Ed’s High-Traction Pizza

Our Larval Engineer, evidently planning to serve some genuine home-style pizza to her compadres, asked for the Official Recipe.

It goes a little something like this…

T minus 2.5 hours

Blend (manually!) in mixer bowl:

  • 1 Tbsp    yeast (that’s two packets = crazy spendy → buy in bulk)
  • 1 Tbsp    brown sugar (or whatever sweet you have)
  • 1-1/2 C    warm water (1 minute in our microwave)

Add on top of liquid:

  • 3 C    whole wheat flour
  • 1 C    white flour
  • 1 tsp    salt

The original recipe called for:

  • 4 Tbsp    olive oil (or safflower, not vegetable / canola)
  • 1/2 C    additional flour only if you add oil

Don’t stir, just pause 5 minutes until the yeast gets up & running.

Run mixer until dough becomes rubbery and cleans the bowl.

No mixer? Stir, stir, stir, then knead, knead, knead.

Ed & Karen kneading bread dough - Raleigh 1995-ish
Ed & Karen kneading bread dough – Raleigh 1995-ish

(As you can see, she has experience kneading bread…)

Cleave in twain, about 1 lb per lump.
Oil mixer bowl & one lump, let rise.
Flatten other lump in plastic bag & freeze for next week.

Put 1 unit homebrew pizza sauce on counter to thaw.

T minus 45 minutes

Roll crust to fit pan, generously flour bottom, let rise on countertop.

Grate cheese:

  • 2 oz    Sharp Provolone
  • 2 oz    Mozzarella
  • 3 oz    Monterey Jack

Cube meat:

  • 2 oz    Ham
  • 4 oz    Turkey / pork / what have you

Chop veggies:

  • handful    Broccoli tips (save stalks for tomorrow’s stir fry)
  • 1/2             Sweet pepper (Green / red)
  • 3                 Bunching onions (or small scallions, whatever)
  • 1 big          Mushroom (or 4 tiddly buttons)

T minus 15 minutes

Fire the Oven! to 500 F

Flour bottom of crust, flop on pan
Spread pizza sauce generously over crust, counter, walls, self
Distribute meat / veggies
Top with cheese

Slide onto middle shelf of oven
Set timer to 10 minutes if preheated, 12 minutes if not quite hot yet

Clean utensils / counter / walls / self

T minus zero

Remove from oven (top should be brown & bubbling)
Pause for coagulation
Nom on!

The original recipe was about the same, plus foo-foo steps like putting oil in the dough, spreading cornmeal on the pan, oiling the crust before applying the sauce, and suchlike. You’ll need the book for all the details:

The Complete Book of Pizza
Louise Love
Sassafras Press
1980 (grin)

I’m sure something different has come along in the last third of a century, but you’ll never hear it from me. Mostly, build a few, tweak the ingredients to suit your style / what’s on hand, and it’ll be all good.


4 thoughts on “Ed’s High-Traction Pizza

  1. Oops, I was on autopilot and put the pizza into the bake-a-round. NOW what do I do?

    1. Tuck in the ends, cook at 500 F, and define it to be a calzone!

      High-pressure air will aid extraction…

  2. One of the quirks of living just east of the Cascades is that dry groceries get exposed to high temperatures when coming from the warehouses in the left half of Oregon. We’ve lost a fair amount of yeast to transport, until we learned to meld the yeast buying into the periodic Costco run. We go to Cash & Carry (a restaurant supply outfit, in no-sales-tax Oregon, it’s open to the public) and get a bulk pack of about a pound of yeast. It goes in the cooler and lives in the fridge once it’s home.
    Drifting back to relevance, Julie uses a food thermometer for the water–90 to 110 F for the water, add sugar and yeast and let the critters feast for a few minutes while she’s doing the rest of the bread. We’re allergic/intolerant to gluten, so I won’t pass on the recipe (Betty Hagman’s rice bread), but the yeast proving stage saves a bit of worry.
    I used to do the proving stage for my french bread (basis for a Chicago pan pizza) several years ago. IIRC, I used a water bath thermometer from my photography days. Didn’t poison myself…

    1. a bulk pack of about a pound of yeast

      Last time around, I got two pounds from the usual eBay supplier; we keep it in the refrigerator, too. We use a bit more than a pound a year and it’s still going strong. Of course, there’s no way to control the transportation, so the next batch could spend most of a day cooking in the sun before we see it.

      Might be time to start some sourdough…

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