For quite some time, when I’ve wanted to make homemade pizza, I’ve been using the pizza crust from Chef John of Food Wishes. Before I go on, I’d like to say that if you haven’t ever checked out his site, you should! I find his short videos on how to prepare his dishes very enjoyable … they’re short, to the point and extremely informative.
I really like his pizza crust, but one drawback is that it takes a very long time to make, requiring 2 proofs that last half an hour each, in addition to a final rise. Today, when I went to find his pizza crust video, I googled something along the lines of “pizza crust food wishes” and a link popped up from Chef John about making Wolfgang Puck’s pizza crust. I wouldn’t normally have clicked it, except I happened to want to make Wolfgang Puck’s Smoked Salmon and Caviar pizza. Maybe I should go all the way and make everything in the style of Wolfgang Puck?
When I watched the video, I was happy to learn that prep time for Puck’s crust would be under an hour, a definite plus in my book for today. Another plus in its favor was that I’d never made it before, so I was very curious to try it. Much like a new chocolate chip recipe, I can never resist seeing how it compares to the old favorite. So I warmed up some water and got to mixing.
This is after kneading it in my stand mixer for awhile:
Check out that round ball-like shape. Can you believe I’ve been “making” bread for 2 years or so and it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I finally figured out I hadn’t been kneading my dough for long enough? Now I finally get what people mean when they say to make sure that the dough passes the windowpane test. And my dough actually formed a ball this time instead of sort of slipping into a dough puddle in the bowl. It’s great to know that I am making progress, but I am sure I have a long way to go yet! 🙂
I slipped this into a warmed oven to rise, then split it into four sections to make four miniature pizzas. Or rather, 3 pizzas, we were too full by the time the third one popped out of the oven. Because I’m leaving on Monday to go to NC for the holidays (yay!), I am trying to get rid of all perishables before I go. So I basically emptied out our entire crisper and julienne-sliced anything I found (thank goodness for mandolines) and piled them on in combinations I thought might be tasty, making for a very hodge podge meal. Also, none of them had pizza sauce, which posed an interesting conundrum: is a pizza a pizza without tomato sauce or is it considered some sort of flatbread … thing?
Here’s what we made:
Pepper, Onion and Feta Pizza – This was my least favorite, but Martin’s favorite. I’m not a huge fan of feta, though, so I was a little biased. This pizza was a bit dry (I think I confused feta with chevre and thought it would melt in a satisfying way upon baking), so I think next time I would add a few spoonfuls of sauce. Overall, a pretty good vegetarian pizza.
Brie and Apple Pizza – I basically brushed the crust with olive oil, cut the rind off some brie and pulled apart pieces and dropped them onto crust. Then I topped it with rings of red onion and slices of an apple (roma or pink lady, I can’t remember). I think this one was my favorite. The brie was so creamy and warm, the apples were sliced so thin they managed to caramelize while cooking and the red onions added a bit of bite. Delicious!
Smoked Salmon and Caviar Pizza – When I was researching how to make the appetizers from our wedding, I found out that Wolfgang Puck had based that dish on his signature pizza, and I made a mental note to try it one day. After eating it, I think the combination was better on a potato pancake but it was still tasty.
So there you have it. Pizza for 2 on a lazy Saturday!