It’s A Toss-Up

potato rosemary goat cheese pizza

There are times when a toss-up is definitely not a good thing. The upcoming election, for example. You want your candidate to earn an unequivocal win, right? So get out there and vote on November 4, if you haven’t done so already. I’ll be really ticked off if I have to stay up until 6 AM while “too close to call” remains on the lips of every news anchorperson in the country, because you didn’t bother to vote. So go, no excuses. That means you!

This month’s Daring Baker’s challenge was a toss-up of a different kind. Our host Rosa (Rosa’s Yummy Yums) delighted me by choosing pizza, but terrified me by stipulating that we had to shape the crust by tossing it up in the air like a real pizzaiola. The last time any crust of mine was airborne involved a few choice expletives and a pretty extensive patch job. Thenceforth, until Rosa stirred things up, I resigned myself to being a more relaxed, if inauthentic, pizza crust roller.

pizza margherita

But rules are rules; rolling was not an option with these babies. With a little help from this tutorial video from the California Culinary Academy, I’m happy to say I tossed three pizza crusts without breaking out the rolling pin.

The good news is there were no major accidents, it was very fast, and I did get rounder crusts than I’ve ever managed with a rolling pin. On the down side, it was so fast that it was pretty much done before my husband could focus the camera, so getting a decent photo of the tossing in action (as further stipulated by the challenge rules) was just not going to happen. Also, I couldn’t seem to get the hang of tossing so that the crust was uniformly thin; the center of each of the three was paper-thin while the edges were considerably thicker. Not a major disaster, but my technique still needs plenty of work.

pear gorgonzola pumpkin seed pizza

I cut the crust recipe in half and made three 10.5-inch pizzas. In my countertop Cuisinart Brick Oven cranked up to its maximum 500 degrees, they were done in 4 minutes flat, with just the right amount of crust char. (If you have a little extra counter space hanging around, think about this oven, which is terrific for lots besides pizza.)

Although I prefer to make my favorite pizza margherita with tomato slices, I instead made a simple sauce from seeded chopped tomatoes, salt, and a little pepper, in fulfillment of the challenge’s “must have sauce” rule. Fresh mozzarella and a few basil leaves (half applied before baking, half after) finished this one off.

My other pizzas, though, were sauceless (unless you count olive oil brushed on the crust as a sauce): one with potato, goat cheese, red onion, garlic, rosemary and Kosher salt (only a little of each); the other with pears, gorgonzola, and pumpkin seeds.

The other Daring Baker pizzaiolos and pizzaiolas will keep you busy for weeks reading about their lovely pies. Just one thing, though – don’t get so caught up in them that you forget to vote, OK?

Post a comment » 49 Comments

  1. This crust looks just how I like it, crispy. I loved that throwing video. I once saq a programm about the oldest pizzeria in Napels, and the baker said that is was all just for show to throw it around, he just made them flat by using his hands only. But it’s a nice show to watch this throwing anyway

  2. Well done Susan…great toss up. Love both the sauce & sauceless versions. Am also impressed that you were unafraid to really toss it up, blurred pic or not! We almost ended up in a family fight over pictures…LOL!

  3. Your pizza looks so thin, crispy, and delicious!

  4. absolutely gorgeous looking crust. love the sauce-less version.

  5. OMG Susan your pizza look amazing, so very professional.

  6. Totally agree about the voting–it is our duty. As for the pizzas, perfection.

  7. This looks absolutely fabulous, Susan. Well done!!!!

  8. I just love to make homemade pizza. And yours looks terrific, Susan. One of the very first posts I ever did was on a potato pizza. It’s one of my all-time favorites.

  9. That potato pizza sounds great. I might have to make the recipe again to try that one out!

  10. Your pizzas look terrific! Very well done! Great tossing ;-P!



  11. Wow! The pizza are absolutely wonderful Susan! Makes me wish I had some leftovers savory one for lunch!

  12. Wonderful job on some delicious looking pizzas!

  13. Your pizza looks wonderful

    My dough was so soft, that I wasn’t possible to toss it, it seemes like strudel-dough, just a bit stretching and it was very thin

  14. Your pizzas look great! The two sauceless pizzas are on my list for next time for sure.

  15. I think you did a great job! Your pizzas certainly look and sound delicious!

  16. As always, anything and everything you make is always turns out beautifully and guarantee to be delicious. I love the look of your pizza, it’s so rustic, so round, so perfect, so thin and the topping? oh… so scrumptious. I feel like I need to invite myself to come over to your house and have a taste of your pizza. May I?

    No…No… I wouldn’t forget to vote, in fact I’ve send my ballot a while ago. So did my husband.

