Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lisa Pizza

Of course people actually called me that in elementary school. It's truly hilarious when you're 7.

For October the Daring Bakers made Pizza!!:

Italian Sausage, Mushroom & Olive ----- Apricot Almond & Pastry Cream

I'm going to try to keep my Daring Bakers post shorter this month - for a couple reasons... 1) no one wants to read an encyclopedia about baking a single item and 2) I just don't have the time after a VERY full last week complete with my very best friend's wedding. (More to come on that later!)

Flour and yeast -------- Adding the water -------- Knead, knead, knead

I was a little bit disappointed and a little bit excited to find that Rosa had chosen PIZZA as our October Daring Bakers Challenge. Disappointed because I've been making a lot of pizza lately - so it's not really much of a challenge. But excited because it's always nice to try another recipe and perhaps try to get creative with it. We all did Peter Reinhart's recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread - same book we used last month!

Instead of 6 small I made 3 larger pizzas - enough to feed 4 adults

Rosa asked us to make the pizza dough and cover it with a sauce and toppings. We could choose the sauce and toppings as long as we had both!

First I thought I'd do a dessert pizza and skip the savory altogether since I've been making so much lately. So I started brainstorming dessert pizza ideas. But soon plans developed for my parents to be over one weekend and while I've made lots of pizza for friends and even for my brother; I hadn't made any for my parents. So savory was back on!

The hardest work is prepping toppings ---- Never make pizza without my baking stone

I'd previously been using the America's Test Kitchen recipe for pizza dough which is great, though maybe not excellent. Now this recipe we made - I really loved, though I'm a bit disheartened that it takes a full day of planning ahead. It's rare that I can do that...

Enough with the pizza making! Can a girl get some sleep?!

We were supposed to toss this dough like a real pizzaiolo (and take pictures of ourselves doing just that) but I got an F on tossing. My dough stretched so thin I thought it'd actually break when I started picking it up to attempt tossing. So since I rather enjoy my crust in a solid plane (and not holey) I opted out on the tossing...

My family are Round Table type pizza eaters. Not California Pizza Kitchen. What I mean is - we enjoy a sausage and mushroom much more so than a pear & Gorgonzola. So choosing toppings for the savory pizzas was easy:
Combo (pepperoni, sausage, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, mushrooms)

Sausage & Mushroom (with some olives thrown on 'cuz there was extra)

The dessert one was a little bit harder to think up - or maybe I should say it was difficult to settle on one! So I did half and half.

Crust with cinn/sugar ------ Almonds and apricots ------ Caramelizing apples

I returned to my favorite Daring Baker's challenge so far - the Danish Braid - and used the apricot mixture and the pastry cream that Beatrice Ojakangas made with Julia Child. Then I did a rough variation of this pizza I found while scouring the web. The result:

~Apricot Almond with Pastry Cream and Almond Steusel
~Cinnamon Apple with Brown Sugar Sour Cream and Pecan Streusel

I love to end on a sweet note!


  1. Your pizzas all look so delicious! I wish I was having some right now.

  2. WOW those dessert pizzas sound amazing!

  3. Lisa, all your pizzas look fantastic!
    I'm sure they tasted amazing as well!

    You girl is certainly growing fast! She is more like a teenager already! But what a beauty!

  4. The sweet pizza with the almond cream smells especially yummy. My cat flops in front of my sink; must be related to your puppy.

  5. Your pizzas look amazing! Now I am hungry!

  6. Love your step by step pics and you choice of toppings flavors is just superb!

  7. Love your step by step pics and you choice of toppings flavors is just superb!

  8. Ooh, another Lisa!. In the Bay too!...

    Oooh la la! apricot, almond and pastry cream, how divine! Great post. Thank you so much for all the kind words, I am enjoying your blog as well. Love your photos!

  9. OH MY...you're dessert pizza looks divine! Now I must try a sweet version...YUM!

  10. That apricot one looks delish!... and I'm not even a dessert pizza person normally! :)

  11. Your pizzas look extremely scrumptious and very pretty! Very well done!



  12. You were ambitious! I really like the Apricot Almond with Pastry Cream and Almond Steusel pizza. Yum!

  13. Hi Lisa,
    it's my first time here, and I really like your blog.
    Your pizza look really delicious.
    Cheers, Elra

  14. your sweet pizza looks so divine I feel i could taste it just by looking at it!!!

  15. Your pizzas look great! Sausage and Mushroom is a favorite combo at our house too. I agree that photos really make a big difference - yours are fab.

  16. Jo - Me too actually!
    Jamie - Thank you. They were super good!
    Vera - Thank you. She's definitely our favorite thing in the world right now.
    Arlene - They just want to be near us :).
    Ruth - Ha thank you!
    Zita - Since I take pix of the process I usually decide to post pix of the process!
    Heather - Thanks!!
    Lisa - I know I can't wait to start checking your blog!
    Celeste - I would highly recommend it ;)
    Y - I've managed to turn my boyfriend into a dessert person!
    Rosa - Thank you! And thank you again for a wonderful challenge!
    Dragon - The dessert one WAS definitely scrumptious.
    Elra - Thank you so much!
    Pixie - I'm glad you liked the look of the dessert pizza!
    Micha - Thank you - I'm sometimes a little too impatient to spend much time on my photos. But I'll work on it...

  17. The dessert pizza looks phenomenal!

  18. WOW! Your pizzas look incredible, and those dessert pizzas are making me drool at the moment. Beautiful job :)

  19. Your blank dough looks like it's at room temperature, if you want to hand-spin it, it's much easier when it's slightly chilled (too cold and it will spin forever with little stretching and you'll eventually tear a hole in it). The way you roll the dough prior to storing it overnight also determines how well it will spin, the uneven veining you have in the dough suggest a pocket of air in the dough as it rested. Good work, looks tasty!