This thread helped motivate me to give this recipe a try. Rainy day today so I did not want to make pizza in the WFO. But it has been 2 weeks since I made pizza! How is that for a good reason?!
I made the dough, sauce and toppings as closely as I could to the original recipe from Cooks Illustrated. The only variations were:
- we had a cheese emergency. The mozzarella in the fridge was in there too long and had become yucky. My wife ran out to the store and bought some Sargento shredded part skim all they had.
- We had run out of anchovies, which are in the sauce recipe. I followed it otherwise but added a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce for good luck as a weak anchovy proxy.
I cold fermented the dough for about 30 hours (ATK says it should be 24-48). The flour in the dough is a bit more than 50% semolina flour and it showed - very yellow colored dough. The piece of paper in the first picture is plain white so you can see the dough color with color distortion as less of a concern.
The recipe calls for a process I had never use when making pizza (well, I did for Nick's no-fail) a rolling pin!!!! (no gasping or frowning now). Also, after the dough is rolled out and panned, it sits for an hour with another pan on top of the dough (with some plastic wrap in between) to weigh it down.
Aside from an issue I had with the cheese, everything went without a hitch. The cheese, being part skim started to brown/burn near the end and was a little on the dry side. I knew this was likely to happen but I spaced out from checking the pie at about 15 minutes (the pizza cooks from 20-25 minutes). Had I done so, I probably would have put a foil tent over the pie. No worries though, despite the overly browned appearance, the taste was good and it did little to detract from the overall experience.
We made ½ cheese pie and ½ cheese and salami. You can see the difference in the part of the pie where the cheese was protected by the salami vs. not.
The bottom of the pie baked great and the top and bottom of the crust were quite balanced. I baked the pizza in a cheap, black non-stick aluminum pan.
This dough was (a bit surprisingly) excellent my wife said the word delicious about 5 times. I was too busy eating to comment! The texture was different than almost any pie I had previously made or bought more cakelike in texture with a fairly tight crumb. It had a little crunch on the outside but mostly dense and soft.
We both made the same comment that the crust was somewhat similar to the crust on the focaccia from the Ligurian Bakery in San Francisco see here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=40182.msg400781#msg400781
. Come to think of it, I think their crumb was pretty yellow.
The cooked sauce was very good. I thought it might have had a bit too much red pepper flakes - heck of a kick. And, I missed out on the anchovies who knows?
Despite all the weighing down, the dough rose very nicely and the height came out to about 1 1/8 inches. I have not done the exact calculation but the thickness factor is approximately 0.16 or so. [Addendum: I worked out the math in detail - the TF is 0.168]
Conclusion this is definitely a keeper. We both thought the entire pie was excellent and we will be making it again. The flavor and texture of the crumb was a fun change of pace. I would use more cheese next time and certainly the right cheese. Other than that, I doubt if I will change anything - Haha