Sat Gourmet: Saved by the Dough

Our sincere and heartfelt thanks to an UrbanSurvival reader who finally couldn’t take it any longer…

Apparently not impressed with our “Di Giorno thin crust Suprema” which is then modified with mushrooms, more sauce, more cheese and baked before the very doors of hell.

We appreciate the salvation offered herein:

Guest Recipe #1

I can’t stand it any longer, let’s get you off frozen pizza.
simple scratch pizza

crust (2-14 inch – medium thickness)

3 cups all purpose flour
1.25 cups water
2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

mix in bowl, cover ball of dough with olive oil (+/- 1 tbl) cover bowl with towel with clearance above dough.

Let rise in a warm area until about double in size (don’t let it go further or it tends to make a tough crust). or throw in the bread machine and add oil at the last minute of mixing.

Divide in 2 and spread into oiled pan then pinch up the edges to hold sauce.

Put pans in warm (not too hot to touch rack) oven until they rise a little.

Pizza Sauce

(1qt or larger sauce pan or frying pan)

1-14oz can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon each: oregano, coriander, basil, red pepper flakes, anise seeds optional
1/4 tsp salt & black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp onion flakes or less powder (or fresh minced shallot, green onion etc.)
dash of garlic powder

sauté seasonings in about 1 tbl olive oil until aromatic on medium stove top.

Stir in tomato sauce and after it begins to boil, turn down to simmer and leave until slightly thickened.

Spread on dough and sprinkle with parmesan to thicken. Then add your fave toppings.

Bake at 400f or 350f to 375f for crispier crust. 20-30 minutes until crust edges are brown.

Modifications are limitless, I rarely make the same pizza twice.

For instance: swap 1/3c cornstarch for flour (that is how they make cake flour) gives a spongy texture crust.

1/2c whole wheat flour substituted gives a heartier feel. Herbs can be added to the dough (I like black pepper and basil but rosemary and red pepper flakes goes really good with aged sharp cheddar topping).

Adding another rise and a full rise in the pan makes a breadlike crust.
I never use a recipe for sauce and it varies quite a bit in seasoning and ingredients, I even substitute ancho chili sauce for some of the tomato sometimes.

If you have to use a peel and special pizza oven, get your own recipe, dammit.”

We’ll Try It!

Back when my buddy’s Art and John owned the Pizza Company just south of SeaTac airport in Seattle, John built an AMAZING dough that I have never been able to figure out.  Not for a lack of trying.

First:  It was thin, but when cooked, it puffed up to a half-inch and sometimes even an inch thick.  It was almost like a cracker.  BIG crunchy areas – maybe the size of a half-dollar sometimes – and there was always a perfect balance of sauce, cheese and meats.  OMG, the meat~

My personal special had ‘shrooms, hamburger, mild sausage, a bit of pepperoni, and a few flecks of bacon – more for the salt, I suppose.  They poured beer and the salt ensured I could drive from the airport all the way home without the plumbing blowing up.  (This was before MADD and those wild west kinda days seem as long ago as Wyatt Earp in Tombstone (not the video, or pizza).

John (*Stewart, but not related to the TV dude) made this as a sourdough crust and he had a huge commercial mixer that whipped up five gallons of dough every afternoon.

When it was done, it went into the walk-in fridge for overnight.  Said that fresh dough didn’t taste worth a damn and maybe that’s where commercial pizza falls short.

The few times I have made scratch dough – and had enough self-control not to immediately roll and cook it – there was definitely a far richer taste after a day or two chilled.

But I’ll be damned if I could ever completely duplicate his recipe.  If you have any ideas for a super-rising sourdough that will give a cracker-like rise when baking, please send it along.  I’ve got a bunch of super-fast yeast on order.  Maybe that will help my bread working, too.

Test Lab Report

We promise to try every recipe submitted and report back.

I know it sounds hard to mess up pizza, but it’s one of those foods that is so hard to understand that we’re never sure if it’s something George did wrong, or, not being of Italian extraction, this is part of the white cultural deficiencies concept being sold by two-bit media, lately.

For now, we haven’t gotten to this one, but the testing labs are ready.  And those are where, exactly?  One is in the guest bath in the house.  That’s a 3 1/2 digit digital scale.  The master bath has a finer resolution scale (which never reads the same twice, no matter what!).  While the one in the gym/guest room bath is a mechanical type which is easiest to read, doesn’t need batteries, and still works.

The bigger the numbers, the better the rating.

On that, this being Saturday and Peoplenomics in the works, I’m getting hungry so perhaps a round of cottage cheese pancakes today?

Mix up any off-the-shelf pancake mix – toss in two or three tablespoons of cottage cheese.  Cook like any other pancake and they will taste almost like a Blintz.

For today’s testing, we’ll be putting a shot of Bailey’s in (and a good grind of nutmeg – very similar to how we do our French toast) and see how that works out.

If you have a favorite “Kitchen Thing” you make, please send it along.  Even if we can’t all get together for a 10,000 person sit down breakfast, at least we can still toss around digipe’s (hyphenating digital and recipes?).  Drecipes?

Write when you get full of it,  (which I am, lol)

16 thoughts on “Sat Gourmet: Saved by the Dough”

  1. dam.. I have to try the pizza sauce and pizza dough recipe..

    Here is two recipe’s that is used around here.. the grand kids love…

    [REDACTED: Because it’s so good it earned a spot in the Saturday Gourmet column as the lead item next Saturday. That got me fantasizing about a perfect game day menu…so we’ll toss that in too…fair? – G]

    Off Stage Announcer: “Not Fair! Out of Bounds! 3 Paragraph Penalty!”

