Whenever a cooking blog makes a claim like that, I think it’s a challenge. So I think, I’m gonna try this puppy…
Earlier this week, I had read the (April 28, 2015) Kitchn blog by Anjali Prasertong for tips on how to tell whether a recipe from the internet is reliable or not. Besides the no-brainer, “read the comments” and making sure the ingredients match the instructions, Prasertong advises looking for specifics in the ingredients and instructions. I think of my mother-in-law’s quirky butter cake recipe to use “6 eggs.” Well, it made sense. In her day eggs only came in one size, small. But today, we have four choices as to size: small, medium, large, and jumbo.
Prasertong also recommends looking for descriptions of what you will get at certain stages. America’s Test Kitchen’s marinara sauce recipe includes the reason why deglazing the pan is essential for full-bodied flavor. The last Kitchn recommendation was intuitive; read the whole recipe to get a sense of the recipe-writer’s experience with the recipe. I’ve read many recipes where I was sure the writer never tried the recipe (or was holding something back) because the result couldn’t be replicated. Many cheesecake recipes on the internet are maddeningly like that. In my experience, another tip-off that the recipe isn’t reliable is the lack of pictures, either of the process and/or the product.
Yesterday, 5 p.m. I applied The Kitchn’s own advice to their recipe for pizza dough. There were no pictures. The lack of specificity to “mix the water and yeast together” was a tip-off that all was not well. I could not get the yeast to “bloom” using their instructions to “let stand a few minutes.” After 20 minutes nothing happened but a few feeble bubbles. So I started over, adding a teaspoon of sugar to the water and warmed it. Success. However, the dough kneading was also problematic. The dough wouldn’t form a ball and it was still sticking to the sides of the bowl after 7 minutes on low speed (according to the recipe instructions). Tyler Florence to the rescue. The dough was too wet! Now I don’t know if the dough is over mixed as a result, and as it was too late to make pizza for dinner, I put the dough rounds in the fridge to rest overnight.
The next day, 9 a.m. I removed the pan of dough from the refrigerator. The dough had doubled in bulk quite nicely in the fridge. I separated the balls and put them on a baking tray 2 inches apart on top of a sheet of waxed paper. You can use parchment. I covered the balls with the plastic and put the whole thing in the freezer. But I saved 2 to try for supper. I’m planning to make The Kitchn’s White Pizza with Avocado, Spinach, and Mozzarella.