Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pizza for 40

Good Friday (kneaded but not risen).
It may be in bad taste to compare pizza to Jesus, but let's not keep us from cooking for three dozen people.

Kneading this much dough is a pretty good workout. 
Easter Sunday (Risen!)

And then I failed to take an after photo.  The good news it they ate it…all.

Ready to be baked.

Whisk together in a very large bowl:
23 ½ c Flour (I always use King Arthur AP unless I'm really broke)
5 T Salt
4 T Active Dry Yeast

Heat to about 100° F:
8 c (½ gallon!) Milk
then whisk in:
1 c Olive oil
3 T plus 1 t Sugar

Be sure sugar is dissolved.  Then add wet to dry.  Mix until it forms a shaggy dough. 
Turn onto floured counter.  Knead until it feels right.  10 to 12 minutes.  You know how it feels, right?

Place dough on a lightly oiled (use the same olive oil) half-sheet pan, rub a coating of oil over surface too. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Let rise 1½-2 hours.  Or for faster rise place in over at about 160° oven (this is what I usually do—but I cover with tin foil rather than plastic wrap when it goes in the oven).

Split dough into 5 balls.  Usually these are about 1150-1200 grams each.  Let sit for about ten minutes to relax dough, then stretch out to fit in half sheet pans.

Lightly coat bottom of 5 sheet pans with olive oil and throw in the dough.  You can dress these now or later.  Let rise about half an hour.  You can chill them, then let them rise or whatever (I put them in the ice shed and then pull them out after the third end).

Dress with sauce (recipe below), about 1¼ pound of grated mozzarella cheese.  Other toppings as desired.  I cover with pepperoni—a seven ounce package per pizza is more than enough.

Combine a large saucepan over medium heat:
¼ c Olive Oil
2 heads Garlic

Cook the garlic in the oil, then add:
3 cans (28 oz) Crushed Tomatoes

Simmer until nice and thick.  Usually takes about 2 hours.  Watch out for the splatter.

This is about $5 for the flour (the good KA AP sutff), $1 for yeast,  $2 for milk, $2.50 for olive oil (sauce, dough, and for pans), and maybe 10¢ each for salt and sugar.  $8 for peperoni, $17 for cheese, $2 for tomatoes and 70¢ for garlic.  That totals about $38.40, so a bit under a dollar a person (2 slices each, 16 slices per pie).  I usually end up spending a bit closer to $45 because it takes a bit more than a 5 pound bag of flour and you can't get cheap cheese in the intermediate quantities—but I use the leftovers. 

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