Day 9 & 10: Let me get a pizza dat.

So, big accomplishment today – I made pizza! I love this challenge, it’s really one of my favorites because every time I go into the kitchen I try to elevate a meal or make a new recipe, it’s just a very fast way to feel accomplished. I’m always proud of myself after a meal or bake.

Another thing I’m learning through this challenge is yes, it’s a lot of dishes and work cleaning up after all of this. However, most of the work is because this is all new to me. So for instance, this afternoon as I was making the dough I used 3 different containers because I’m weighing ingredients now instead of measuring in cups. I didn’t have a rhythm or really know what the process was going to look like until I did it. Next time, maybe I’ll used 1… or 2.

From dough to devour it took me 2.5-3 hours to make the dough, the sauce then bake it and load the dishwasher. But next time it will take me less time for sure. Also, I chose the dough recipe that I used for this for 2 reasons. 1) I liked their website, I didn’t have to scroll through 8 pages of her grandmother’s memory to get to the recipe and 2) It was dough that you could make same day, all you need is 45 mins for it to rest, but you can also put it in the fridge or freezer for later.

The recipe yields 3 crusts. So I made one for tonight and just put the other 2 in the fridge and will have pizza two more times this week, in the interest of not having to freeze the dough and because it was delicious.

I can’t remember what I had on Monday – probably leftovers. Yesterday I went grocery shopping and when I got home made a delicious Greek chicken pita dinner. I used my George Forman grill for the chicken, which is really the best thing because it takes around 8 minutes to warm up and 8 minutes to cook and to clean it you just wipe it off with a paper towel. I actually have been using it for months to make bacon, I just wrap the grease trap in aluminum foil and then throw it out when it solidifies.

So chicken, homemade tzatziki and a greek salad in warmed pita pockets was *chefs kiss*. I want to do a greek pizza, or whatever I need to call it so I can throw some olives on the pizza. It’s so flavorful and delicious.

I was just talking to a friend and I was excitedly telling him about this challenge and all the things I’m making and how part of the challenge is being really organized and make a shopping list for everything I’ll need. He said it’s hard for him to plan meals because he doesn’t like eating the same things over and over. I am the same. However, this is different because I feel like I’m making really good things. Like normally, yes one pizza is more than enough and in the future I’ll freeze dough but this week, it’s fun and exciting and I want to try some things.

But it also helps with meal planning and grocery shopping. Starting a baking/cooking hobby is expensive when you have to buy almost everything. But now that I have flours, salts, whatever whatevers making homemade doughs and stuff is way cheaper over time. So I really hope to incorporate these recipes in the future.

It’s definitely hard work. I turned on the oven – to 500 degrees – for an hour – for the pizza today around 5 or 6 pm and as my house grew hotter and hotter I thought what the heck am I thinking, it’s too hot for this, but when it was done I was so glad I had done it. Sometimes the daunting thought of doing something talks me out of doing it before I even do it, especially with cooking and baking.

I told my mom today, I probably will never make burger buns again. They were kind of a flop. I can buy some for $4 or, as she suggested, just try another recipe. Both possibilities. I’m kind of working my way up to the harder challenges, after pastry and patisserie week we’ll see how much more baking I’m wanting to do. I’m already mentally preparing for complete kitchen destruction those weeks.

At first, I thought it was a friendly ghost.
Then I realized it resembled something else.

I did order a pizza stone for this and honestly, I’m never looking back. The crust of this pizza was perfect and delicious. I’ll give the pizza stone credit for that. It definitely had pizza oven vibes. I did not buy a pizza peel, which is the paddle thing that you use to slide the pizza onto the stone. I drew the line. You’re supposed to put cornstartch on the peel and it helps to slide the pizza onto the stone, since you preheat the stone with the oven.

I used flour and wheat germ, from my bread loaf. It wasn’t too bad of a transfer, definitely not a slide so much as a plop. I had shaped it into a rectangle originally because I just let the dough tell me where it wanted to go, instead of forcing it into a predictable circle.

Shaping the dough is definitely a skill of it’s own. I have two more chances to perfect, or really just re-attempt that this week. Also, I will use less cheese on the next two. haha.

This is the pizza dough recipe I used

For the sauce I just bought that yellow can of tomatoes, san something. Added olive oil, garlic, oregano, kosher salt and then some fresh basil towards the end. Amazing!

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