Home / Essays / 2016 / March / S02E03 The one with the pizzas

S02E03 The one with the pizzas

Ladies, get your special panties ready, cause it's gettin' hot in here! We are turning on the oven at maximum capacity and we're getting ready for some steamy action! Why? Because you know what's sexy? Pizza. Smooth, soft dough is sexy. Melted cheese is sexy. Olive oil on the crusty bits is sexy! It's that time of the year when we let loose and celebrate the magic that is pizza.

This particular pizza is the Thai Chicken Pizza from yes, the same episode we seem to be stuck on: "The one with 5 steaks and an eggplant''. I know it was supposed to be teeny tiny, but I couldn't do that to myself. Also, since one does not make pizza everyday and it is sort of an event, I made four instead of one. Now wait a minute Miss Judge-A-Lot ! Before you trash me and my fat appetite, consider the following:

1. I live with two guys. Everybody knows guys like pizza. You can't just play "tease the bear" when it comes to the big dough, daddy. Comas - vewy impowtant.

2. Throughout the series, Friends is bombarded with pizza moments, so instead of making a pizza every-time pizza was mentioned on the show (and we all know that's a LOT), I made one big ass Pizza Feast to rule them all!

Alright, let's cut through the cheese already! I mean the chase, let's cut to the chase. Cheese makes more sense to me, but, whatever, I'll stick to the "classics".

There are many ways to approach the pizza making game, the options are quite overwhelming at times. I went for the barely-knead, leave-overnight-to-get-juicy'n'tasty-on-its-own-method and pre-bake to prevent it getting soggy. Hwhy?!

The hard part when making pizza at home is the struggle in trying to replicate the heat in an wooden oven (aprox. 500 degrees Celsius). A solution to that problem is to go ahead and invest into a pizza stone. I didn't, because I don't need another reason to eat pizza! I'm trying to slim down not puff up! The lil' trick I stole from someone who's already pretty famous on youtube, so I won't mention him cause he doesn't need your views, iiiiiiis the pre-bake way of livin'. That way, you avoid the whole soggy pizza fiasco and you get to live a long, happy life. Well, ok, I'm not sure about those last ones, but the first one is true! I'll prove it!

Things and stuff:

  • fairly big oven tray
  • an oven (duh!)
  • bowls
  • plates
  • measuring cup
  • cling film wrap

It was this big: 4 medium sized pizzas

It took this long:

The dough: 10 min. to bring the dough together, 15 min. to rest, 5 min to shape into a full moon and cut into 4 (in my case) pieces. Theeen 8 to 24 hours in the fridge. You know the drill, you do the math.

The toppings: It depends on the quantity and complexity of the shit you plan to up on it. Just cheese?Cow? Mousse? You're gonna have to spread your wings and fly alone on this one.

Don't be like Killer, don't hang on to your momma's skirt 'till she kicks you into the world! Come on, you know better than that.

Le Dough- Ingredients:

Le Dough- The Process:

Step 1: Get yo' self a mixing bowl. One that can take 400 ml of lukewarm tap water. Stir that together with the yest and the olive oil. Whatever you do, don't add salt here. Salt kills the yeast, it murders it without remorse! They are natural enemies. You know, like Superman and kryptonite.

Step 2: Get a big ass bowl. Combine the 2 flours and the salt. Dig a hole.

Step 3: This needs to happen:

If that's not enough of an explanation, let me try again. Pour the wet stuff (water, oil and yeast mixture) into the dry stuff (flours and salt). Clear enough? Oh, don't forget to yell "Oh, no! My hole!". It just makes better, trust me.

Before I take you to the next step, I need to tell how I fucked up. When I doubled the ingredients in this recipe I forgot to double the water quantity. Moronic, I know. Don't worry, I wrote it correctly for you. And hey, thanks to this mistake you get to see the "how not to" pictures.

Step 4: Start incorporating the thing into the stuff with your hand. Just mix in there round and round until it magically comes together. Don't overdo it, when you have something that looks like a soft dough, stop. Now, the ones in the top I call "The Ugly Face Of Failure". Dry, lumpy and uptight. The ones would read "Look at this dough, this dough is amazing!". The opposite of dry, lumpy and uptight.

Step 5: Cover with a towel and let rest for 15 min. Then transfer from the warm bowl that's been this dough's home onto the cold surface that is real life. It should look like this:

Step 6: Knead for 3 min. I am not a professional kneader, I'm not even close, so I don't really know what to advise on this. Just push it, work it, shaaape that bad boy!

Step 7: Cut into 4 equal pieces and then shape into balls. You can't see the "ball" stage here because I ran out of light. That's what happens when you fuck up the first time and have to re-do everything. Time. Time happens.

