Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pizza and More Pizza

Maybe pizza is boring to read about. I don't really know but it's the most pressing issue in my life right now. Better that than something terrible. After making pizza last week I couldn't settle with only having enjoyed one really great pizza. I needed to eat more of it. All week the glorious images of melted cheese, red baked crust, and cooked toppings flickered in my mind. I like to make pizza on an evening when I don't have work the next day. This way I can make a catastrophic mess in the kitchen, eat like a glutton, and gorogoro (the onomatopoeia for being lazy in Japanese) the next day. So Friday night it had to be. Sometimes Saturday is the most ideal because I can prepare earlier in the afternoon whereas Friday requires prep time right after work. It can then get rather late by the time food comes to completion. I find myself snacking along the way and that surely had grave consequences for me last night.

I made pizza crusts on Thursday. 7 in total because I thought a friend was coming. My friend had to work and couldn't come. When I made the crust I was a little worried because the dough seemed a bit wet despite the fact I really did the minimum of water. For the sake of ease I didn't cut out cardboard circles to stack the dough between. I used wax paper. I was hoping the dough wouldn't be sticking to the wax paper come baking time. I sat at school on Friday more worried about sticky dough ruining my crusts than anything else. Such first world problems. When I got home my fears were just about right. It was sticky enough to cause the dough to stretch a little too much when being pulled off. I ruined one crust and salvaged the rest. If I do that wax paper again, which I'm thinking not, I'll heavily dust the dough in flour to make sure I don't have problems. If the dough sticks to the wax paper, plastic, or whatever else it can easily ruin the dough because the dough will stretch as it pulls off. Well I learned my lesson I think. I have committed this error before though. Let's not do it again Blaine.

Before I could get around to actually baking pizza I had a couple of things to do first. These days I have absolutely no problem trying to make anything I don't have. Even if the cost outweighs the practicality I feel great knowing I made what I truly wanted. Sometimes substitutes and leaving things out don't count. I was thinking of making pepperoni but apparently that is an expert level meat smoking technique. I might splurge on a bag of pepperoni from the Foreign Buyers Club.

I wanted to make a BBQ chicken pizza and this requires BBQ sauce. I didn't want a vinegary sauce like I have been making so I searched for Kansas style sauce recipe. This one looked good. It was easy to make but I wouldn't use onion in the recipe again. I left out lemon juice and steak sauce as I didn't have those. I don't think they were missed but who knows. While I was making the BBQ sauce I cooked a chicken breast in the oven. I then chopped/shredded it into smaller chunks for topping a pizza. This was also the perfect time to get the rest of the toppings ready.


The first pizza up was my classic favorite. I could eat this pizza every single time and never get tired of it. It's only missing my beloved pepperoni. It is the Monicals Delight copycat pizza with sausage, onion, green pepper, and mushroom. I remembered to get some legitimate button mushrooms because they taste much better for pizza compared to other varieties of Japanese mushrooms. I was very happy to have those for the pizza.


I used the best pizza crust for this first pizza because, as I just said, it's my favorite kind. If you remember from last week I mentioned the use of the grill. Last night I managed to snap a picture of what that looks like. I let it heat for about 45 minutes before baking the pizza. This was too long and the stone got too hot. Last time I did about 35 minutes because I was impatient but the pizza cooked just right. I would shorten it next time. The pizza cooked too much in the middle from how hot the stone was this time, a little too much carbon for my taste. The pizza looks a bit weird because it had curled up on the edges. That's good because I know it's cooking the way I want it to.

Baking Setup

I proceeded to taste my creation or perhaps work of art. Everything was unbelievably amazing. Just look at this. I mean LOOK at this.

Delight Pizza

While this fantastic pizza was baking I began preparing the BBQ chicken pizza so I could put it on immediately after the first was finished. To make the BBQ pizza I did about a 3/4 BBQ sauce and 1/4 pizza sauce blend. I then swirled them together as I sauced the entire layer of dough. At the end I sprinkled finely chopped red pepper flakes over the sauce to increase the heat factor and make it sweet and spicy BBQ chicken!