    • thanks.. I love to cook.. and make ancient recipes…. the one used mashed lentles I substituted well you know. it just didn’t taste right with the lentles LOL.. with seasonings.. start out low and add them till you get them to where you like the taste.. I will fry up a small amount and eat it to see if it is what I want.. that way I know they are good..
      I totally love home made bratwurst.. but unfortunately I am the only one that likes bratwurst so I don’t make them.. the same thing with hot dogs..cheese.. dam that stuff is to die for.. home made cheese.. smoke it..
      I can’t wait for them to finish translating the voynich manuscript.. it is basically an ancient Babylonian farmers almanac with recipes.. that I am dying to try..

  2. Best kitchen tool ever–an IR gun type thermometer. Great for telling if the stone is hot enough for pizza, if the beer wort has cooled enough to pitch the yeast, if the grill is hot enough for the hamburgs…..

    And still more, at every rest stop with the trailer, zap the tires and wheels to see if you have a low tire or a sticking brake.

    And with the laser on, our little GMC (Giant Mutant Chihuahua) will chase the dot around on the floor for hours. Your cat may sneer….

    Truly a multitasker…

  3. OK, forwarding the recipe to my high school buddy who delivered pizzas while putting himself thru tech school. He was always determined to out-do ‘the Hut’ with his home recipes, and we were always fond of his whole-wheat crusts.

    Best pizza I ever had in my youth was a local ‘Roman Inn’ restaurant that made rectangular pizza on a cake half-sheet. Thin and crispy crust almost a soda cracker like, loaded with meaty toppings. Never been able to duplicate that crust. The Hut ‘thin & crispy’ is close, but not quite.

    Now all I need is a new Wolff oven, per George’s spec. Still hungry, –Hank

    • I meant to say “Italian seasoning” and onion flakes, not oregano bla bla bla. No, I meant ragu or prego. For the U S crowd the question should be “why make 2 – 14″ pizzas? The answer is 8 slices stacked face to face with a ripped up piece of parchment paper btwn in a plastic bag. It keeps 3 – 7 days in a refrigerator or 7 – 30 days in a freezer depending on your packaging skills and tolerance for stale food. Separate and reheat with a blip in the microwave and a bout with the toaster oven and good as new or better. 2 minute meal.
      G.U.U.S question #2: Why make a huge batch of pizza sauce, sampling as it cooks and adjusting seasonings to make the best I know how? The answer is 1gallon freezer bags filled to exclude air about 1/2” thick when laying flat on the counter for quick pasta sauce or pizza or wherever you would use marinara sauce. Add veggies and bread = home cooked in 20 minutes for the next month or 2.

  4. hi Geo, to get the crust you want, maybe start with a lavosh recipe. It is unleavened though, no sourdough. You can be the first to invent a sourdough lavosh recipe.

    That dough recipe above is also the start of a loaf of Italian bread if a lot more labor was invested. For the monkey handed:
    Salt controls the yeast action, 1/2t is about minimum. 2t is about the max and starts to taste a little salty. Texture would go from few big bubbles to foamy but slow.
    Water/flour ratio – gooey dough makes for huge bubbles and fast rise like ciabata bread. Dense dough makes for a fine, even texture. (Personally, I go as gooey as can be handled, slathering on more oil)
    Oll effect is hard to describe. Fine French bread is made without oil, has a light texture and uses flour to stop sticking and goes stale in about a day.
    Sugar is a yeast nutrient and makes a hard brown crust.
    Working (kneeding) makes gluten. No kneed=pie crust /lots of kneading=hard bread

    No pizza is bad. Some are just better.

  5. Great pizza is all about the dough, especially neapolitan pizza. Theses are the important factors:
    Type of flour used (type 00 is best)
    Flour to water hydration ratio (65% to 75%)
    Fermentation (24-72 hours ideally)

    The great pizzaiolos each have a variation on the above to make their pizza unique.
    None of the them use sugar in the recipe: only “flour water yeast salt”.

    Oven temperature is important too. Most consumer ovens get to 550 F at most. Neapolitan pizza needs 700 F. But you’ll need a separate “pizza oven” that can get to that temperature. I use the “Breville Pizzaiolo” which is highly controllable but pricey.

    I spent 10 days in Naples, the birthplace of pizza, filming 5 of the great pizza artists in the world. I learned a lot.

    Hope that helps.

  6. OMG ! The very first pizza on the video with the stuffed Ricotta “stars” and the “sausage meat” topped at the end, and……….

  7. TheHappyHawaiian started this shannigan. Hank dat you?

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    It apears that who ever this “Happy Hawaiian” fella is? He must be a student of Urban Survival. Because George been preaching this for decades.

    The really funny part is, the first rule of Reddit. Is much like “Fight club”. The whole basis for Zero hedge is off of Tyler Durden in “Fight Club”. Never tell anyone Ure Reddit handle. Or “never tell anyone about fight club” Tyler Durden

    Wonder who it could be?

    Ha ha ha ha ha.

    Hank good talking to ya the other day. See ya all around. Its a always nice to see the little guy smash the bully who has been munipulating the markets for decades right square in the nuts.


    Well, I think it’s funny.


    No silver for you!


    • TNX Andy. I am a ‘Happy Hawaiian’, but ‘it ain’t me, babe’ doing the squeeze. I wish I was that rich. Maybe I will be after the squeeze. Sitting on my phyzz.

  8. Yogi B at restaurant… Waitress asks: Do you want your pizza sliced in 6 pieces or 8?? Yogi sez: Better make it 6,, I’m on a diet…

Comments are closed.