Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pizza Pizza!

Who doesn't like pizza?
It's dough, topped with sauce, cheese and whatever else your little heart desired, then baked till hot and bubbly - simply amazing!
And what's better than good homemade pizza?

Nothing!



Steffy loves pizza!!






The trick is in the dough - if you have a good dough, the rest is easy. Or "easy-peazy-lemon-squeezy' as Julian would say. Haha!

The dough:

• 1 cup warm water
• 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast (its a lot, i like it that way...)
• 1 tsp sugar, sometimes I substitute honey
• 1 cup flour, I use white, sometimes wheat, you can use rice flour, or quinoa flour, whatever, just a cup of flour
• 1 cup semolina flour - this is key, it gives it a fabulous texture and crisp-ness (is that a word?)
• 2 teaspoons salt
• drizzle of olive oil - 1 tsp - 1 tbsp, your call, you just need some

Put water in bowl, mix in sugar/honey, add yeast and let sit till it blooms, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix in a stand mixer for 5-10 minutes till smooth, if mixing by hand, about 15 minutes. Let 'proof' for at least 45 minutes - over night if possible, and this will be good in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, it just becomes more 'sourdough-esque' with time.

Preheat the oven with a pizza stone in it to 500 degrees, 550 if your oven goes up that high, then get your ingredients ready. A lot of the time, we cook pizza on the grill, just throw your pizza stone on there and preheat like you would the oven, I have a gas grill, but I'm sure it would be great on charcoal as well. The grill gives a dryer heat, and a real crisp crust.

Toppings:

Anything you want to put on a pizza is good! I promise!

Sauce: red, white, olive oil, pesto, ricotta cheese, BBQ sauce........

Meat: chicken, pepperoni, ground sausage, sliced Italian sausages, ground beef, salami, ham, steak, smoked salmon, shrimp, anchovies.....

Veggies: tomato, zucchini, olives, pineapple, onion, peppers, roasted red peppers, fire roasted green chile's, artichoke hearts, garlic, spinach, arugula, mushrooms, fresh herbs like basil, chives, oregano, parsley, cilantro.....

Cheese: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Feta, Parmigano, Pecarino Romano, Cheddar, jack, Havarti, Gouda, Gruyere, Swiss......

If you like it, and you want to put it on a pizza, go for it. If it's not yummy, don't do it again, but, really, you can't go wrong!

So - first, you spread some cornmeal on a pizza paddle. Then, take half of the dough recipe above, sprinkle with a little flour, and stretch it out until its to your desired thickness, I will go as thin as 1/8", this will double upon cooking, but you have to be conservative with the toppings, average is about a 1/4 inch, it's your call, have fun and experiment. Put it on the paddle and add your toppings.

Shake it into the oven, bake for 10-20 minutes, depending on the thickness, but watch it closely, so it doesn't burn. You may have to rotate it in the oven, depending on if yours has hot spots.

Pull it out, let it sit for 5 minutes before cutting, this is important, DO NOT CUT IT BEFORE IT SETS!!!!!

ENJOY!

Here are some pizzas I have made in the past year or so:



Red sauce and pesto mixed together, mozzarella, then, once it came out of the oven, topped it with shaved Parmigano and fresh spinach and arugula. I love arugula on a pizza!



Red sauce, pepperoni, onion, yellow peppers, mozzarella, basil, and fresh cracked pepper.


Pesto sauce, zucchini, mushrooms, garlic, tomato, olives, artichoke hearts and Havarti then topped with fresh spinach right after it came out of the oven.



Red sauce, thin sliced Italian sausages, red pepper, olives, mozzarella, Parmigano & cheddar cheese.



White sauce, garlic, zucchini, roasted red pepper, mozzarella and Pecarino Romano.

As you can see, it's easy, and delicious! Anyone can do it!

Yum!


~Candy

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