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This was just a spur of the moment thing. I started the dough the day before, not really sure yet what the toppings would be or I would have made a run after rye flour for the crust. I did look for rye flour today and finally found some at the local co-op store. I talked to a fellow there about the hard time we had finding it and he said there was a crop failure last year and it was a bit early yet for this year’s crop. This one was so much fun I’m pretty sure you’ll be seeing something similar here, soon.I didn’t use any sauce, as such, but I did brush the crust with garlic oil before laying the provolone on. Next layer was pastrami, then dill pickles, then the rest of the provolone we had on hand.The mustard was left off for the picture of the whole pie, I knew I wanted to use the bright yellow mustard on mine. Mrs J favors honey mustard.Enjoy!
This year, the margherita pizza celebrates its 125th birthday. One of the world’s favourite foods was reputedly invented at a pizzeria nowadays known as Brandi (00 39 081 416 928;brandi.it) at Salita Sant Anna Di Palazzo 1-2 in the city’s Chiaia neighbourhood. In 1889, its pizzaiolo, Raffaele Esposito, and his wife, Maria Giovanna Brandi, were summoned to the nearby Capodimonte palace and asked to invent a pizza for the then-queen, Margherita.
(Via)I’m sure this crust is much too thick for a purist. I started the dough yesterday with 2 cups of bread flour and then added water to equal 65% of the weight of those 2 cups. I used a handy electronic kitchen scale to weigh the flour but I don’t remember now what that came to. Anyway, multiplied that by .65 to get the weight of the water I wanted. Add a scant 1/4 tsp of yeast and a teaspoon of sugar to the liquid, plus a tablespoon of olive oil and stir into the flour. The dough was very wet so I only kneaded it a little and then plopped it into an oiled bowl and covered with plastic and a damp towel. It was left overnight to rise.I punched the dough down this morning and returned it to the bowl to continue proofing. Why the fuss with weighing the water and flour?
Hydration affects the process of bread building and the nature of the final result. Generally speaking, the more water in the dough, the more open the final bread’s crumb. Bread can also be classified according to three categories based on hydration: stiff, standard or rustic.
I rolled the dough out on a floured board and transferred it to my rimmed pan for baking, brushed the top with garlic oil, and distributed the toppings. This one got the traditional Margherita treatment with mozzarella and Roma tomatoes and went into a 500 oven until the crust and toppings got a nice color. Add the basil after the pie comes out of the oven or it will burn to a crisp.I like ground red pepper on my slices, along with fresh grated black pepper and salt. Drizzle more of the garlic oil over it and enjoy!
These may be my favorite pizzas. For today, anyway. I roasted three heads of garlic and squeezed them into the white sauce along with fresh grated pecorino. The dough used up 3-1/4 cups of bread flour so there was plenty for a 14″ pie. The edges puff up so that they are like soft pretzels, especially when they are brushed with butter and sprinkled with kosher salt. I rolled string style mozzarella into the edge to make it a cheese crust. I gave the crust five minutes in a 400 oven before I added the toppings. I’ve done it both ways, par-baked and not, and I have yet to decide which method works the best, my practice hasn’t really been rigorous enough and the time between pies is playing a role.I par-boiled the broccoli for a couple of minutes and cooled it in running water prior to assembling the pie, the chicken was sauteed to just barely done as well. The completed pie baked for about 12 minutes then finished under the broiler until it looked good enough. I like to see a little crust on the cheese topping and the edge should be browned nicely. Let the finished pie sit for a few minutes before slicing to give the cheese time to settle a bit.I have to wait to get my slice to the plate before I can add the red pepper flakes. I usually give it a grind of black pepper, too.
This one is a cheese stuffed crust pie with my own homemade Italian sausage. I added a caramelized sweet onion along with a few dried tomatoes atop a base of awesome sauce. Plenty of cheese over all of that.The cheese in the crust is a string style snack mozzarella blend. The cheese on top is a packaged “Italian blend” along with additional fresh mozzarella and grated Parmesan.I like to trick my platter out with garnishes and extra pepper flakes. These are marinated garlic stuffed olives along with a few baby kalamatas. The marinade is olive oil and red wine vinegar with rosemary and lemon peel and pinches of dried basil and oregano.Leftovers! I slide the extra slices around so they aren’t touching and place the whole thing into the freezer. In the morning I’ll pop them loose from the pan and seal them into freezer bags.
I tried out a half pint of the latest Awesome Sauce on this pie. I made sure to add plenty of garlic as it simmered down to a thick sauce. Mmm… Extra Awesome! This also has Italian sausage, fresh mozzarella, caramelized onions, and a generous handful of those dried cherry tomatoes. I hurried the crust, so the pie wasn’t perfect but Mrs J went back for another slice. I’m going to try this same recipe again, and start the dough a lot sooner! There are just enough of the dried tomatoes for one more.
We like the big crusts. This 14″ pie has 3-1/4 cups of flour in it. I rolled string mozzarella into the edge and sprinkled it with kosher salt after spritzing with olive oil.I’m calling this one a triple triple – it has three meats, three cheeses, and three veggies. Three veggies if you stretch the definition to include mushrooms. The other two are onions and olives Err, if you count olives. Gah! It has Italian sausage, ham, and pepperoni for the meats; mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan are the cheeses.
This is the classic pizza with just a tweak to the usual recipe – I added sliced mushrooms to the mozzarella, tomatoes, and fresh basil. The toppings sit atop a crust brushed with garlic infused olive oil, the basil is added after the pie comes out of the oven.I always sprinkle red pepper flakes and Parmesan on my pizzas and this one is no different. It also got the pink salt and fresh black pepper treatment. We classy, yo.
Doing a pizza in the Weber grill is going to take some more study. I can really crank the temps in there, I was hitting 550 degrees easily and I think 600 isn’t asking too much of it. Only thing is the dough has to be very thin and the topping relatively sparse for this to work. This one wasn’t made that way and by the time the toppings were done the bottom was a uniform black, like those high spots on the top side. I like plenty of toppings and a medium thick crust so the next pie is going in at a lower temperature. This one has sausage, onions, peppers, and mushrooms with Kraft Italian blend shredded cheeses over my awesome sauce. And yes, I ate it.
A good enough pie. Not an outstanding pie. I looked for black olives and discovered none in the cupboard so I went with green ones. The fresh pepper rings are more of those cute Mexican sweet peppers I stuffed a few days ago. The sausage is from my last and best run at Italian sausage.Standard crust: Flour enough for the pie, salt, sugar, yeast, olive oil, and water enough to form a dough. Everything was pretty much by eye. Using last summer’s Awesome Sauce from a jar put up in August. Looking forward to making more this summer, hoping a drought doesn’t strike us again.