What you might not know is there are several things about cooking that have always intimidated me. Two of those things were roasting a whole chicken and making my own pizza dough. I have totally overcome my fear of both through a bit of practice. Like anything else, the more you do it, the easier it gets.
I had been on a healthy kick with my pizza dough and was using a recipe with whole wheat flour. However, I just wasn't feeling the love for this dough. It was not easy to work with and was very unpredictable, even if I made it the same exact way each time. I don't do well with unstable personalities, so I decided I needed to move on to a new recipe. As usual, I consulted the Internet and went to http://www.breadworld.com/. In case you don't know about this site, it is the Fleischmann's Yeast website and there are hundreds of recipes. It totally rocks! Well, I searched "pizza dough" and immediately it brought up the site for a great pizza dough recipe, http://www.pizzatherapy.com/. All I needed to see were the words "pizza" and "therapy" and I thought, my life is now complete!
I clicked on the link and lo and behold, there appeared a man named Albert Grande who happens to be this pizza guru. He lives, eats, and sleeps pizza. Immediately my jaw dropped. Being a Grande girl, I thought, what if we are related? So, I fired off an email:
"Dear Albert, you might think I'm crazy, but I think we could be cousins. My grandfather was Americo...."
Albert lives in Hawaii so the chances were slim but my instincts were telling me the pizza love affair we both share must be in the blood and no distance can break that bond! And he looks like my uncles...he must be my cuz. Well, Albert wrote back to me and he was simply flabbergasted.
"Yes", he told me, "I am your second cousin!"
We made all the familial connections and were giddy with excitement.
So, you see you never know what you will find on the Internet. I was simply looking for a dough recipe to get out of my pizza slump and I found my cousin, who I've never met but that just didn't matter. We share a love of pizza, children, family, "Grande talk", and laughter. I hope to meet Albert some day, but in the mean time, I will continue to use his family (our family, LOL) recipe, passed down from his mom.
The first time I made this dough, it came out perfectly. It was so easy to work with. I have even tested the waters and used about 1/2 whole wheat flour and it was still easy to work with. It's also great for calzones, too. Check out Albert's site at http://www.pizzatherapy.com/. He has created quite an empire around my favorite food. It's no wonder we are related!!
If you are afraid to make your own dough, like I was, Albert has a video on his website to walk you through the whole process. You will be amazed at how easy it truly is. And making dough is another way to save money. The ingredients are very basic: flour, water, salt, yeast, sugar or honey, and olive oil. In the time it takes to drive to the bakery or supermarket for dough, I make my own and it's delish!
Making dough is so fun and therapeutic. It's no wonder Albert calls it "Pizza Therapy"!
I will be posting pizza recipes soon! Stay tuned : )