My First Daring Baker’s Challenge! Pizza!

This is my very first Daring Baker’s Challenge. I had a good laugh when I found out that we’d be baking pizza from Peter Reinhart’s book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. As you might imagine I bake every day from my own book, but It has been many years since I’ve made pizza or bread from a traditional recipe. I must admit it was great fun! It took a lot longer than I have become accustomed to, but it was a joy to knead the dough, satisfying to see it rising on my counter and as you can see I actually spun it over my head. The dough is very similar in taste to the olive oil dough (page 134) in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and I ended up making them side by side. I’ll leave it up to you to do the same and tell me what you think! 😉

I made a southwestern shrimp pizza using some of the Hatch’s Chillies my friend Jen roasted and gave to me, along with grilled corn and goat cheese. I also made a purple potato and bacon pizza with onions I sauteed in the bacon fat. I called Jen as they were coming out of the oven and we had a fabulous lunch!

The one thing I did differently from our book with my olive oil dough, was let it sit on the counter as I preheated the oven, about 40 minutes. I let Reinhart’s sit for the full 2 hours that he asks for. In the end they both had a lovely crisp, airy crust, which I love!

When making pizza it is important to have these basic things:

Baking Stone

Oven Thermometer

Pizza Peel

Preheat the oven to 550° or as hot as your oven will go with a pizza stone on the bottom rack. Having it on the bottom will allow the bottom crust to get nice and crisp without burning your toppings.

The Purple Potato, Bacon, Mozzerella, Rosemary and onions sauteed in Bacon Fat Pizza!

The potatoes I had roasted in olive oil, salt and pepper for dinner the night before and were leftovers.

Toss or roll out your dough so that it is nice and thin, about 1/8-inch or thinner. Put on your toppings and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with course salt.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese hot and bubbly.

For the Shrimp, Grilled Corn and Goat Cheese Pizza, I peeled the shrimp, cut them in half lengthwise, tossed them with the chopped up chillies (you determine how HOT you like it!) and salt and pepper.

I leave the shrimp raw, because it is cut in half it will bake perfectly and not be tough.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and shrimp is pink! Enjoy!

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