Daring Bakers #5 PIZZA

Pizza………..How easy is that? Everyone can make Pizza Right? Sure I can, I make it almost every Friday night. I purchase pizza dough from my grocery bakery, let it rise for an hour when I get home, load it up with toppings, and there we have it…PIZZA! I am soooo a pro! HA…I was humbled with the challenge. Lets just say I suck! All 4 pizzas I made tasted amazing. However they were the ugliest things you have ever laid eyes on! Lets start at the beginning. Making the dough was a cinch. 5 minutes and it was done(except for all the resting and rising time). One of the rules to this challenge was to actually “toss” the dough. Ok..I was born in Pittsburgh, not Italy. What a disaster it was. After my lame attempts at tossing the dough, there was corn meal EVERYWHERE on the floor. I was laughing so damn hard if I were 40 years older I probably would have lost control of my bladder and peed all over the floor from laughter! My fits went through the dough multiple times. So I just threw it on the counter and worked with it the best I could. I made four pizzas and not even one was remotely close be being round.

Below is what happened when I tried to transfer my nice round pre baked pizza from the back of the heavily corn mealed cookie sheet. Everything went everywhere and ended up all piled up on top of itself.

These little charred pieces of who knows what that flew off the pizza during the transfer nightmare, is what almost caught my house on fire. The smoke was billowing out of the stove, quickly filling up my house. Still laughing and yelling a few choice words running around my house opening all the doors and windows before the smoke alarms went off!!!

This pizza is Classic red sauce, chicken, caramelized onions and bacon.

Below consists of Classic red sauce, ricotta cheese, caramelized onion,basil and provolone cheese

And last but not least…..the STAR of the show
BLUEBERRY w/ brown sugar marscapone cheese, crumb topping..oh no, its missing something!!

Ahhhhh, here we go

What is the picture below you might ask???I slid the Blueberry pizza off the pizza stone on to my cutting board. My sister was sitting on one side of my island and me on the other. Without even putting the pizza on a plate, we both took a bite. The Ohhhh’s and ahhhhh’s started and continued with EACH bite! I think this was the best thing I have ever tasted!! I told my husband he better get some if he wanted any. my sister and I continued to eat and eat and eat! We couldn’t stop, we were like crack addicts! My husband came into the kitchen about 5 minutes later to eat some and there was only a TINY little square left! He said, “GOOD LORD, you guys ate it all”. Yes I must admit I ate a half of a pizza. It was a VERY VERY small pizza, but still! Who does that?? Who eats a half a pizza? Yours truly here..the will power issue Queen!!!

And let me tell you what a pain in the ass it was to clean my massive BOOS Block cutting board that was completely stained with blueberry juice!!! But boy was it worth it!

A special thanks to Rosa at Rosa’s Yummy Yums for hosting this delicious challenge. She did it solo because on of our Daring Bakers, Sherry, passed away tragically just prior to hosting this challenge with Rosa.
~Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart
Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).
4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast
1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar
Cornmeal for dusting
1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer)
2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water
NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C
3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper
4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).
5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball
6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap
7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.
NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator
8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours
9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).
NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan
10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss
NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping. In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.
11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter – for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan
12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.
13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes


  1. 1

    I love your post. Despite the difficulties you made it fun and all your pizzas look amazing! I want the desert pizza!

  2. 2

    Yay you! Oh Leslie you did a fantastic job – FAN-TAS-TIC!!! Love the pic of you tossing – how awesome is THAT?!?!?! You go girl 🙂 🙂

  3. 3

    ouch!!! i’m 40, but i don’t think i’m in the stage of “uncontrolled bladder” yet, LOL…. and you look like a pro throwing your dough like that… and the combination you have, oh… just heavenly… i love your pizzas, round or otherwise, period… 🙂

  4. 4

    Leslie, you are hilarious! The close shots of all your pizzas look mouthwatering! And the description of the blueberry one makes me sooo hungry!

