Last time I went through the process of making bread with our automatic bread maker, but what I didn’t realize at the time was that the bread maker can make dough, as well. We recently purchased an electric oven, so yesterday I tried my hand at making some pizza.
The pizza-dough recipe provided by Panasonic is very similar to the bread one:
|High-gluten flour||280 g|
|Granulated sugar||1 tbsp (12 g)|
|Milk powder||1 tbsp (6 g)|
|Salt||1 tsp (5 g)|
|Instant dry yeast||1 tsp (2.8 g)|
|*Use cold water at a temperature of about 5˚C when the room temperature is over 25˚C.|
The only difference is a little more flour and half the sugar. Googling around, I think the addition of flour adds to the density of the dough so that you don’t end up with pizza toppings over a giant slice of toast (which might still be good, but then it won’t be pizza). The reduction in sugar is to reduce the action of the yeast, so that the dough doesn’t rise too quickly. This works in conjunction with the increased flour to slow down the yeast (more weight to push around). The manual even says that if you leave the dough in the bread maker after the cycle completes, fermentation will proceed further. It would seem that limited fermentation is what we’re looking for here. Of course, compared to soft bread, pizza crust is definitely more dense.
The preparation is exactly the same as the one used for making bread. Put everything in the bread pan, and then set the bread maker accordingly: set function to dough, and recipe to pizza. Wait 45 minutes, and you’ll have a nice ball of pizza dough, good enough for two 10-inch pizzas. I prepped my toppings in the meantime.
It’s been a long time since I’ve handled dough and it was a lot messier than I remembered. The dough comes out pretty wet, so flouring the work surface is a must. I shaped the dough into a circle and then let it dangle from my hands, seeing it stretch. I wanted it to stretch more evenly so I tried tossing it around in the air like they do in pizzerias. That didn’t really work for me, so in the end I elected to use a rolling pin, making sure not to flatten the edges of the pizza. It occurred to me that I had a rectangular pan, so I made more of a rounded rectangle (an oval?) than I did a circle.
Finally, it was the fun part and I started with spooning some spaghetti sauce onto the dough. It would probably be more authentic with homemade pizza sauce, but that’s a completely different endeavor which is why I opted for jarred. I wasn’t sure whether to put the toppings on top of the cheese, or the cheese on top of the toppings. In the end, I did a little bit of both. I put the entire thing in the preheated 200˚C (392˚F) oven and set the timer for 15 minutes.
Around the 13-minute mark I noticed that only a little bit of the cheese was bubbling and browned. I decided to max out the oven to 240˚C (464˚F) and that took care of the browning. The result:
Not bad at all for a homemade pizza, eh? The pizza tasted very fresh, maybe because I knew I had just purchased the mushrooms and the tomatoes from the market earlier in the day. The crust was nice and chewy, but not hard. The other thing that stood out was how hot it was. We sprinkled some extra green onions, some grated Parmesan, and a few drops of Tabasco, and it became a delicious, piping-hot, perfect-for-a-cold-winter-night meal.
We had enough left to make a second one, so JC handled that. I got a chance to photograph the raw pizza:
Overall, our pizza night was a success. Good to know that we now have another option for dinner. A few more photos below.