Well, my threats weren’t so idle after all.
I’ve been threatening to make pizza for weeks now, and last night I finally did it. I made pizza.
How exciting. I love a good pizza pie, be it decorated with a garden of veggies or a simple smattering of greasy pepperoni. I like it hot and stringy *almost* as much as I like it cold and stiff the next morning. Yes, I am that “eating pizza for breakfast” person, and I’m not ashamed of it. I’ve enjoyed pizza with warm root beer and I’ve had it with a few sips of expensive red wine and I must say that it is one of those perfect foods that can hold its own in any meal-time situation.
Pizza has presented itself to me in many different outfits over the years, I’ve had BBQ pulled pork pizza, loaded baked potato pizza, white pizza, red pizza (this is starting to sound like a cheesy Dr. Seuss book…) bacon and red onion pizza, pizza with tomato sauce and pizza with seasoned sour cream – and I’ve loved them all. Funny, I never thought about it until just this moment – I really love pizza! Strange coming from the person who started life as a bizarre girl who would never eat the pizza served at class parties… what was wrong with me? Thank God we grow and change… I can’t say time has erased my tendency to be a bit bizarre, but I have grown into a more normal love of all things PIZZA.
Here they are, looking all good and ready to eat. I made two smallish sort of pies, one sausage and onion, the other topped with three cheeses; ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella.
Baking them was quite the trick in my little oven. The recipe said to preheat the oven to 475 degrees. That’s pretty hot and I honestly wondered if there was any chance the oven would simply combust from the pressure – but it didn’t. I had to improvise a little in order to bake them since I don’t have a stone, nor a baking sheet that is ‘useable’. My little baking tray, the only one we could find that fit in the funny oven, has been systematically destroyed over the last six months. I’m not sure how or why, but it’s warped and bucked and the finish is peeling off.
So, I’ve been wrapping it in foil when I need a cookie sheet, and that seems to work pretty well. It did a more than satisfactory job baking these pizzas!
2 teaspoons dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 cups flour (I used half whole wheat and half all purpose)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
I doubled the recipe and after it had been kneaded up and proofed, I split it and put half in the fridge for another day. It worked *fabulously*. I know it seems like a little thing, but it thrilled me to death to have the dough already worked up in the fridge, waiting for me to just roll it out and top it. Perfect!
The yeast gets proofed in 1/4 cup of the warm water until it has dissolved and started to bubble a bit. Then, sift together the flour and salt. Now you’re going to add all the rest of the ingredients, including the proofed yeast, to the flour and start mixing. The dough is going to seem dry at first – I checked and double checked my recipe – but that’s how it is supposed to be. Dump it out on your kneading surface and start kneading. It will quickly become a smooth, rather firm dough. Now you can form it however you like and add your toppings.
** This is the fun part, I might add. The part where my husband comes wandering into the kitchen from the living room where he has been working out (oh my), admires my handiwork then grabs a hunk of the dough and proceeds to try to ‘throw’ it like a professional pizza maker. Hilarity ensues. Have you ever seen the I Love Lucy episode when she tries to make pizzas? It was kind of like that.
The sky really is the limit, folks. You can top your pizza with just about anything you desire – but I don’t have to tell you that! We did sausage and onions and cheese – but there’s no end to options. Any veggie under the sun would be a welcomed addition, as well as bacon, ham, pulled pork, chicken… you get the idea. I *insisted* that we buy a little ball of fresh mozzarella at the store so we could use it on our pizzas and boy was it worth it! I say that like it was wicked expensive, but it really wasn’t. It *tastes* wicked expensive!
For the sauce, I simply pureed some of the chunky spaghetti sauce I had made earlier in the week. I know they sell pizza sauce in the store ready made too, and you could probable get a pretty decent tasting one. OR – *or* just use some sliced tomatoes and fresh herbs – it will sauce itself right up and be *Rustic* which is awesome.
The pies bake at 475 degrees for 10-15 minutes and then they are ready to eat – YAY!
It took me a while to get around to it, but Pizza has been made.