The World's Largest Pizza. Almost. 3.18 Happy Birthday Baby
“Oh my God. What is that?” “The world’s largest pizza. Almost.” “That is amazing.” “You like it?”
“I love it. Thank you, honey.”
For the dough:
2 cups lukewarm water
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 ½ packets of active dry yeast
3 tbsp olive oil
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp salt
For the sauce:
4 roma tomatoes, diced
5 oz tomato paste
3 cloves of garlic, minced
12-15 fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
For the toppings:
1 tbsp melted butter
3 cups of mozzarella cheese
6-8 large salami slices
1 portobello mushroom, sliced
1 green bell pepper, cored and sliced into rings
Mix the sugar into the lukewarm water until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the yeast and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the olive oil, flour, and 1 tsp of salt in a large mixing bowl. Once the yeast mixture has become foamy, pour into the flour mixture. Use a dough hook or your hands to form a smooth ball of dough.
Brush a bowl with some olive oil and place the ball of dough in the bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
When the dough is almost done rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
While the dough is rising, make the pizza sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender to combine until smooth.
After the dough is done rising, punch out the air a couple times.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to form a giant pizza slice. If you don’t want to create a giant pizza slice, you can easily make two smaller round pizzas with this dough.
Brush a generous amount of the melted butter onto the crust and spread the sauce across the dough.
Sprinkle the cheese across the pizza and add the salami, mushrooms, and bell pepper slices.
Transfer the pizza to a baking sheet or pizza stone and bake at 400 degrees for 17-20 minutes.
Let me tell y’all about the saga that was this pizza. When I first thought of this project, this was one of the first dishes I thought of from Gilmore Girls. Like Sookie’s pretzel basket and tassel hat cake, the world’s largest pizza (almost) is a food that stands out from the show because of its over-the-top nature. Well, I already conquered the basket and cake, so surely I could conquer this pizza too. Like Pete, I went through a few different ideas on how to construct a giant pizza. I actually considered the doily method that they talk about on the show where you have a bunch of smaller pizzas that are covered with toppings. But other than my floor, I don’t have a surface large enough to spread out a pizza of that size. And I didn’t really want to eat pizza off my floor.
So then, I had the idea of making one pizza look like a slice from a much larger pizza. I could shape the dough into a giant slice shape and use toppings that would look like they came from a giant pizza. Easier said than done. I had my dough all rolled out and shaped, and I realized I should get it underneath some parchment paper so I could transfer it to a baking dish more easily. Once I put my pizza on top of the paper, I got my sauce, cheese, and toppings on. The challenge of actually getting the pizza to fit into my oven was now looking like my biggest obstacle. I didn’t measure the pizza or my oven beforehand, but I was determined to make it work!
I overlapped two baking trays to make a longer one and carefully draped the giant pizza slice across the extended tray. Perfect! We were good to go. With my sister’s help, I went to put the trays into the oven, only to realize that the tray and the pizza were much larger than my oven. We then began the process of scooting the trays together while still making sure the pizza would still balance on the janky overlapped trays. Each time we tried to put it in the oven, it was still too wide. I eventually trimmed off the bottom and shoved it into the oven with maybe a centimeter to spare. Then came the grueling wait, wondering if the pizza would somehow slip off the balanced trays, and I would have to start all over. I felt like I was on the Great British Bake Off where they sit in front of their ovens, waiting for the timer to go off. We managed to get the pizza out of the oven with no problem, and that is the story of how I made a slice from the world’s largest pizza. Almost.
The main plot of this episode is obviously Lorelai celebrating her birthday, leading to the main conflict of her paying back her parents for Chilton with the money she received from her father’s investment. This conflict has always felt a little clunky to me. While I think it’s important for Lorelai to pay her parents back for Chilton, I think it’s really convenient that it’s with money she receives from her father’s investment. While it’s technically her money, it doesn’t feel like she’s really paying them back because she wouldn’t have the $75,000 without Richard. I also think the timing in which Lorelai pays her parents back is not the best move. I think she should have told them after Rory’s graduates or at least not at her birthday dinner. While Emily does overreact, I think Lorelai could have been a little more tactful in repaying her.
I wish we got to see Lorelai celebrate her birthday again during the series. Who knows what other giant food she’d have!
Happy Cooking From the Hollow!
If you missed what I made last episode, catch up here!