I had a four-day gap ion the schedule and figured it would be a good time to head out west to visit my brothers in Portland and Seattle. Turns out all they wanted to do was make pizza.
First stop was Portland to visit Jon and Laura. They’ve made pizza before, but always had trouble with the stretch. That’s the most common issue with home pizza making. JON AND LAURA YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We whipped up a batch of dough using the recipe I give out on the back of the Pocket Pizza Journal everyone gets on the pizza tour. Here it is:
We wanted to eat pizza that night, so also added a pinch of sugar to get that yeast moving fast. I think we also added a drizzle of olive oil into the mix to up the crunch factor.
Mix it. Let it rest a few minutes. Knead it. Split into four balls. Jon and Laura don’t have a fancy dough box, so we used a cookie sheet, lightly oiled. We also oiled the tops of the dough balls, then covered with plastic wrap. Since we wanted to eat the pizza that night, we left the dough out to rise.
A few hours later, it was party time. Jon’s vegan, so we started with a animal-free pie. This one had a very gentle amount of Follow Your Heart cheese substitute and some globs of cashew ricotta. It was totes tasty! Take a look at Jon and Laura showing off the first pie.
Next up was a pizza Margherita. We didn’t put enough sauce on it, but that’s why we made FOUR DOUGH BALLS!!! We did fresh mozzarella with sauce on top. Baller.
Lighting’s not great, but I assure you this pie tasted awesome. A bit too crunchy for me, but this was the first night on an unfamiliar oven. It’s an electric oven and those are not the greatest for pizza making because they’re too tame. Gas ovens get CRAY-ZEE! We used an Emily Henry stone I bought for Jon and Laura for their wedding (obvs) but it was actually my first time using that stone. We had the stone in the center of the oven for this round, but the next night was another story. We upped the stone to the second notch from the top and switched on the broiler once the pie went in. The idea here is that the preheated stone bakes the bottom while the broiler baked the top. It should cut down on bake time and result in a more flexible crust.
We put the perfect amount of sauce on this one. Oh, and Jon stretched the dough! Great job!!! Way better than mine the night before. It’s the pie at the very top of this post. You know, the one I posted first so you’d read the words instead of scrolling by. I hope it worked!
Next I moved onto Seattle to visit Dan, Alicia, and Chloe aka My Favorite Human. We had a bit more time here, so made dough about a day in advance. Only trouble is my brother doesn’t have a kitchen scale and I just didn’t feel like looking up the conversions, so I ended up totally eyeballing it. He had a couple open bags of Gold Medal flour so we used that up. Also no pizza stone at his place, so we went for a Sicilian pan pizza instead of the usual round. All things considered, this was a glorious opportunity for experimentation!
Quick word of warning: it’s about to get incredibly cute in this post. Chloe, who is just a few months shy of her third birthday, did the heavy lifting. I was really just there to supervise. Yes, she is wearing her own signature series chef’s hat and apron. I’ll let the pictures do the talking…
That was all day 1. We let the dough rise on a lightly oiled cookie sheet overnight and stretched it into shape the next morning. We went out and ate noodles, ice cream, coffee and donuts. Then we went to the park. When we got back, I pulled the tray out of the fridge and pushed the dough out a bit more. We let that sit and warm up a bit, then turned the oven on to let the dough have its final moments of inflation whilst sitting atop the range. Then chloe took over…
There it is, the final pie. I wish I sauced it more evenly. And I left too much crust on one side. But it tasted great! Baked that sucker at 500 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Delicious.
Two great cities with two brothers and their families and we made a bunch of really great pizza!