Monday, April 09, 2007

Basic Pizza Dough (Page 199)

  • Date: Saturday, April 7, 2007 -- 8pm
  • Location: Cambridge, MA
  • Kitchen: Alex and Gunther's Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Alex
  • Dining Companion: Gunther
  • Recipe Rating: A-

Since Alex has a grill and I do not, it is tradition to grill when we cook at his place. We are slowly running out of grilled recipes in The Book, but we had yet to make the grilled pizza. This dough recipe was a component of the pizza (which will be my next post). Not surprisingly, I forgot to take a picture of the dough alone, so you are getting a picture of the finished product. This dough was quite good. It had a lot of flavor to it, and a nice, chewy texture. We made two pizzas, and the first was cooked more than the second. Gunther pointed out that the crust was nice both ways: the more charred pizza had a crispy crust, which was blackened and tasted deliciously of the grill, while the less charred pizza (pictured above) had a chewier crust with more of the dough flavor shining through. Either way it was excellent. So this recipe is not only tasty, but versatile! I am anxious to see how this dough comes out in the oven rather than on the grill, but I have confidence that it won't disappoint.

True pizza confession: I used to work at Pizza Hut. When I was 18, I was a cook in the Pizza Hut kitchen. Many of my high school friends had part-time jobs in the pizza-making industry at that time. Come to think of it, some still do (hint, hint... Mel)! My friend Steve worked at Pizza Hut and he encouraged me to join the crew the summer before I left for Stanford. I loved that job. I was the only girl in the kitchen, and consequently got mercilessly teased. One of my coworkers would play the Beastie Boys song "Girls" over and over throughout my shift. In case you're unfamiliar, a snippet: "Girls - to do the dishes, Girls - to clean up my room, Girls - to do the laundry..." Despite the teasing, the guys were really nice to me. The other cooks would stuff my stuffed-crusts for me (a skill I never mastered myself -- mine would always burst in the oven). And the drivers would take me along on drive-alongs when they wanted advice on their problems with girls.

Mainly I loved the job because I love being in the kitchen. On nights when it got really busy, it was exhilarating to get in the rhythm of turning out pizza after pizza. My favorite shifts were always those when we were slightly under-staffed. That job was very different than any job I had before that, or any job I have had since. Whenever I make pizza, I think about those Pizza Hut days and remember them very fondly...


Melanie said...

Are you making fun of my pizza making job? These days it is the only thing that keeps me sane because it provides me with relief from my thesis and gives me a different type of work to do. Instead of having to think hard, look up citations, and run regressions, I get to talk on the phone, be on my feet, and use my hands to create beautiful pizzas. Oh yeah, and it helps pay the bills.

Teena said...

I'm totally not making fun of you! I completely understand the appeal of the pizza job. It's so satisfying to create something so concrete (and delicious!)