• Wed, Oct 29 2008

Daring Bakers October Challenge! Hand Tossed Pizza

hand tossed pizza

Yep.  Pizzaria style.  Hand tossed.

The thing is I always make hand tossed pizza.  I have been doing it for years..I can even get it spinning.  I thought..aha! This will be a piece of....cake pizza.


The dough is much different to work with than what I generally use but I like this dough much better.  The crust came out crisper and crunchier…harder to spin but much tastier.

This will make two large pizzas.  I wasn’t sure so I stuck with the recipe.  I should have doubled it.  Note to self: ALWAYS double the recipe!

I made two different pizzas with it..both were wonderful but my family said that my spicy apple, bacon and brie pizza did not taste like pizza.  Of course it did, the plebians.  Really stinkin good pizza.

So…one pizza was the family favorite.  Cheese.  Tomato paste. Pizza crust.

cheese pizza

And that was really good.  The dough is crispy and chewy with lots of flavor.  This was the closest crust to what I remember it being up on the East Coast.  Really good.

Did I say really good?

Then the other pizza I did I wanted to be…umm…DARING!  So I made this:

apple brie pizza

Oh my…are those chipotle peppers in there?  Let’s look closer…

apple brie pizza

Gosh durn…there ARE chipotle peppers in there!

I figure you know how to make the cheese one so lets chat about the apple one.  Ot isn’t sweet, this is not a dessert pizza.  I sauted the apples (honeycrisp) with 3 slices of bacon. a tablespoon of butter, a teaspoon of chipotle, and  a tablespoon of brown sugar. I cooked it, stirring often until the apples were tender and the bacon crisp.

I used my fingers to dot the crust with brie that was ripe and melty.  I then spooned the apple mixture over, then topped with a couple of handfuls of pecans.  I baked as directed in the pizza recipe.

It was excellent.  Would make a great appetizer.  If you don;t like brie you could use muenster or even gouda I think.

O.k…here is the recipe..and then go check out all the other Daring Pizzas at Daring Bakers!

And don’t forget to join the baking delights flickr group!  It’s fun!

THE CHALLENGE: You have to use the tossing method (as explained below) for at least 2 Pizza Crusts. If you are not comfortable with it, then you can switch to the rolling method, but you HAVE to try the traditional method and exercise it, using at least two dough pieces. You should also capture the moment by either filming or photographing yourself while tossing the dough.

THE RULES: This month’s recipe leaves you with much freedom! You can either make the Pizza Dough gluten-free or the normal way. You may use the sauce (anything liquidy, saucy and spreadable like cream cheese, flavored oils, pesto, Nutella, Peanut Butter, pumpkin puree, etc…) and toppings of your choice, may they be savory or sweet, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian or non-vegan/vegetarian. You must use BOTH (sauce & toppings).


POSTING DATE: Wednesday, October the 29th 2008

EQUIPMENT: Stand mixer with paddle and dough hook attachments (optional, see recipe), cooking thermometer, baking sheet, parchment paper, cooking oil, plastic wrap, pizza peel/scraper, pizza stone or pan.

RECIPE SOURCE:  “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread” by Peter Reinhart. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA.  Copyright 2001.  ISBN-10: 1-58008-268-8, ISBN-13: 978-158008-268-6.


Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).

4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled – FOR GF: 4 ½ cups GF Flour Blend with xanthan gum or 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup corn flour, 1 cup oat flour, 1 ½ cup arrowroot, potato or tapioca starch + 2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast – FOR GF use 2 tsp
1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar – FOR GF use agave syrup
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting


1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.

NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.
The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.


2.  FOR GF: Add the oil, sugar or agave syrup and cold water, then mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.

3. Flour a work surface or counter.  Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them.  Gently round each piece into a ball.

NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.


8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.


8.  FOR GF:  On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the number of desired dough balls from the refrigerator.  Place on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a gluten free flour. Delicately press the dough into disks about ½ inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil. Lightly cover the dough round with a sheet of parchment paper and allow to rest for 2 hours.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.


10.  FOR GF: Press the dough into the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter – for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough).

NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.
During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping.
In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.
You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.

11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter – for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.


11.  FOR GF: Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.


12.  FOR GF:  Place the garnished pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.

13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.


13.  FOR GF:  Follow the notes for this step.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.

If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.

14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.

Tossing links: http://www.wikihow.com/Toss-Pizza-Dough, http://www.vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?f … D=35480534, http://www.ehow.com/how_2066953_toss-pizza-dough.html, http://www.classic-hand-tossed-pizza.bl … hands.html, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhcTKeslAmk, http://www.ask.yahoo.com/20050222.html


NOTE ON SAUCE: Your sauce (any) should not be too thick as it will thicken in the hot oven. Less is more but make the less truly more by using quality ingredients.

