All of Adrian’s juggling practice came in handy when it was time to make pizza. I mixed up a batch of dough ahead of time, then cut it into quarters so each person could make their own.
The Farmers Market provided the toppings — italian sausage from Skagit River Ranch, caramelized red torpedo onions and sauteed fennel from Willie Greens, tomatoes, sweet red peppers and basil from Billy’s Organic — there are possibilities everywhere you look. Put each topping in a bowl and let everyone help themselves.
Consider your dough a blank slate and let your imagination and your belly be your guide.
Making faces is always fun.
Once the pizzas are baked and out of the oven, the hardest part is waiting for them to cool down so you can dig in.
I used Alice Water’s recipe in The Art of Simple Food for pizza dough as my starting point.
1 pkg dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 3/4 cups unbleached white flour
3/4 cup olive oil
Stir together yeast and lukewarm water. Add 1/2 cup unbleached white flour. Allow this mixture to sit until quite bubbly, about 30 minutes.
Put 3 1/4 cups of unbleached flour and 1t salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse once or twice to mix. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and mix. While that is mixing, pour in 3/4 cup cold water and 1/4 cup olive oil. In a few minutes, the dough will start to pull away from the sides and a ball will form.
Sprinkle surface with flour and form the ball very gently so it is still very soft and slightly sticky.
Put the dough ball in a large bowl, cover and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Divide the ball into smaller pieces, the number depends on how many pizzas you are making. Form each piece into a smooth ball and allow it to rest at room temperature, covered loosely under plastic for an hour or so.
I did all of the above ahead of party time.
Give each person their ball of dough and an oiled pan to work on. If you have a baking stone, place it on the lowest rack in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
Once the pizzas were assembled, ours took about 30 minutes to bake on baking sheets. Time would be less on a baking stone.