Our first experiment had to be homemade pizza. We chose a sauce recipe and a dough recipe from the pizza recipe page (scroll down for details) and dove in.
We made our list, checked it twice, and headed for the store. This would prove to be one of the most frustrating parts of the whole day. We’re novices but we did figure out that basil, oregano, and minced garlic would probably be in the spice section so we headed there. After watching us search the shelves for a couple of minutes people began to think we were idiots.
The first in a series of people to make fun of us at the store was a friend that we have known for years. After watching us struggle he walked up and said “That’s why I bring her” pointing to his wife. Thanks man, that helps.
The next person to give us a hard time was some random guy who thought we were out shopping for our wives he said “Next time take notes guys, then you’ll be able to find it.” Again, people at the store were really helpful.
We finally found all the spices we needed and took off looking for tomatoes. We had already checked the produce section but couldn’t find plum tomatoes as specified in the recipe, so we headed for the canned tomatoes. Much to our surprise we found a can of Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes that contained basil, oregano, and garlic. The three spices we had just spent twenty minutes looking for. Since the can was only 99 cents we headed back to the spices to return the others.
We finally made it back to the kitchen in one piece and we were eager to start making our homemade pizza. Unfortunately we didn’t know how. We pretty well knew what we had to do but weren’t sure where to start. We got some advice from the pro’s and decided to start by milling the flour.
Milling the Flour
Matt: We decided to use the WonderMill Grain Mill to make fresh flour from Durum wheat (I would like to tell you that I pulled this out of my own brain but this advice came from the pro’s the day before). I thought making our own flour would be kind of a pain. I had read reviews and product descriptions of all the grain mills but had always figured they were for gourmet chefs who knew what they were doing. The WonderMill was a pleasant surprise. It was easy to use, it ground our flour in no time, and really was incredibly easy to clean. I thought it would be a hassle, and I was wrong.
Mixing the Dough
Brent: Now that we had our flour it was time to break out the Bosch Mixer, the recipe says to use your bread machine to mix but we just wanted to try the Bosch out since I had never used one before. I was thinking I just throw everything in and turn the mixer on, luckily the pro’s gave us some more advice. We were told to mix all the dry ingredients (flower, yeast, and salt) together in a separate bowl before putting it in the mixer, this allows the dry ingredients to mix more evenly together. I added the water to the mixer and then the dry ingredients and fired up the Bosch. At first the dough was clinging together and not mixing well. I added a little more water through the top of the Bosch mixer while it was mixing and it turned out to be some nice looking dough.
The Bosch Universal enabled us to mix
and blend at the same time. Very cool.
Preparing the Sauce
Matt: Now that we had our dough mixing we thought it would be a good time to start the sauce. So we opened a can of tomatoes and poured them into the blender. We added the cayenne pepper (this item is listed as optional on the recipe but I highly recommend including it, it gave a nice little kick to the sauce) and were ready to blend. Again we were pleasantly surprised by one of the kitchen machines. The dough was still mixing and we needed the blender attachment for the Bosch. It turns out you can use both at the same time. I know we didn’t really need it but I thought it was pretty cool.
Rolling and Decorating
Brent: I used a plastic pastry mat with flour sprinkled on it to roll out our dough on, the pastry mat worked great and was easy to clean. The recipe instructions say “it may never be a perfect circle“ but our dough wasn’t even close. I allowed our dough to rise about 15 minutes so the dough would be a little thicker and then added the toppings. During that 15 minutes, we were able to clean most of the kitchen items we had used.
Transferring to the oven
Matt: One of the coolest tools that we used all day was the Super Peel. This little contraption really saved us some headache when we were transferring the pizza onto the pizza stone for cooking. We had a little trouble with the dough sticking to the pastry mat but once we had that taken care of the Super Peel performed really well.
Brent: I had turned the oven up to 500 degrees before we started but later on discovered that I forgot to turn the oven to bake, luckily I figured this out early enough to allow the oven to heat up fully. The recipe said to cook the pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, but I checked on it at about 9 minutes and our pizza was cooked just a little more than it should have been. After the pizza was done we realized we should have used a little more cheese but it was OK.
Brent: I thought it tasted good but I’m sure someone else could have made it taste much better.
Matt: I was pretty happy with the way this turned out, it wasn’t gourmet pizza but for our first kitchen project I’m pretty satisfied.