Pizza has become a Friday night ritual. A habit in our weekly routine. It is a dependable constant in a world of what's next. It was with great fear and frustration that I was greeted with an altered pizza dough last night. I had grown comfortable in the rut of consistency and sureness that comes with habit. Thankfully, Aki had not. She looked at pizza night as an opportunity, a chance to change, explore, and improve. She made the dough with a blend of King Arthur all purpose flour and Castle Valley Mill's bolted soft wheat. Visually the dough looked different and caused me to say "What have you done to the dough!?" I sounded like Linus in desperate need of his blanket.
When I touched the dough I felt its soft supple texture. Heck, it felt pretty good. I shaped the dough and let it continue to rise. I stretched and made the first pizza. The dough was tender and unfolded easily. It was pretty nice. I made a plain cheese to calm the madness and act as a benchmark for flavor and texture. The pizza was solid. It had a background nuttiness and the dough was flexible, tender, if a bit dry. The flaw, or perhaps the difference, was its ease of stretching. The dough had a tendency to pull too thin. But that is an adjustment that I could learn to make. The following pizzas were stretched and built by Amaya and her friend. They came out beautifully in looks and flavors. My frustration for being forced out of my rut transformed into pleasure in exploring and experiencing the unexpected.