Cooking Failures

Deep Dish Pizza

For every winning recipe I’d day there has to be at least five cooking failures that have happened.  I know that I have made a great number of failed recipes.  Meyer impresses upon me the importance of practice makes perfect.  I’m a bit more rash with my cooking but I’ve come around to his way of seeing for baking and for parties.  Many food blogs only show the perfect glamour shots. I love them too. But I also know that food doesn’t come out of the oven say 80% of the time like that. I’d like to keep sharing my cooking fails to remind everyone else out there that failure happens. It’s ok to not figure out a recipe on the first try. Recipes can taste delicious without looking gorgeous. Most of my family will still eat a dutch baby that didn’t rise or a crumbling pie.

I might not follow recipes to the letter the first time I make them.  Sometimes switching ingredients to make recipes gluten free don’t turn out perfectly the first time.  Other times I missed timing the baking, or forgot something silly like greasing a pan. Patience and timing are so important to baking (things that I’m not used to doing in cooking off the cuff).  Especially in the world of gluten free baking, the first try isn’t about perfection it’s about learning the ropes. Following instructions the first several tries is vitally important. Then, as I’m known to do,  I usually dabble with my own tweaks to the recipe.  I made countless english muffins before getting the recipe under control. Now, I’d like to rejigger again to use psyllium husks instead of xantham gum.  Meyer better watch out there’s going to be a lot of english muffins to eat.

My first try at gluten free deep dish pizza was definitely a folly.  I love Gluten Free on a Shoestring‘s blog.  Her recipe for deep dish pizza made my mouth water. It’s been years since I’ve lived in Chicago.  In my opinion nothing beats a Lou Malnati‘s deep dish pizza.  Now that I am gluten free, eating one of these pizzas is only a dream. So GFOS inspired me to try to recreate this drool worthy meal. This dough worked quite well for me. I agree that the cornmeal gives it some strength. As the picture shows, the uncooked pizza looks quite nice.  It rolled out amazingly well-I was so excited.  Lovely tomato sauce, fresh spinach, thick cut mozzarella cheese were spread inside the pie. Into the oven it went to cook. Out it came, a bubbling, golden brown pie.  Meyer and I were so excited.  The first try and wow, it looked delicious. Deep dish pizza and a movie!  Sadly, I forgot to grease the pan.  It was stuck. Glued to the pan. I pried with a knife and was able to salvage the pie but the night was ruined.  The bitter taste of failure tainted that pie and the movie. Oddly enough the leftover pizza reheated in the toaster oven was delicious.  Maybe it was the burn of failure being over or maybe letting the pizza pie flavors meld together did something.  My redemption was in the leftovers.  Now, with many months of gluten free baking under my belt, and the memory of the evening slightly blurry I think it’s time to try my hand at this deep dish pizza again before summer makes the oven unusable.

One tip I have for a large party or a holiday celebration: why not practice with a small party the week before? That way you can test our recipes, time the prep and cooking for the entire meal, and get feedback from guests. Well, only if you want to admit that your guests are test subjects. I’d rather do that and have the fun of getting frozen pizza if the roast doesn’t work out than figuring out an alternative on Christmas day.

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