Monday, March 05, 2012

December's Pizza del Mese: Pizza Margherita with Homemade Mozzarella

Back in January 2011 while introducing the Pizza del Mese, I mentioned Mark Bittman's admonishment that pizza dough is too simple not to make yourself. This pizza honors that inspiration by using Mark Bittman's pizza dough recipe. It takes it a step further and provides a nice segue to one of our 2013 blogects by using homemade fresh mozzarella.

Arrivederci, Pizza del Mese! Buon giorno, Mozzarella del Mese!
I used Mark Bittman's Pizza Dough from How to Cook Everything, Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food. Super simple. I let it rise, transferred it to a ziploc bag and refrigerated it overnight, then let it get to room temperature before shaping it on the Lodge Pro Logic Cast-Iron 14-Inch Pizza Pan. Then, I let it hang out for about 30 minutes before proceeding. All of this contributed to this turning out to be the most awesome pizza crust EVER. How did I gain all of this rising wisdom? Well . . . that has to do with another 2012 blogect to be revealed shortly.
I followed Ricki Carroll's 30-minute Mozzarella recipe and used her 30 Minute Mozzarella & Ricotta Kit. Super easy and the transformation from milk to cheese is really satisfying. Much more satisfying than many of the Au Lait du Mois which were like, "Look, after two days I can make milk turn into . . . slightly thicker milk." This is like, "In less time than it takes my pizza dough to rise, I can make milk into stretchy, melty, fantabulously cheesey cheese!"
For those of you playing along at home, I used Clover Organic Farms whole milk with a sell by date eight days after I made the cheese. I bought it from Mother's Market in Brea. Also, there's some sort of something about not making cheese while you make bread or where you make bread or something like that. I ignored it and it all worked out fine. Then again, I made my mozzarella and ate it within 24 hours. So whatever "yeast contamination" took place, didn't have time to rear its ugly head. Right? I don't know. I'll try to find out more about this whole "yeast contamination" thing and get back to you.
Once I had Mr. Bittman's dough and Ms. Carroll's mozzarella, I followed the recipe in January's Pizza del Mese: Pizza Margherita adapted from Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It! by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. Between the four of them, they're like the Justice League of Pizza.
Previous Pizza del Mese:

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Rebecca said...

Our store has been out of whole milk in my favorite brand, but I'm ready to try the cheese! It looks so yummy.

Sarah said...

It is so yummy. I think I stretched it a lot, so it was a harder cheese, good for pizza. It wasn't a light almost fluffy mozzarella like you'd have in a caprese salad. I'm going for light and fluffy next time.

Rebecca said...

I finally got milk and made my cheese! Mine was also very firm. I didn't kneed it that much, but I think that maybe I let it go too long when I put the rennet in and/or let it sit too long before I cut it. It tastes great, but I would also like to aim for a softer cheese. Just have to make it again :)