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Mamma Mia!

April 6, 2009


Mamma Mia!  My grandfather likes to say when something excites him.  And tonight was one of those nights.  Because it was pizza night around here.  Which has pretty much become a weekly tradition.

After several years of experimenting, I think I have managed to come as close to perfection as possible.  As I have let my pickiest critic be the judge – my father.  And now my grandfather, as well.  Which for me are the hardest people to please, having come from an Italian background.

Yet, even though I make this almost every week, I just realized that I have never bothered to take any pictures of this process or even the finished product.  So, today was the day I finally remembered.  And thought I would share.

Step 1: Pizza Dough
Step 1: Just mixed dough. Pre-proof.

Step 2: Proofed Dough
Step 2:  Proofed dough after 4 hours.

Step 3: Formed Dough
Step 3: Shaped dough. Resting before pre-bake.

Step 4: Pre-bake
Step 4:  7 minute pre-bake.

The Works
Finished Product #1:  The Works

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Finished Product # 2:  BBQ Chicken Pizza

I typically make three pizzas for the four of us, varying the toppings as to please all palates.  My father and grandfather are traditionalists and like to stick to the works, which usually includes italian sausage, pepperoni, green and red peppers, red onions, homemade tomato sauce and lots of mozzarella.  If at all possible, my mom and I change it up.  Our favorite being BBQ Chicken, which varies a little each time depending on what ingredients are at hand.  But usually consists of something like chicken (if we’re lucky, smoked on the green egg), red onions, peppers, mushrooms, homemade bbq sauce topped off with a cheese mixture – mozzarella and/or monterrey jack and feta.  But however you choose to top it, the crust is the key ingredient and our favorite part!  And tonight’s showings were no different.

Mamma Mia! is right.

Perfect Pizza Dough
The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
Yield: (1) 10-inch pizza or (2) 7-inch pizzas

Unbleached All Purpose Flour     3/4 cup + 1T  {4 oz}
INSTANT Yeast                                   1/2 teaspoon
Sugar                                                       1/2 teaspoon

Salt                                                           1/2 teaspoon

Water, warm                                       1/3 cup  {2.75 oz}

Olive Oil                                                  4 teaspoons  {0.6 oz}

1.  Whisk together flour, yeast & sugar. [NOT salt, which can kill yeast if it comes in direct contact.]

2.  Whisk  in salt.

3.  Make a well in the center of mixture and pour in the water.  Using rubber spatuala or wooden spoon, gradually stir the flour into the water until all flour is moistened (about 20-30 seconds).  A rough dough will begin to form and come away from the sides of the bowl.  It will be a little sticky, but not silky smooth.  Do not overmix, the dough will become stickier.

4.  Pour the olive oil into a bowl.  Place the dough into the bowl and coat all sides with the oil.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for at least 1 hour. [For best flavor results, make dough 6 – 24 hours before.  Let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes and then place in refrigerator.  Remove it 1 hour before you want to put it in the oven.]

5.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees 1 hour prior to baking.  [For best results, place a pizza stone on bottom rack while preheating.]

6.  Shape the dough into a smooth round, kneading gently.  Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes, covered.  [This will make stretching and shaping the dough much easier.]

7.  On an oiled pan or piece of parchment paper, press the dough from the center to the outer edge to stretch it into a (7 or 10-inch) circle.  Cover and let stand for at least 15 minutes.

8.  Set the pizza pan or parchment paper directly on the hot stone and bake for 5 minutes.

9.  Add toppings and return to oven for 7-10 minutes (or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown).

10.  Devour!! the most delicious pizza you’ve ever made.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Forrest Gardner permalink
    April 8, 2009 1:06 pm

    Hello Lara! I’ll take two slices to go ~ looks great! Diane Hurt Williams says hello too. Hope you are doing well – Forrest

    • April 8, 2009 2:02 pm

      Well HELLO Forrest!! Welcome! It’s been ages, but I’m glad you found me. How’s everything on your end? What a nice surprise….

  2. Forrest permalink
    April 9, 2009 10:28 am

    Doing great! Beginning to fight the spring Nashville allergies – remember them? Not sure when we spoke last, but if you want to see what we (RCG alum) are up to on the business front you can check out:

    I bookmarked your blog when you sent out the link around Christmas. Looking forward to following your adventures and living vicariously through you!

  3. Missy permalink
    April 18, 2009 12:08 pm

    Okay, so not fair. thought I would check in on yur blog…love catching up with all the new updates. I want that BBQ chicken pizza like now! Wow, what advances you have made on it from our college days. Looks super yummy. Can’t wait until you come visit me some time, so you can make me one. lots of love to you!

  4. Missy permalink
    April 18, 2009 12:09 pm

    Oh no, I just looked back at my comment…typos, typos, typos! But, I guess that is what you get when you are typing and watching a baby!

  5. Barry permalink
    April 23, 2009 6:55 pm

    Looks great BUT have never made dough. Is there a recipe somewhere?


  1. How To: A Lesson in Bread Making « One Sweet World

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