You all know about the photography, but my background is originally biochemistry. I'm really into food, nutrition, and that sort of thing. So here's an installment in what may become a series. Actually, these articles are going to serve as my own notebook of recipes and such, but hopefully you'll find them useful too.
Today we're going to make...
You might be thinking, "Bread pizzas? Come on, anyone can make those!" Sure, take a piece of store-bought bread and throw some tomato sauce and cheese on it, right? Well, I've got something way better here.
The bread I use here is based on the pizza crust recipe I've worked up in my pizza book. The best-tasting recipe takes some preparation, but you can make a pretty good one if you set aside four or five hours for the bread rising and baking. I'll save the full-fledged recipe for the book, but here's an abbreviated version that's quite tasty. Here's
The Basic Bread Recipe
that I've been using.
337 grams Organic All-Purpose Unbleached Flour
240 ml of good water (read my book for details)
1 tsp Active Dry Yeast (you will learn a lot about these critters in the book.)
1/2 tsp Salt (good salt, no toxic flow-enhancing agents added)
That's about 71% hydration, which is a little wet. As you knead the dough, dust the countertop with enough extra flour, and keep doing so, until the dough reaches a good consistency: hydrated, but not enough to stick to your hands terribly. Shoot for 60 to 65% hydration by the time you're done. That means your "dusting" flour should amount to about 37 grams more. That's an extra tapped-down 1/4 cup, approximately.
So overall, your flour for the whole recipe is going to consist of about 2 1/2 gently tapped-down cups' worth.
You'll want to knead this dough for 8 to 10 minutes by hand. Make sure you knead it enough to incorporate that "raw" flour that you used to dust the counter.
A rise of about three hours usually does the trick for me, but I like the kitchen temp to be a bit cooler. This keeps dough rising at a manageable rate.
Then, bake in a loaf pan for 35 minutes at 375 Fahrenheit. When the bread cools, cut into slices about 1 centimeter thick.
You can get a passable bread just by following this recipe as given here, doing the standard "rise-until-doubled" method (i.e., no slow-ferment), and your bread & pizzettas will taste pretty good. If you want the full details-- plus a whole lot more-- get the e-book here (it's only $9.99). Written by a biochemist (me), it will teach you the details of how to make (in my opinion) the best-tasting restaurant-style pizza. I also present ideas on how to mitigate wheat germ agglutinin and the dreaded "33-mer" of gliadin. Say what? Read the book and find out.
OK, now it's time for
Making The Pizzettas
Once you have the bread made, this recipe is great when you have a sleeping baby and you have to sneak yourself a quick meal in the next room.
Aside from the bread itself, the key to making these pizzettas is to keep the bread from getting soggy.
First, toast the bread slices lightly. The ones made with my recipe have something of a French-bread consistency, so they work well.
Next, put slices of mozzarella cheese directly on the bread. Sprinkle the cheese with garlic powder and some olive oil. Then, coat with your favorite sauce. I like organic crushed tomatoes in a glass jar, but for most of these we actually used jarred pasta sauce.
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Arrange the pizzettas on a steel pizza pan or baking sheet. Bake them in the oven for 8 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Three to four of these mini pizzas make a meal for one adult.
Done right, these little impromptu pizzas can have people fighting over them for the last one. I'm sure bacon or pepperoni would magnify the effect (I love both, but I don't eat cured meats much anymore). Or, top with some veggies and onions.
As always, thanks for visiting this website!