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Sunday, December 8, 2013

New pizza dough and pizza sauce

Today turned into a cooking day after a morning visit with our son and a friend. Once I finished a bunch of morning and early afternoon chores like de-icing the walkway which was resembling an ice skating rink, putting up some Christmas decorations, and email, etc,etc., I finally found my way back to the kitchen after lunch.

 My pizza dough for tomorrow is now made, and in the fridge for an overnight cold rise. It's a new  recipe I created using an on line pizza calculator to come up with what I hope will be a good clone for a New York style dough that I I grew up eating - thin, crispy, yet foldable and chewy. I used a King Arthur Lancelot flour today and I like the consistency of the finished dough. I'll only use half of the dough batch  for one pizza and if the dough works out well, I'll let the rest of it sit in the fridge another day so I can compare the flavor between a one or two day cold rise. 

The longer, cold rise, allows more flavor to develop in the dough. I guess you could say it gives it a little bit of a sourdough flavor after a day or two.

I also made a batch of pizza sauce using Cento certified San Marzano tomatoes in a puree that I bought on line. Every tomato in the can was bright red. I loved that the can has a white liner, so there's no direct metal contact with the contents. I saw these being used in a you tube video on making true Neapolitan pizza, by a chef from Naples. It's a lot pricier than most but one can made enough sauce for eight 14 1/2 -15 inch pizzas. I have other varieties on hand and over the winter will be using them with my new sauce recipe and see if the higher price is worth it.    

Both the new dough and pizza sauce recipes are the result of a lot of research and then using bits of other recipes to create my own. There's lots of flavor in the sauce from the garlic and herbs and my not so secret ingredient - a 1/2 tsp of anchovy paste for a 28 oz can of the San Marzano tomatoes. It is sooooo good!

I also use 1T each of olive oil and butter to saute 2 large cloves of pressed garlic, and half of a peeled, onion, which is removed when the sauce is done. The tomatoes are processed in the food processor until there are some very tiny pieces, and before it turns into a puree; or if you want to remove the seeds, which I sometimes do, you can just run them through a food mill using on of the coarser discs. The tomatoes are added to the garlic onion mixture, once the garlic has released it's aroma (about a minute),  along with one to one and a half tsp of salt or to taste, a pinch of dried red pepper flakes, about 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves, about a tsp of dried basil, the anchovy paste and a teaspoon or more of sugar depending on how sharp the tomatoes or garlic made the sauce. I also give it a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper.

I cook this covered on a very low heat to develop the flavors and until the onion is softened. When done, I remove the onion and press in a sieve or strainer to release the juices into the sauce, stir and package the batch in 8 equal portions in small plastic containers. I have a medium sized ladle that I use to measure one serving size and then freeze all but what I might be using within a few days.

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