Weekend Cooking: Pizza Skewers Take Two
Last weekend, I was bested by a can of pizza dough, some cheese, sauce, and chopped peppers while attempting a recipe from a whimsical cookbook in which each of the 80 ‘party-perfect’ recipes are impaled or skewered in some fashion. I refused to give up on the Pizza Skewers was back in the kitchen this morning with fresh ingredients and an iron will.
During the week, I modified the recipe and decided to implement the following:
- divide the pizza dough in half before doing anything (‘back-up dough’ in the event I messed up the first batch)
- don’t roll the dough out too thinly (the recipe says a 12-inch square, 1 inch thick)
- use a 6-inch square of dough (the 12-inch square made the dough log too big)
- cut down even further on sauce, cheese, and filling (it was too messy last time even though I used LESS than the recipe called for)
- bake the dough for longer–17 or 18 minutes–instead of 12 minutes
With these modifications, I set out to create Pizza Skewers that resembled those in Matt’s book. Unfortunately, Take II.i was another miserable failure. While I kept the dough thicker, didn’t overfill the pizza roll, and baked it for longer, the dough unraveled during baking and made a big mess on the baking sheet.
I was undaunted for I had set aside half of the dough at the start for just such an event! I rolled out the ‘back-up dough’ (Pizza Skewers Part II.ii) to a 6-inch square and added a tablespoon of sauce and few pinches of cheese and pepperoni. I tried to keep the sauce and filling away from the perimeter of the dough.
I rolled up the latest incarnation, making sure to pinch the ends of the log shut and to carefully seal the dough flap to prevent the dough pinwheels from unraveling during baking. This dough roll was much smaller than the other attempts and I had a good feeling about it.
I sliced the log into equal pieces, arranged them on a parchment lined baking sheet, and baked the pizza pinwheels for 18 minutes, pulling them out at 15 minutes to add more cheese and pepperoni per Matt’s recipe. The end result? A reasonably decent facsimile of Matt’s Pizza Skewers. They don’t look exactly like his, but they are far better than my two other attempts.
So, would I recommend Pizza Skewers for your next party? No, but I will say that they are cute once you finesse the recipe. I have a feeling the dessert recipe for next weekend is going to be much better!
Honestly, I’m going to continue using a pizza appetizer idea I saw in Real Simple magazine 5 or 10 years ago. (Order a pizza from a pizza shop, have them cook it 1/2 way and don’t let them slice it. Bring it home, use a biscuit cutter to cut out little pizza rounds, add your own toppings, and bake for 5-10 minutes. They are such a HIT at my parties.) That said, I am going to claim victory on Pizza Skewers.
As always, thanks to Candace over at Beth Fish Reads for hosting Weekend Cooking.
Many thanks to Eric at Quirk Books for sending out On A Stick, allowing me to showcase my lackluster cooking skills!