When you’re cooking dinner, do you have a particular ritual?
When you’re cooking dinner, do you have a particular ritual that’s followed to the letter? While listening to a specific favourite album, while wearing a lucky apron? Do you throw some cannabis into the mix just for fun? Is it smoked before, during or after? What works best for you?
You might totally love cooking, or you might absolutely hate it. The beauty though, is in the attempt.
Say you wanted to try a new recipe, and even though you copied the instructions, it didn’t quite turn out like you hoped. Maybe it caused you to feel down in the dumps. It’s natural to be disappointed when the meal you worked so hard on didn’t turn out like you wanted.
Especially if you cooked it for someone else. Maybe it wasn’t a cooking issue, but a baking one instead? Have you ever baked a pizza in the oven, but messed up with the preheating? The instructions on the box often are read in Fahrenheit. Maybe you tried preheating the oven in Celsius, because you’re Canadian.
If so, you’re not alone.
You might look at a recipe written by someone else, and think it needs your own personal touch.
Those are the best kind, right?
1½cups warm water
1 package dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 or more cups flour
1.Dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Let stand until it starts to get foamy.
2.Mix salt and flour together.
3.Add yeast mixture and oil to flour.
4.Mix together until a dough forms.
5.Knead with additional flour until smooth and elastic.
6.Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap let rise for 45 minutes.
7.Roll out with a rolling pin and add desired toppings to make a pizza.
8.Bake at 450° until desired doneness.
Think about the best pizza you ever had. Got it in your mind? Chances are it was a home-cooked meal made with love from your childhood. Was the recipe passed down to you? Have you ever managed to replicate it? Does it taste just as good as you remembered? Okay, so what was the second best pizza you’ve ever had? Was it from a big popular chain? Or was it from a smaller and more hole-in-the-wall joint? If you’re a regular and you get into their good graces, you might be able to snag their own recipe for some loyalty.
What’s particularly fun about making pizza by hand, is you really get to focus on the aesthetic aspects.
The amount of tomato sauce you spread on the dough will dictate how much crust you’re leaving on the end. You can decide which toppings go where, and the specific spacing between each of them.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Maybe try adding more cloves of garlic or an extra dash of paprika to the pot. You might be kicking yourself at first for deviating from the preordained course, but it’s okay to go off the well-worn trail. Cooking recipes and instructions are there as guidelines, more than they are actual rules. If you don’t get it exactly right, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. You can always try again.