  5. 5

    You actually look like a pro in that photo of you tossing the dough! I looked like some sort of freak! Your pizzas look wonderful though. I don’t think they look bad at all. Great job!

  6. 6

    Oh boy! That must have been some interesting and fun experience! The picture of the blueberry cheese pizza made me drool! 🙂

  7. 7

    I MUST try that blueberry pizza ASAP!!!! It looks heavenly!

    Great job! Wasn’t this such a fun challenge?

  8. 8

    Great job Leslie, they look delicious. You are so cute tossing your pizza!

  9. 9
    Culinarywannabe says:

    Ohhhh I would so eat the blueberry pizza right now for breakfast!! And the drizzle sends it over the top! Love the dough throwing pizza – you look like a seasoned pro to me!

  10. 10

    Very yummy pizzas and really like the blueberry one. I can only imagine how fast it would be gone once served out!

  11. 11

    I’m amazed that you and so many others were able to toss your pizza: I sort of just stretched mine 🙂

    We were thinking the same way: one sweet, one savory. What a great challenge!

  12. 12

    Wow, Leslie that pizza with the onions, basil, etc. looks freaking amazing!!!!

  13. 13
    VeggieGirl says:

    FANTASTIC pizza varieties, and photo of you tossing the dough!! Nice work!!

  14. 14

    The dessert pizza looks amazing! I have a hard time with pizza too. I have had to roll it into a calzone because the whole thing got all smushed when i tried to peel it into the oven. You did good!

  15. 15

    Look at that throw, you look so professional! I love the idea of that blueberry pizza with Dulce de Leche

  16. 16
    RecipeGirl says:

    Fun! The desserty dulce one is my fave. I could have eaten that one in one sitting, I’m afraid!

  17. 17
    Speedbump Kitchen says:

    You are so funny! I hit the camera twice when tossing pizza, so you did better on that one!

  18. 18
    Bunny Trails says:

    1st off, I am SO SORRY about your friend! That is so sad.

    OK, your post really had me laughing (no bladder problems here)! You have such a great sense of humor. All of the pizzas sound wonderful, but I am really drooling over the blueberry! Blueberries, marscapone cheese, crumbs…. I can almost taste the yumminess!! THANK YOU!

  19. 19

    I love the photo of you tossing the dough. Nice work!! The blueberry pizza sounds divine!! I love the added drizzle of goodness too!

  20. 20
    greendogwine says:

    That blueberry creation looks AMAZING! OH MY YUM! 😀

  21. 21

    Oh.my.gosh! That last pizza does sound so good!!!! I was sold before the dulce de leche drizzle!!
    HA! I can definitely give you a run for your money on lack of self control, seriously! I still have those 10/12 pounds that my kids keep poking at, literally. LOL! I’ve just told them and my honey that Mama was just gonna be plump and happy so get over it. 🙂

    Great pic of you tossing the dough!

  22. 22
    jamiegates says:

    Sounds like you had a great time making and eating these pizzas. The blueberry one sounds delightful!

  23. 23

    I enjoyed reading your post so much! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who experiences kitchen mis-haps like you did! At least they tasted great, right? 🙂

  24. 24

    Deeeelish! Love these pizzas! Your blueberry one looks unbelievable!

  25. 25

    wow, you got your dough up high! Great job, even if they’re not round. I like your shape better, anyway! Great photos and the blueberry? YUM!

  26. 26

    I will eat that one with the caramelized onions. Girl you are tripping and on drugs; these pics are awesome!
    Crazy woman!

  27. 27
    Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer says:

    Excellent toss you are a natural!!! Your pizza stone looks just like mine all seasoned and well used!! Great job Pizzas look yummy!!

  28. 28

    Pizza can be rustic in shape and still be good! 😉
    But darn, that blueberry one DOES look SO SO GOOD!
    Great job.

