Saturday night, I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner: pizza & wine.

It had been a few months since I last made some pizza, but I was definitely still trying to cook my crust just right. This one wasn’t too shabby; much better than the last one I tried to bake at 400˚F. Eight minutes at 500˚F did a pretty close job; crust was still a bit soft on the bottom and on the sides.

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Tonight, I seem to have nailed it. Ten minutes at 500˚F, and I got a firm, crisp crust on the bottom & a lovely browning of the mozzarella on the top! I would prefer my crust a tad crisper, but I may need to aim for parbaking the crust first, and then baking the whole thing directly on the oven rack.

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Consequentially, I devoured the entire thing. Saturday night—even with a bottle of wine—this was not an issue! Tonight, however, might have been a bit too much to eat. I probably should have just opted to eat half and save the other half for leftovers. Uffda.

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In other baking news, I have my homemade bread down to a minor art now. My recipe makes two loaves at a time (as much as the 6-quart stand mixer bowl can handle), so I grease both stoneware loaf pans, load each with half the dough after the first rise, freezing one with plastic wrap sealing the top and rise the second to bake immediately. The loaf below (made Friday) is the frozen one; thawed in the fridge overnight, I preheat the oven to 170˚F (the lowest it will go), and pop the cold loaf pan (with the plastic still on) in and let it warm & rise until the dough is just below the top of the pan, at which point I bake as per the recipe (although I sub bacon drippings for the lard). Frankly, this loaf came out about as perfect as I could have hoped!

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Plans for this week? Prep a couple bread loaves to move directly into the freezer. Maybe the same for some pizza dough; I have more sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni to consume. I definitely want to make some more fresh naan for tacos at some point. Beyond that, this week will be low-key for cooking; I have plenty of leftovers for the week right now, and I need to focus on writing & finishing figures this week for the review chapter I’m helping with. If progress goes as hoped, maybe I’ll treat myself to a beer or two mid-week!

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