Sunday, February 13, 2011

.Homemade Pizza.

So this is Pizza 101. Start to Finish.
Not that I'm an expert or anything, but we sure do enjoy making a homemade pizza around here every now and again (especially since the husband is into making his very own pizza dough. And it seriously rocks.
I know right. I so lucked out with him).
So anyways, since I'm having a hankering for some doughy goodness, I thought I'd give it a whirl. My turn at a thin, crispy + chewy crust baked to perfection (or we hope at least).
Wish me luck.
***See note at bottom of page.....Things didn't go totally according to plan***

No-knead pizza dough
Adapted from , where it was adapted from Jim Lahey, Co.
Makes 3-4 medium pizzas (see note below)
Ingredients3 cups all purpose flour
¼ tsp instant yeast
1½ tsp salt
1½ cups warm water
Directions1. Whisk the first three ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour in water and stir until combined (dough will be sticky). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at warm room temperature for 12 - 24 hours.
2. After dough has rested, transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Dust dough with bit of flour and fold over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 15 minutes.
3. Divide dough into 4 pieces* and shape each piece into a ball. Place on a well-floured surface and cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and towel. Let rise for 2 hours.
4. Stretch, toss, or roll each ball out to be about 12 inches wide. Add toppings and bake in a preheated oven on top of a very hot pizza stone**.
5. Bake the pizzas at 450°F for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is browned and the toppings looked tasty.
*You can divide it into 3 pieces to make slightly larger (~13 inch), thicker-crusted pizzas.
**If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a heavy baking sheet that’s been heated for 5 minutes in a 500°F oven. Just roll the dough out on cornmeal-dusted parchment, add the toppings, and transfer the whole thing (parchment and pizza) to the hot pan (much easier than trying to transfer a floppy, uncooked pizza!). 
FYI. With this dough, it’s best to go easy on the toppings - this’ll keep the crust crisp and let its great flavour come through. Here are some tasty combo's:
Roasted garlic + Zucchini + Parmesan + Chili's
- Smush together one head of roasted garlic (or 6 cloves of fresh garlic, bashed or whizzed to a paste) with a large pinch of salt and 2 tsp olive oil. Spread evenly over dough. Add a single layer of thinly-sliced zucchini (~1 small zucchini). Add a light drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle each of salt and dried chili flakes, and a small hand full of good quality grated Parmesan cheese. Bake.
Pesto + Baby Shrimp + Goat Cheese (One of Husband's Favorites)
-Spread a thin layer of pesto over dough. Top with a small handful of mozza, and spread the cooked baby shrimp over this. Crumble the goats cheese all over.
Fig + Spicy Sausage + Goat Cheese (Husband's Favorite!!) 
 -Cut up and fry the sausage. Chop up the figs (we bought the ones that have already been dried and are sticky a little. I'm sure you can use fresh figs too, but we haven't tried that yet). Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the dough. Add a little mozza over sauce. Add the cooked sausage and figs. Crumble the goats cheese all over. And sprinkle some Basil. Bake.
- Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over dough. Top with a small handful of fresh basil and a bit of fresh mozzarella (sliced-1/8 inch thin or torn - a little will go a long way!). Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt. Bake. 
Reverse Margherita
- Spread a thin layer of good pesto over dough, leaving a bit of an edge. Top with thinly-sliced fresh tomatoes, a small handful of fresh basil, and a bit of fresh mozzarella (sliced 1/8-inch thin or torn - a little will go a long way!). Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt. Bake.
Thai Inspired
-Spread peanut sauce over pizza using a relatively thin layer. Top with seasoned chicken, bean sprouts, cheese, and chopped green onions. Bake. Thanks to Kinga + Edward for this suggestion!

Some OTHER tasty (and unique) combinations to try:
*Caramelized onions + Waxy Potatoes + Thyme
*Potato + Rosemary + Mozza + Olive Oil
*BBQ Sauce + Chicken + Red Onion + Mozza Cheese
*Fresh Pineapple + Good Black Olives (Seriously, Yum)
*Flat bread/ Pita Bread + Arugula + Sun-dried Tomatoes + Goat Cheese + Chicken
**Or Try placing some fresh Avocado slices on top (after baking), or a Tomato-Basil Bruschetta topping! Fun!
We halved one of our Pizza's in case you where wondering.
Just remember. Try to have some fun with this.No better way to enjoy it than with a group of friends or even get your kids involved. Each can top their own pizza and everyone can share in the results afterwards!
Bon Appetite!

****Ohh Dear. So after slaving away and typing this post up early this morning, then running to the store for the ingredients to create my 'masterpieces', I get home and start to prepare. Well, low and behold, I should probably have actually read the recipes before trying to blog about them. Let me explain. I bought all the ingredients needed, but didn't actually read the preparation of the recipe. Sooooo, I kind of missed the 18 - 24 hour dough rising part.
Yep. Seriously.
Guess what happened next. The Husband comes to the rescue. My knight in shining armour. He swoops in after my lip is protruding (I have a serious pout when needed) well below it's normal droop, and saves Pizza Making Sunday!
My Hero.
He makes his own tried and true dough recipe for me to top with some of the flavors listed above. And it was good. So even though I didn't get my crack at making the homemade dough (next time I swear it's MY turn, and I'll be trying out the dough above. Promise.) my craving was satisfied.
 What a guy.
Thanks Babe.

p.s. Went for a hour walk with Miss Bella + Peter today. Yah me and so loving this weather!
p.p.s. I'm thankful for my husband always saving the day. Love you mister.
p.p.p.s. As mentioned, I got this recipe over at a new super fun food Blog called Food Happy. Seriously check it out. Loving her style! 

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