The weather was so toasty this summer so I haven't been able to make pizza in a long time. I was delighted that this month's Daring Bakers' Challenge was to make pizza from scratch using Peter Reinhart's recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread. Perfect timing because I've had a hankering for pizza. And a crazy notion that perhaps it would be possible to make a pizza with street meat...
Yes, street meat pizza. Why not? The challenge this month required you to use a sauce (um, white sauce, hot sauce anyone?) and toppings (the street meat of course!), but since I work in midtown near a ton of good street meat options I had to figure out how I might go about making a street meat pizza and whose meat would hold up the best. After consulting with Blondie, who I believe said "Meru all the way," I decided to get chicken tikka from the Biryani Cart, the People's Choice at the Vendy Awards and chicken from the famous cart on 53rd and 6th.
Chicken Tikka from the Biryani Cart
Chicken from "Chicken and Rice" on 53rd and 6th
The recipe for this pizza crust is a two day affair, but other than the fact that you need to plan ahead to prepare it, it's not difficult. This month's Daring Baker host, Rosa from Rosa's Yummy Yums has the full recipe on her site as well as a gluten free version.
My one caution is do pay attention to the recipe when it calls for chilled flour and ice cold water. I was in such a rush to put together the dough the other night that I missed this direction. My dough still turned out well, but I think it might have risen more if I followed directions better.
Now for the pies!
For my first pizza, I did a Chicken Tikka pie, basically just spritzing my dough with Olive Oil, and then layering on the Chicken Tikka from the Biryani Cart which came with some lovely sauteed onions and red peppers. If I were to make this again I would get a double order of chicken and bring a little container for extra sauce (the Biryani cart doesn't have take out sauce containers). When the pie was finished, I garnished it with some of the extra white sauce from the other cart.
For my next pie, I took a jar of Trader Joe's Curry Simmer Sauce and applied it as I would regular sauce. About 5 minutes into the cooking process I tossed several handfuls of the chopped chicken from the other cart onto the cooking pizza. Next time I might re-sautee the chicken with some onions before adding it to the pizza. Again, once out of the oven I finished the pie with white sauce.
And for my last pie I made a Street Meat Pizza Bianca so to speak. I first stretched out the pizza, placed it on the stone, spritzed it with oilve oil and added a touch of garlic powder, then I added some white sauce and smeared it around and allowed the pie to cook for about 5 minutes or until the edges were starting to brown, then I cover the pie with chopped chicken and cooked until the edges were a nice toasty brown. When I pulled the pie from the oven I drizzled my remaining white sauce on it.
My favorite was the Chicken Tikka Pie. That chicken is just so darn good. It's tender, flavorful and has a nice spicy kick at the end. It paired well with the thin crust and the white sauce finished it off nicely.
Lawman liked my pie with the simmer sauce, I guess because it gave him a more familiar pizza experience. The Pizza Bianca pie was also good, but as Lawman said, it needed some hot sauce. Next time I'll dab a little on during the finishing stage.
All and all I was pleased with my first go round with Street Meat pizza. I have some leftover dough and I can't wait to get back in the kitchen and try some other ideas!
One of the challenges this month was tossing the dough like a real pizzaiolo. Yipes!
In lieu of photos of me tossing the dough (of which there are none--I did toss the pies, but I made these pies solo and I'm not that skilled with my camera). May I present some vids I took of Nino Coniglio, Pizza Triathlete and member of the US Pizza Team at the Edible Manhattan launch party.
And just in case you think Nino's tossing skills are limited to stunt "dough," here he is tossing at Il Brigante with the real stuff.
For a more traditional approach to this pizza dough recipe, check out my post from the first time I made this recipe after reading about it on Slice.
And for more fabulous pizza variations, check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll. Buon Appetito!