|Time to take action
||[Feb. 21st, 2010|10:56 am]
There are times when one realizes that something is horribly wrong with the world, something that makes you come up short, and put a determined look on your face, and have the camera zoom in for a close-up just so you can say, grimly and with finality, "this ends now." |
I discovered such a thing yesterday.
I'm not sure how to make a good consistent pizza crust. And I had to ask myself, "Do I want to live in a world where John Palmer can't make a good, consistent pizza crust? Do I want other people's *children* to grow up in a world where John Palmer can't make a good, consistent pizza crust?"
With such drama, with such angst, how can I help but take action?
I started with Joy of Cooking. How else could I start? The secrets of our ancestors, the alchemy of the ages; truly, with my own meager magical talents and the wisdom of the ancients, how could I fail?
The recipe is simple:
4 cups flour
1 cake of yeast, equivalent to 1 packet (2.25 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 1/3 cup of water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
Dissolve yeast in water. Mix with flour. Knead ten minutes, raise two hours. But this was not enough for me - I chose instead to feed the yeast. First I dissolved it in water, then added 2 teaspoons of sugar to grant it greater strength, as it would be battling with both gluten and gravity.
I ran in to my old enemy while making this. I could not get the dough to elasticity - it would always break when stretched. I cursed the foul demons that had attacked my efforts, set the dough aside to rise, and though I felt the whisperings of doom, I nevertheless cast ahead boldly, rolling the dough out, covering the breaks by squeezing it back together. Then - cover with sauce, cheese, and pepperoni and bake at 425 - no, 450! first at the bottom rack, and then on the middle, - it took nearly 20 minutes for the infusion of the spirit of fire to take true hold, and then... then... ah.
A nice, crackly crust, Not what I wanted, but perfectly adequate. I ate too much pizza, and drank too much wine, and headed for bed - neither bowed, nor beaten, but determined to continue to do battle.
For truly - this abomination will end; never again shall the spirits of despair try to destroy me by pointing to my inability to make a good, consistent pizza crust. They shall go down in ignominious defeat!
Notes: I think that 2/3rd cup of water per two cups of flour is not enough. The dough wasn't sticky when I first started working it, and that strikes me as a bad sign. When dough is ready, it should be "satiny smooth and elastic" - it should be stretchy - you certainly shouldn't be able to break the skin by pushing in a finger, and it shouldn't feel at all grainy/dry. "Throwing" pizza dough, stretching it out by throwing it in the air and spinning, etc, should be possible.
 I do hope there's no age-horror among those who love the original author - but, the first edition was 1931, and "ancient" is no slur on someone who has compiled many resources, and was an adult nearly 80 years ago
 And, for the record, halved. This is supposed to make 2 14 inch pizzas. That's a *lot* of pizza, even for me!