When everything just goes wrong
Yesterday i was up for making pizzas. Unfortunately it was one of those days when everything just seems to go against you. It all started when I was 10 minutes late for an appointment and stressed through the town. When I got home my girlfriend had been there for about 30 minutes, so that was actually not so bad, but as I packed the bag with all the stuff I needed for the pizzas I ran the items through my mind and concluded that I had it all.
I had made some dough 48 hours before that had gone bad. When I was mixing it up, I added as much water as flour because I had read the wrong line. Great. So after adding a bit of flour to get it to the right feel, I let it rise for 48 hours at room temperature. What I had forgotten was that I had put a bit of sourdough starter in it as well as fresh yeast. So when the 48 hours had gone, the dough had indeed overproofed. Fortunately I had some dough that I had made the day before only with a bit of fresh yeast in it, so we took the SD dough with us just to see if it would work.
We stopped to buy some things for the pizzas, and then we got to my in laws. Then I figured out that I had forgotten my pizza sauce spoon(it really works wonders), I had forgotten rosemary and oregano. We worked our way around it though. Then I started to light the fire in the WFO, came back 10 minutes later and it was out
This was the first time ever that the fire had gone out on me. Lighted it again, and then it was on.
Then we found out that we had actually forgotten to buy mushrooms that should've been our test yesterday, and then I remembered that I had forgotten the parmigiano.
I tried using the SD dough, but the overproofing meant that there was no, and i mean NO strength in the dough whatsoever. I just had to look at it and it fell apart. So we just slapped it a bit together and put it in the oven to absorb some of the heat from the floor.
So we were back at the yeast doughs. They were extremely soft, and I just stretched them a tad more than they should have been, resulting in some really thin spots. Normally it wouldn't have been a problem, but we needed to put ricotta on as a base for the potato pies. Ricotta is a bit hard to put on, but we managed to do it without tearing the dough. Phew.
Out in the oven, and it worked wonders. It could have used a bit more flame, but oven management is not so easy as it seems. Still have a ton to learn.
Then we reached the last 3 pies. The first pie was pretty good, but I was for some weird reason a bit annoyed about the earlier fiasco with the SD. So the pie I had made was again on the thin side, and I was a bit careless and that meant that I tore the bottom at the end. The next pie was already lying ready in the kitchen, again on the thin side, and that meant that some of the sauce had gone through. I got it on the peel, but it was hard to get it off again. So I slid it on and off a couple of times in the kitchen, but the final time it stuck. I was SO annoyed at this time, that I turned the peel upside down so and threw the pie off with the bottom side up.
We thrashed it, and after some internal screaming I got around to the last pie. It actually turned out quite good, although there wasn't enough flame in the oven. No tears or anything.
We talked about it afterwards and I told them that it wasn't that I was embarrassed of flopping, but annoyed with the fact that it didn't go my way. Just like when you're doing some sort of sport and having a bad day.
So what did I learn from this day?
- Don't stretch the pies too thin
- Use the turning peel with ease - don't force it under the pie
- Room temperature proofing should be less than 24 hours
- Always have a bit of flour under the pie when it's on the table
Of course I have already planned a new pizza night to redeem myself on Sunday!