Lesson 81: Pizza Party!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Today was definitely quite the pizza party! Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE pizza (both making it and eating it)?! Well, let's just say today's lessons was one of my favorites!

Remember the pizza dough we made on Friday? Chef Chris helped us out and punched it down for us over the weekend. Here is my group's batch after fermenting for the weekend:

We divided this massive blob of dough into 1 pound rounds and refrigerated them while we made our focaccia dough. The focaccia was fairly simple and took us no time at all to whip it up. We set our doughs aside to rise while we started on our PIZZAS.

Allison and I worked together to make our first pie: Pizza Margherita. Gotta love the simplicity of this pizza. Chef Chris was also kind enough to leave us some tomato sauce that he made (which is unbelievable) so we used this as a base to our pie. Next, we layered on fresh mozzerella and sliced tomatoes. We drizzled the top with a bit of basil/chili pepper olive oil and popped it into the piping hot oven (I'm talking 500 + degrees).

So, naturally I tried to toss my pizza dough in the air.... mmm.... not so good at it (but at least I didn't throw it on the floor... or on my head). I did get a couple of good throws in!

HOWEVER, I was not as good as Miss Emily! This girl should open up a pizzeria with her pizza tossing skills.. I was amazed!

After only 10 minutes, our first pizza was ready to slide out of the oven! I loved how fresh this pizza tasted with the simple ingredients and the crispy crust..yum!

After each group made an assigned classical pizza, we all worked on creating our own pizzas. Naturally, I immediately sauteed some veggies (mushrooms, spinach and onions) and made myself a delicious vegetarian pizza. I used Chef Chris's tomato sauce ...(I want to ask him what he put in this.. we'll see if I work up the guts to actually talk to him! He intimidates me..) I topped the pizza with goat cheese and a light sprinkle of parmesan. Now that's my kind of pizza!

Al made this massive calzone! How crazy good does that look?!

While we were finishing up our pizzas, we put together our focaccias. We also were given some freedom to do what we wanted with these focaccias. I love a simple focaccia with fresh herbs, so we just embedded some rosemary and topped it with a few sundried tomatoes and a sprinkle of salt. This focaccia was SO good! I've had focaccia that gets really dried out, but this one was so moist and flavorful. Here is ours before we put it in the oven:

Today was a great start to the week!!


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