Friday, August 12, 2011

Sloth Love Chunk: A Tale of Two Pizzas

Pizza night in our household is the most sacred of nights. It's a magical time where cheese and carbs come together to bring great happiness to all. Tonight's version was special because it was my first attempt at making every part of the pizza from scratch. Previously, I had been using a delicious cornmeal crust from Whole Foods. Then we took the time to actually read the nutrition facts, and, well, that has since been nixed. Our menu this evening included a twist on traditional pepperoni pizza and a version of the Kennair family favorite mushroom and olive pizza.

Pizza Dough
Bobby Flay's Flatbread Recipe
Servings: 2 pizzas
Time: 3 hours

1 1/8 tsp dry active yeast (half a packet)
1 cup warm water
2 1/2-3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
Olive oil

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the salt and 1 1/2 cups of flour. Once smooth, add another cup of flour. 
  3. Add extra flour 1 tbsp at a time until the dough comes away from the bowl but remains sticky.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, pull the dough apart then fold in on itself about 10 times until it becomes more manageable. Then knead for another 5 mintues.
  5. Roll into a ball and coat with a small amount of olive oil. 
  6. Put it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until it doubles in size (about 2 hours). You can test to see if it's ready by pushing down on it with your thumb. If the imprint stays, then it's good to go.
  7. Split the ball into two, coat each with oil and let sit for half an hour.
  8. Roll a ball on a well-floured surface until it is the desired size (typically about 1/2 inch thick).
  9. Pinch edges then coat the inside with olive oil to prevent the toppings from making the dough soggy. Make small dents in the dough to prevent it from bubbling and add the toppings.

And then the dough undergoes mitosis...
I used this recipe previously to make flatbread and thought it would work perfectly for pizza dough. It's very tasty and easy to make, but the big flavors of the pizzas ended up rendering the dough into a bit player. Incorporating garlic butter or oregano, basil and sage into the dough might go a long way toward helping it stand out.

Pizza Sauce
Servings: 4 pizzas worth
Time: 30 minutes

6 oz can of tomato paste
1/2 cup water
Garlic powder
Basil leaves

  1. Mix all the ingredients to your desired taste. Vary the amount of water depending on how thick you want the sauce to be. 
  2. Let cook over low heat for half an hour.

"Pepperoni", Fennel & Gouda Pizza: Sloth
Hey you guys!

Veggie pepperoni
Smoked gouda, shredded
Dough (see above)
Pizza Sauce (see above)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Sauté the fennel in butter until soft (about 2 minutes)
  3. Top the prepared dough with the pizza sauce then add pepperoni, fennel and cheese.
  4. Transfer to a cooking sheet coated with aluminum foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.
From the picture on the right, you can see why this is named Sloth. 
I was surprised at how well this pizza turned out. The veggie pepperoni is actually better than normal pepperoni because it's not as greasy. Also, the smoked gouda was the perfect cheese for the pizza and really melded well with the pepperoni. Unfortunately, the fennel was lost in the rest of the flavors, but it didn't really matter since the other two hit the spot. This pizza was heavily deformed when I tried to move it from the rolling surface to the baking sheet, but the thinness actually served to benefit the pizza. This was definitely the winner of the night.

Mushroom, Olive & Sun-dried Tomato Pizza: Chunk
Ladies love the truffle shuffle, and if there's one thing I know, it's truffles.

1 Portobello mushroom, sliced
Kalamata olives, sliced
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Sun-dried tomatoes
Dough (see above)
Pizza Sauce (see above)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Sauté the mushroom in butter until soft and fragrant (about 3 minutes)
  3. Top the dough with pizza sauce then add mushrooms, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese
  4. Transfer to a cooking sheet coated with aluminum foil. Bake 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.

So it is possible for the pizza to maintain its shape.
Somehow all the strong flavored ingredients on this pizza came together magnificently with each bite highlighting a different aspect. Despite my best efforts to press the pizza and keep it from rising, it still formed a very thick crust that actually managed to be successful and differentiate it from the other pizza.

In the end, these two very different pizzas provided an excellent amount of variety to the meal. Then again, you can't really go wrong with pizza night. If only I could figure out how to make a Baby Ruth pizza...

                                                 Oddly enough, I had the exact same conversation with the pizzas.

No comments:

Post a Comment