Step 8: Place said balls onto slightly floured plates and cover with cling film. Don't make that too tight, stuff is gonna fluff up and expand overnight.

Step 9: Remove from fridge 30 min. before you begin to shape it.

Meanwhile, I prepped the chicken & toppings for the Chicken Thai Pizza. First:

Le Thai chicken- Ingredients:

Normally, I would not buy a sauce in a bag, I'd make my own. But I rrreally didn't feel like it that day. So, I bought an Amoy-pad thai pack of sauce. You don't have to use this brand, they're not paying me.
Step 1: Salt, pepper, grill.

Step 2: Cut it up. You can do smaller bits, but I like it chunky. Yes, I know, that's what she said. Or maybe that's what he said! Keep an open mind, people. Oh, also, don't overcook it. Consider the fact that it's gonna go in a pan with the sauce AND in the oven.

Step 3: Pour your store bought sauce shamelessly into a pan. Let it start to bubble and then slide you poultry bits in there.

Step 4: When sticky enough, stop everything you were doing. You done.

Le Toppings

We're ready for the dough and the dough is ready for us! Look at that plump bootay:

Don't look at the deflated one, it's very self conscious.

Pre-step: Pre-heat your oven. I know I said this in the beginning, but I think you might have thought I was joking. I'm not. Full blast, the hotter the better. Put your oven tray in there, turned upside down. To quote Pitbull (which I never thought I'd say) :"Face down, booty up. Timber" Just kidding about the "timber" part. Whatever that means.

Step 1: Remove the cling film right before using the dough. Don't let them sit there uncovered, it will form a nasty crust and it will never feel young again. Uh, look at the bubbles on that one!

Slowly, don't go band aid style on this one, you're gonna ruin everything. There it is! Free, free at last!

Step 2: Sticky it is, but be gentle, flour your hands and tip it on your surface of choice. 

Step 3: Shape into a full moon. From a wild thing to a well behaved, gentle little creature.

 To get that, you must be gentle. You do not knead it! Not for this version of the recipe. No hardcore stuff in here, just the equivalent of a peck on the cheek. Listen to this while you do it, it will help you understand.

Step 4: Now stretch it. Aim for a round shape. Settle for whatever shape it chooses to be. It's what I did.

I ended up with this:

Step 5: Get that very hot tray out of the oven. Sprinkle semolina on it and try to place your dough there without ripping it. It ain't easy, you wont' make it, but that's oki. Let's focus on what really matters in life. A hole or two in your dough is hardly the end of the world, get over yourself. You need to move pretty fast here, hotness is important. As it is in life, apparently.

Step 6: Get it into the oven. Before closing the door splash a bit of water in there to make it steamy. It will help your dough. And if you can help, why wouldn't you? Why would you be a dick? Wah? Anyway, move fast and trap that in there. Leave for about 8 min. It needs to look kinda like this:

♪ Trrrriiing  trring trrring goes the timer / Ding, ding, ding went the bell /Zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings/ From the moment I smelled it I fell .♪

From here on we're playing games. First you sauce it, then you you put stuff on it, then you stick it back in the oven for like 5 min or until your eyesight says " Yo, it's ready, don't burn this shit!". For the Thai Chicken one I used the sauce that didn't stick to the chicken and smeared it allover that sexy motherfucker. 

Whoaaaa, I smell pizza... It's my pizza! Omg, I made pizza!

For the second pizza I went with classic tomato sauce, mozzarella, pancetta bits and basil. 

Slapped it with some fresh Parmesan after getting out of the oven but before getting it into my mouth.

The third one was a Carbonara inspired pizza.I say inspired cause I covered that beautiful bitch in gorgonzola. Sauce was some blue cheese sauce I had from the night before when I ate spicy wings. Greek yogurt, blue cheese, some pepper. Really basic and lazy. Topped that with pancetta strips, gorgonzola, egg.

Ready for some heat!

The fourth and last pizza was a pepperoni and mushrooms one. Rosemary and chilli pepper here and there. All you kneed to know. 

Feedback: This is by far the best pizza dough I've ever made. The almost no kneading is great, the overnight method gets you a really tasty dough and the pre-bake trick works wonders. It was my first time eating and making Thai Chicken pizza. I gotta say I didn't expect much, so I wasn't disappointing. It's hearty but fresh at the same time, so I'm kinda sold. Of I had to pick one, though, it would have to be the Carbonara-Gorgonzola hybrid. Mmm...moldy love with a sunshine in the middle. Pizza, I love you. Please come back to me! I need your sauce and your warmth to make me whole again!

If anyone knows a good Pizza Support Group, please let me know.