  17. But Susan I thought that was what pizza crust was suppose to do – thin in the middle and thicker on the edge to hold the toppings on!
    I love that potato pizza!
    Great get out the vote!

  18. Great job! I love the combination of flavors that you used for your pizzas. Also, I didn’t know Cuisinart had a pizza oven?!?! I must resist that temptation.

    My husband & I already voted by mail. I’m with you, just get out there & exercise your right.

    xoxox Amy

  19. I so want that pizza oven if it makes pizza that looks that good. Wow.

  20. I can’t say which one I would like to try first. All look sooooo delicious. And I have to say, I want such an oven, too. How about some holidays in Spain? ;-)

  21. Tossing must be an art, I’ve decided. I do like the resulting free-form shape, however. Pear and gorgonzola is one of my favorite flavor combos, too.

  22. Mmm.. Pizza. Yours looks great! I found that my tossing (not so airborne as yours) did make for a very thin centre and thicker perimeter. Yours look so very tasty, I am getting hungry all over again.

  23. Trust me, if my state allowed early voting, I would have done it ages ago. I’ll be lining up on Tuesday and then sweating and feeling nauseous for the rest of the day in fear that the election will not go, um, well.

  24. Wow, what a nice looking pizza. I love your toppings. Very good!

  25. Oh I want your oven! :D Your pizzas look great.

  26. Beautiful job and the potato onion pie sounds delicious but I was sooo hoping to see the earth oven get used! How is it coming along?

  27. Your pizza looks so rustic and yummy. Great job! And oh my lord…that counter top brick oven is gorgeous!

  28. Really well done! I’m a fan of using less (or no) sauce as well… and it’s fun to see that you also used a potato-onion-rosemary combination!

  29. Your crust looks so wonderful and crusty! Yum.

  30. Your pizzas look wonderful, I like your choice of toppings. Nice job on the tossing, mine didn’t go so well. Well done.

  31. Susan, kudos to you! I must remind myself to ignore food blogs after 9 p.m., I gain weight simply by viewing them and yours is costing me plenty at this late hour!
    I love that swift pic of the hand toss. If I attempted that I’d be peeling dough off that lovely textured thing called… the ceiling.
    Pumpkin seeds in my pizza? Pears and cheese? And to think, I thought chocolate chips and pecans were the answer. Your delight sounds more healthy and definitely more refreshing. Note to self….’get some gorgonzola’…oh, ‘put that oven on Santa’s wish list’…..

  32. Nice job on the call out to vote. We are gnashing at the bit to get that job done. Definitely. And your pizza is gorgeous, of course. I didn’t watch that very cool video, and so was put off by how much the dough stretched just when I put it over my knuckles. Hence, amoeba pizza. But tasty. I’m loving that brown on your crust…

  33. i love thin crust pizza just like the ones you make, yours look so amzingly beautiful! just PERFECT!

  34. Looks perfect. Gotta have a bit of charring around the edges, right?

  35. The picture may be blurry, but it doesn’t hide the outstretched arms and very high piece of dough. Wow. Very good looking pizzas.

  36. Your pizzas look great, especially the potato pizza. Congrats on successful pizza throwing!

  37. Love the potato pizza!

    I have never tried to toss the dough, but after reading so many of the entries attesting that it IS possible… I am tempted to give it a try

    on a side note, this weekend I’ll be making your sourdough ciabatta rolls – can hardly wait…..

  38. Your pizza looks perfectly thin and crispy! What an interesting oven- I have never seen it before.

  39. wow! though your pizza looks great that cuisinart brick oven has me salivating! wish I could get it here in the philipines!

  40. Mmm, potato on a pizza. I’ve been meaning to try that from a local pizza place that has it on the regular menu. It sounds really, really good!

    Awesome crispy crust, by the way.

  41. I love the potato on the pizza!

  42. It’s always such a pleasure to read about how your challenge went! I had the same issue with the tossed crust – thinner in the middle than on the edges. I love the potatoes on pizza idea. Sounds yummy!

  43. Sigh…maybe I’ll be a tosser in another life – definitely not in this one. You did a fabulous job.

  44. Oh my…your crust looks the best of all the lot I’ve seen so far.

  45. Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous! And don’t worry about the toss. The important thing is that you tried it. I had some difficulty getting a uniform thickness but the end result was still fabulous. Nice job!

  46. Your pizza looks great! I loved the tossing part of this dough a lot:) It was so much fun:)

  47. No tosses!! I love this pizza. I prefer a thin bread and yours is perfect for me:)

  48. Wonderfully well done crust there, it looks beautiful :)

  49. Your pizzas look lovely with the browned crusts. Never tried potato on pizza. Must give it a try, a sort of foccaccia, I guess.

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