Then on goes the baked chicken and cheese. In the future I will try to season the chicken to give it even more flavor but the sauce was where the flavor was supposed to come from.


The BBQ chicken pizza baked better than my first one because the heat had evened out more. It looked beautiful when I pulled it off the stone. It was even better as I chomped that with my incisors and let the flavors radiate onto my taste buds. So sweet, spicy, and savory.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I was stuffing my face full of some of the best I've had in ages. All the while drinking copious amounts of Coke. True pizza night style. As I had several uncooked crusts left and some toppings, I decided to make one more pizza that I could eat for lunch the following day. I made a veggie pizza which is very similar to the Delight minus sausage and with tomatoes added. This shape looks a bit wonky but that is the joy of homemade pizza! I had to test a few pieces before I wrapped the rest in foil for storage.

Veggie Pizza

That was a bad idea however. I ate WAY TOO MUCH. Plus the carbonation in the pop was really giving my esophagus and stomach the feeling like someone was grabbing it and trying to squeeze everything out backwards. It didn't help that I drank more pop because it tasted so good. This compounded the problem. I thought for once in my life I actually might throw up from gorging on my wonderful pizza. Well luckily I finally passed several massive burps that brought my state back down to the green level of safety. No problem after that. I still have pizza crust and sauce chilling in the fridge. I wonder what I should make for dinner tonight....



Mom said...

i'm ready to eat pizza!! too bad we're having steak on dad's shiny, new amazing grill. you made me laugh. monicals delight looked delish yet misshaped when cooked. haha! hoping to eat your pizza with you soon..... love ya!

Adam Morrison said...

Your food pics look so delicious! I would eat the pics, alone. I would also enjoy the food.

Do you use a Monical's pizza dough recipe for the crust? I used to work at Monical's and had a dream I got the recipe for the dough for thin crust and breadsticks, but I lost my shoes in the process. Now, I'm desperate for it. Can you help a brother out?

blaine said...

Thanks for the comment, haha.

I used to work there too but never knew the recipe. However, from what the people told me it was so simple. Flour, water, and yeast. I did some searching and came across some good information online. I guess I cheated but I know what I want the dough to look and feel like in the end so I have that advantage.

With that being said... the following calculation could make about three, 9 inch pizzas or one 14-16 inch depending on how thin you roll the dough.

Flour 298g
Water 157g
Yeast 1/3 tsp (aprox.)

Place the water (lukewarm) into a bowl and stir the yeast in. You just need to hydrate it. Then sift the flour into the water slowly. If you take your time you should be able to nearly get all the flour added in. Leaving it for a few minutes and coming back will help add additional flour. If it's too dry, then add a tsp of water or so. After that knead the dough for about 6 minutes. (I do it all by hand)

Let the dough proof in a warm area for about an hour to 1 1/2 hours. It won't rise considerably but this will help with the rolling and shaping later.

After that proofing period, divide the dough into equal portions. I usually make cardboard circles to help with my shaping but you can just do rough circles. It's hard to get the thickness correct without a mechanical dough sheeter but just do what seems best. I would stay on the thicker side a bit though. Just roll pieces of dough to shape and let them rest. Then trim any excess off.

A word of caution, the dough can be semi wet so make sure to add flour during the rolling period and dust the pieces of dough before putting any type of plastic on them. You DON'T wont them to stick to that because it will ruin your dough when you try to pull the plastic off. Just don't overdo the flour however.

I then let the dough skins rest overnight and use them the next day.

If you are interested in anything else after this point just let me know. ;D

Anonymous said...

How can I contact you? I have a few questions about making this dough! I'm originally from Illinois and seriously cannot find any pizza like Monicals. Thanks!

blaine said...

Send me an email at and I'll see what I can help you with.

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