  29. 29
    noble pig says:

    Hilarious. The blueberry-pizza…wow, love it. I would have raised you and ate the whole thing…half is for sissies! LOL!

  30. 30
    Kristy - Where's My Damn Answer says:

    How FUN!! I wish I could have been there to share :-D. It looks like a very fun night.

  31. 31

    What a fun post! I appreciate your humor! And that blueberry pizza…Im speechless!

  32. 32

    I don’t think any of my pizzas ever come out round, but love the toppings you chose. Especially the blueberry!!

  33. 33

    Hahaha .. I love your post! Can’t believe you thought your pizzas were ugly though. They look awesome, judging by the pictures. And I quite like that blueberry one too.

  34. 34

    I’m blown away you tried to toss the pizza. The blueberry pizza is a brilliant idea! You go girl!!

  35. 35

    Awesome toss! And I’m oooing and ahhing just looking at that blueberry masterpiece!

  36. 36

    I laughed my ass off when I read your post on making the pizza. I too had so many of the same experiences that you had yourself. ESPECIALLY the sliding of the dough onto the stone. The shape was something that I cannot describe! The toppings were all over the bottom of my one oven and smoking…yeah I had a lot of smoke, my alarms actually went off about 15 times! Your pizzas looked wonderful and what a great time seems to be had be all Daring Bakers with this challenge.

  37. 37

    Blueberries on pizza sound awesome! I love the photos!

  38. 38

    ooops, my bad… i didn’t see the “er” from older, just old… lol… i guess my age is showing through my eyesight… thanks Les… 🙂

  39. 39

    I love the dessert pizza. It looks SO good!

  40. 40

    What a great post! I love all the tossing pizza posts! Your blueberry pizza is seriously stunning my dear!

  41. 41

    sounds like you had tons of fun with this one, leslie. 🙂
    meanwhile, i’ve been seeing lots of pizzas, but your blueberry version is without a doubt the most beautiful and the only one i’d want to eat for the rest of my life. 🙂

  42. 42

    Awesome job! I am drooling over the dessert pizza!

  43. 43

    The Blueberry pizza looks divine 🙂

  44. 44

    Hey at least they tasted good. They look really good. I could have totally ate the blueberry one by myself. It just sounds good.

  45. 45

    Yum, your pizzas look wonderful! The dessert one sounds divine.

  46. 46

    You are hilarious. I love the rectangle shaped one on the pizza stone in the oven. Great combinations and you look pretty hopeful tossing the dough. What a fun challenge. Did you video tape this? I have had computer problems and can’t get to DB or 19,000 other things I need to get to. Augh.

  47. 47

    Wow! Great job tossing! And the blueberry pizza looks (and sounds) just awesome! I’m gonna have to make something like that on the next go ’round with my 4 frozen balls of dough. One savory pizza for the meal, one sweet one for dessert, how ’bout that?

  48. 48

    Ha! I love how the berry juice looks like blood on the cutting board, very festive! I would’ve eaten the whole thing too, I’m such a berry fanatic. Awesome tossing action, btw :)! All the pizzas look yummy, the dulce the leche drizzle sounds tastyy!

  49. 49
    Clumbsy Cookie says:

    Laughing and having pizzas, does it get any better? Leslie all you pizzas look amazing but I’m in love with your dessert one! Yummmmmmmmmmmm!

  50. 50

    I laughed out loud reading your post – but the finished pizzas look great so it can’t have been that bad!

  51. 51

    Aw Leslie you’re so funny! Glad you had a great time making them (and burning down the house! : ) I LOVE the blueberry pizza, but they all look delish! xxx

  52. 52
    Lisa Michelle says:

    Great dough tossing and pizzas, Leslie! That blueberry pizza with the dulce de leche drizzle is making me drool like a teenage boy flipping through a Victoria’s Secret catalog..lol

  53. 53
    1215656559s20768 says:

    I’m just now getting around to looking at all the challenges on blogs. That blueberry pizza looks and sounds divine! Great job!