling.

    • psoutowood says:

      I know where you’re going and I’m already semi-there. I use unglazed clay floor tiles in my oven as cheap pizza stones ($1.50 each!) but they crack pretty quickly if anything wet gets on them when they’re hot. I read that article and am glad to see that I’m already doing some things right, like overnight fermenting my dough. Now I just need to get hold of some guanciale and goat cheese…

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