For the bday dinner, we talked about going out for pizza, but when I found out they weren’t going to be available until 9 or 9:30 pm, I decided to make pizzas instead. This one was the favorite.
♠ Special Equipment: Stand Mixer, a pizza stone, and a pizza peel (all totally unnecessary, but things that make the pizza-making process fun)
I use Mark Bittman’s recipe. It’s easy, quick, and consistently turns out 2 thin pizza crusts. score. Still working on my pizza dough stretching skills–I like thin crust pizza, so I stretch, and then roll at the very end. I find it’s easiest to roll/stretch the pizza onto a piece of parchment paper. Also, I never have managed to leave enough time to let the dough rise for 2 hours– so I go with the shortcut method: I let it rise at least a half hour. sometimes..an hour. The other change is that I use my stand mixer rather than a food processor to make the dough. That said, you could mix the whole thing by hand, too…it’ll just take more time and kneading…the results will be just as good, I’m sure.
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 2 teaspoon fast-rising yeast (i use bread machine dry yeast)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 T Olive Oil
- 1 cup of water
- basil or rosemary if you’d like
- Add the flour, yeast and salt into the mixer bowl.
- Add the olive oil and turn the processor on–slowly at first or you’ll have a puff of flour in your face. I like my mixer bowl shield for recipes like this…you can drizzle in the liquid without the risk of ending up with a face full of flour.
- Add the water in slowly and turn the mixer up. Mix it until it forms a lose ball. (Like bittman’s recipe says, if it’s too wet, add a little flour at a time. If too dry, add a little water at a time. I’ve really never had to).
- Turn the dough out onto a piece of saran wrap. Cover loosely (the dough will rise). Put it back in the bowl and put a towel on top of it. let it rest/rise for as long as you can wait.
- When you’re ready to make pizza. form the dough into 2 balls.Cut 2 pieces of parchment.
- Stretch the dough–I let it hang from my hands and keep turning it in the air. and then eventually, I lay the dough onto the parchment and roll it the last bit.
- 2 cups of arugula/spinach mix
- 1 cup basil (i think some parsley slipped in too–both from my garden)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 T pine nuts
- 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil (put as much as you’re comfortable with. I don’t like my pesto that oily…
- 1 T grated Parmesan
- Blend the whole mixture in food processor or blender (I’ve found that my Vitamix container is to big for small batches like pesto).
- Now you might want to preheat your oven to 500 for about a half hour
- caramelized onions
- cherry tomatoes split in half (i used ones from our garden)
- fresh mozzarella ( i tore the 2 “ovolines” into bits and spread them across the pizza)
- fresh Parmesan
- arugula/spinach to top
- a handful of pine nuts
- Spread the pesto on the dough
- Add the onions, tomatoes, and cheese.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden/cooked
- Top with the arugula, pine nuts, and a little more Parmesan
For the other pizza, I made an Arabaiata sauce (easy fix: add chili powder and basil to a fresh tomato sauce), topped it with a mushroom blend, caramelized onions, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella. It was good, but needed salt (I’m experimenting with sea salt “flakes” and haven’t quite figured out proportions–sometimes things aren’t salty enough and sometimes that same pinch will make something like my gazpacho way, way too salty. (#firstworldproblems).