Friday, July 31, 2020

Thursday was pizza day

As planned, I made pizza with leftovers on Thursday. To stand in for sauce, I used some leftover ratatouille that Ken had made with tomato, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, and even some green beans last week. We also had some leftover smoked chicken. Ken took it off the bones and shredded it. I sliced a couple of leftover mushrooms and grated some brebis (sheeps' milk cheese) that was just past its use-by date. I topped it all with a few black olives.

The crust is crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside. And it's tasty, too!

I've adjusted the crust recipe (again) and am very pleased with how it's working. Instead of making the dough the night before and letting it rise overnight, I've started making the crust in the morning and giving it a three hour rise* before punching it down and kneading it lightly. By that I mean that I fold the dough over itself several times on a floured surface to redistribute the yeast; there's no long, hard kneading work. Then I separate the dough and form two equal pâtons (balls of dough) and let them rise again for an hour or so. I make the first crust (by hand, no rolling) and let it sit under a towel for about ten minutes before adding the toppings and baking. After we eat the first pizza, I repeat the process for the second.

The crust was good and the pizzas were delicious, if I do say so myself!

* After many years and some research, we realized that the dry yeast we get in the supermarket is "instant" yeast and not "active dry" yeast. I never understood the difference. Instant yeast needs less time to work, so I was letting my dough rise too long, essentially exhausting the yeast. We also tried fresh yeast, and that worked well, but it's not widely available where we live and it doesn't keep long, even frozen.


  1. Your crust looks amazing.

  2. Looks delicious. I did not understand the difference between the two types of yeast. At least not in the sense that rising for too long could have a poorer result. I remember when instant yeast first became available and now it is all the I normally see for sale.

  3. I have used SAF-instant yeast for years in my bread machine and it works very well.

  4. I never knew there were even different types of yeast, until reading your posts, and I'm sure not about to make my own pizza dough, so my hat is off to you! It does look delicious!

  5. Looks wonderful! Kind of a riff on the Roman Capriciosa

  6. Healthy alternative to use the leftover ratatouille sauce with the vegies! How did you think it compared to your tomato sauce?

  7. lori, thanks! It's taken years...

    thickethouse, it's confusing, but they do have different properties.

    chm, and your bread has always been good!

    mitch, almost as good as chocolate cake? ;)

    judy, there's not much work to it, but it does take some time.

    eric, all I need is a few artichokes!

    mary, just as good, if not better!

  8. Your pizza looks great! Cutting out the overnight rise is a convenient improvement on the process.

    The nice thing about instant yeast is that it does not require a "proofing" step. It is mixed with the dry ingredients at the beginning.

  9. Your pizza looks lovely but would cause runctions around here for not being a proper pizza.

  10. tom, yes! We were treating the instant as if it were dry active. I think things are better now.

    michael, pizza is my favorite food group and I like most of 'em! I do have favorites, though.


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