Well, well. I have made pizza from scratch for the very first time and I wanted to share my results with you. Last night I had two of my closest friends over for dinner. We originally were going to go out and go bar hopping, but the weather kept us in at a mere 14 degree's. The bar scene is just not worth it when you have to wear 7-8 layers just to keep warm. And I still have my Xmas tree up, so I called it a Post- Xmas gathering and made a 4-course meal. My meal included a 2-Cheese Pizza, Roasted Baby Potatoes, Roasted Zucchini, Chopped Salad and Baked Chicken (and dessert). All Gluten-Free. It was fun!
Earlier in the day I had gone to the market with the idea of a Margarita Pizza with fresh basil, fresh Mozzarella, Grated Parmesan Cheese and a yummy Marinara Sauce. I picked up the rest of the ingredients I would need and I went home to get to work. I was excited! When I got home I knew I had a GF Pizza Mix from Risotteria (a fantastic restaurants in NYC's West Village) in my cupboard.
The good thing about mixes is that you can keep them for up to a year. Many months ago I had gone to Risotteria in the West Village for dinner, and bought their Pizza dough baking mix. I never used it. Not that I didn't want to, but I never had a reason to make an enormous pizza. So when I was designing my menu for last night I was excited that I still had it. I was also a little nervous. I have never made a pizza before. I prefer baking over cooking, for me it's just easier-but I also grew up on baking so that could be why.
The recipe was easy. All I had to do was add in 1 1/2 cups of warm water, 2 tsp. of Olive Oil and 2 tsp. of Cider Vinegar. Not too hard to follow, but being that I don't know what pizza dough would look like after being mixed with an electric mixer, I felt that I was missing something. So I continued to mix it until it formed a dough and was pulling away from the bowl's edges as the back of the package said. It then said to brush on some extra olive oil (I used extra virgin light) on top of the ball and put a damp cloth on it, in a warm spot. So I turned on my heater and placed the bowl on top. It said warm-I took it literally. The back of the package said that the dough should double the size, and to wait for it to rise. I sat there staring at a ball of pizza dough in my bedroom on the heater. It was like watching capsules in water turn into foam animals. But the problem was, I was not noticing any change.
So I called up Risotteria and spoke to the waitress. She was really nice and repeated my questions to the chef. My questions were as follows: "I am not noticing it rising". "How big should it look and how much time should I have to wait"? She came back to me after only a few minutes of being on hold and said about 25 minutes and that it would not rise like regular pizza dough. In fact it would not grow twice the size at all (clearly their packaging might be a bit confusing). So I was glad I called. I waited an hour just to be safe, and took it back to the kitchen and put white rice flour on my surface and rolled out the dough.
I have to say this was cool. I was completely experimenting in my kitchen with no experience in making pizza. It could have turned out horrible, but I was willing to give this a try. The dough texture was different then cookie dough texture. It was almost like it had elasticity and would pull and retract, where as cookie dough, you pull but it does not retract. It was squishy and heavy. It was different then any dough I have ever dealt with. So I rolled out half of the dough and this is what it looked like:
So I had both the super thin pizza and the thicker heart shaped individual pizza's.
I followed the remaining directions on the back of the package. It said to bake the pizza's with nothing on them at 350 degree's till crunchy. For the thin pizza I baked it for 15 minutes, and for the hearts about 20 minutes. After that I was ready to decorate the pizza, and then cook for a bit longer. First I dusted the pizza's with a bit of light olive oil with a cooking brush. Then I added the Marinara Sauce, the fresh Basil, the fresh Mozarella and then the Parmesan Cheese on top. These babies were ready to go into the oven!
After an additional 15 minutes of baking, my pizza's were ready. I had to try one as it got out of the oven, and I surprised myself. They were so good. Of course, I would need small improvements, since this was my first time, but again my friends told me I was a hard critic on myself. They both loved these pizza's, so much that no one ate my chicken! And my friends, well. They are not gluten-free, so I know it was good if they liked it!! : )
Last minute I added freshly sliced baby tomato's for that extra tomato zing. YUM!!
I strongly recommend this pizza mix. It's the same as what Risotteria serves in their own restaurant! It's a full-proof mix that everyone will enjoy! Risotteria also has other baking mixes you can purchase like chocolate cake, carrot cake, breadsticks and more! Check out their website by clicking HERE.