I just realized I've never posted one of my most favorite recipes of all - pizza!
I've tried various crusts and sauces over the last few years and I believe these are my favorite.
However, no two pizzas created will ever be alike (just like snowflakes)!
Without further ado, tonight I made Smoked Mozzarella with Applewood Smoked Olives Pizza with Parmesan Stuffed Crust.
(it was good, really good)
Add a glass of Menage a Trois red wine and we've got a superb Sunday nite dinner!
I've experimented with several pizza crusts and this one remains my favorite.
Adapted from Food.com's California Pizza Kitchen Pizza Dough
(with added stuffed crust)
Start the dough at least 2-3 hours before dinner time.
For supreme results, use a baking stone (it is worth it).
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water
1 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
Shredded cheese of your choice (mozzarella, parmesan, etc)
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
Mix all remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Pour olive oil and yeast/water mixture into dried ingredients.
Using your hands, knead dough together into bowl until smooth but slightly tacky, adding extra flour as necessary.
Remove dough from bowl.
Coat bowl with olive oil.
Place dough into oiled bowl, coat dough lightly with oil.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in warm place to rise.
I use the bread proof function on my oven.
After an hour or so, punch dough down, cover and let rise again.
About 30-45 minutes before dinner time, place dough onto floured surface.
Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of your baking stone.
Place the parchment paper onto a flat cookies sheet (one with no raised edges).
Place baking stone in center of oven.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
Either using your hands or a rolling pin (or both), shape the dough to fit your parchment paper.
Place the dough onto the parchment paper (on the cookie sheet).
Sprinkle shredded cheese about 1" from the edge of dough around the entire perimeter.
Fold over the edge of dough to cover the cheese and pinch down.
Brush olive oil around the edges.
Add sauce and toppings.
Slide pizza and parchment paper onto heated stone in oven.
Bake until the edges and cheese start to brown.
Open oven door and slide rack out.
Let pizza continue to bubble on stone for a few minutes.
Slide pizza on parchment paper onto cookie sheet and slice.
Enjoy with a glass of your favorite red wine!
Oh yes, the sauce...
This is a very simple, yet tasty sauce that is perfect for summer when you have all those tomatoes you don't know what to do with.
Adapted from Saveur's Pizza Margherita
2 lbs very ripe fresh tomatoes
16 small fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
Fresh crushed black pepper
1/2 cup tomato puree or tomato paste (only if necessary)
Remove skins from tomatoes by placing them into boiling water for about a minute, then placing them in cool water.
Remove core and seeds.
Place colander into sink.
Place tomatoes into colander and crush with your hands.
Toss some sea salt into the tomatoes with your hands.
Let tomatoes drain for 20 minutes.
Place tomatoes into bowl with olive oil and basil.
Add tomato puree/paste (only if necessary).
Season with freshly crushed black pepper to taste.
This sauce may be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
Regarding cheese - I prefer buffalo mozzarella if I can find it. It is so creamy.
I use regular shredded mozzarella to stuff the crust.
Smoked mozzarella is also a tasty distraction.
You can really go wild here. It's really whatever you think would be tasty.
Give it a try.
Every pizza you make will be different.
Try different toppings - there are so many kinds of olives.
If the dough and sauce are made ahead of time, this is a really easy, quick dinner.
I've never heard anyone say, "pizza, again?"
Oh no. This one is a winner every time.
Au Revoir Poupees!