SUCE IDEAS: Pestos, white or brown sauce, tomato sauce, sour cream, thick cream, Bolognese sauce, etc…
Check here for sauce recipes: http://www.tenspeedpress.com/page.php3?ftr=300


TOPPING IDEAS: Seafood, fish, meat (dry, cured, smoked or ground), cheeses (Gruyère, Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, Provolone, Ricotta, Maroille, Munster, etc…), nuts, tofu, veggies (tomatoes, bell peppers, artichokes, hearts of palm, zucchinis, pumpkin, red onions, etc…), herbs (mixes, fresh or dried), spices (garlic, gourmet salt, pepper, curry, berbere, ras-el-hanout, za’atar, etc…), nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashew nuts, Brasil nuts, macadamia nuts, etc…)….

TOPPING LINKS: http://www.greatpartyrecipes.com/pizzatoppings.html, http://www.correllconcepts.com/Encyclop … ppings.htm.


GENERAL PIZZA LINKS: http://www.breadtopia.com/pizza-dough-recipe/


See how Peter Reinhardt’s “Napoletana Pizza Dough” recipe turned out: http://www.chubbyhubby.net/blog/?p=142, http://www.101cookbooks.com, http://www.ieatfood.net/?p=7.

images:marye audet

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  • http://adventuresinamateurbakingandcooking.blogspot.com/ Ruth

    Your pizzas look so good. Your chipotle pizza looks so good and I love the photos

  • http://www.takethecannoli.us Tanya

    The pizzas look wonderful! I especially love the second more “daring” one you made. Great work!

  • http://mydiversekitchen.blogspot.com Aparna

    I have to say that sauce and just cheese really is my favourite.
    And apples on pizza are very good, aren’t thay?

  • http://danamccauley.wordpress.com Dana McCauley

    Pecans! I never thought about adding nuts to a pizza. Very inspiring.

  • http://www.rosas-yummy-yums.blogspot.com Rosa

    Very well done! Your pizzas look wonderful!



  • http://www.beautifullayers.com Lorrie

    Your apple pizza looks so good! You really did make the challenge more daring, great job!

  • http://meganscookin.blogspot.com megan

    Bacon, Honeycrisp (my favorite) and brie (again, my favorite), O-My! I have to try that.

  • http://MyKitchenInHalfCups.com MyKitchenInHalfCups

    Mary, apple bacon brie . . . you win my heart and for sure my presence at your pizza table any day.

  • http://engineerbaker.blogspot.com Caitlin

    Ooo, I love the brie idea. It sounds delicious, and definitely like real pizza :)

  • http://culinaryinfatuation.blogspot.com Ally

    Oh yum, those toppings sound lovely! Great job!

  • http://www.lynnsahotdish.com Lynn

    I love the idea of a plain pizza, sometimes simple is best, but, then I have to say your other pizza sounds super. I am impressed.

  • http://dragonskitchen.blogspot.com Dragon

    I love your apple, brie and bacon pizza. Great job!

  • http://www.cakeskidsandalens.blogspot.com Heather

    WOW, those ARE daring ingredients, but YUMMY sounding. Awesome pics!

  • http://www.cococooks.blogspot.com courtney

    I like your apple version. Thats a big family if you have to double the recipe!

  • Marye

    ya think? Only six kids are still living at home…we have eight all together, remember…our 16 year old will eat one large pizza by himself.

  • http://a2eatwrite.blogspot.com Jen of a2eatwrite

    Love the ideas for the apple/brie pizza and your basic one DOES look like the pizza I grew up with in NYC.

  • http://www.angryasiancreations.com Lan

    marye – you are so daring with your apple/brie/bacon pizza! and as long as you liked it, that’s all that matters! :)

  • Marye

    Jen…It tastes alot like east coast pizza..NJ/NY/Pa…I was amazed because I have tried to replicate that crust for….too many years.
    Lan- you are so funny. I did like it. Marc liked it but said it did not taste like pizza..half the kids liked it and half not.

  • http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com kat

    Apples & Bacon! Yum!

  • http://rtemis-epicurus.blogspot.com/ Camille

    Fantastic! Brie..so buttery and yummy. I bet it was delicious.

  • http://lilmizlynn.blogspot.com Lynn

    Your pizzas look great and yummy! Love the plain cheese pizza…. My first experience, tossing and managed to do a little spin on my dough too.. It was fun! :)

  • http://www.dreamflowerknitting.blogspot.com Monica


  • http://www.asweetpeace.com Libby

    Your toppings are so creative! The combination of sweet and salty, spicy and nutty, must have wowed all your tasters!

  • Marye

    Camille-I thought so
    Lynn- that is awesome!
    Monica- at this point in your pregnancy everything probaby sounds good
    Libby- well, not ALL of my tasters… ;)

  • http://cultofdomesticity.blogspot.com laura

    Wow! Both of your pizzas look amazing and the apple/brie/bacon/pecan one looks absolutely decadent! Oh, how I miss being a daring baker (but I can’t imagine finding the time or energy with a 2 month old)

  • Marye

    laura..babies grow..they are only babies for such a short time…enjoy.

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