Lots of love out there for thin crust pizza but we really like these cheese crust pies with plenty of toppings. This one has sausage, prosciutto, onions, mushrooms, and pepper rings. We use the snack type string cheese to roll in the edges, it comes in various flavors and types but get the good stuff to be sure it melts nicely.I like to brush garlic infused olive oil on the crust edge and then give it a generous sprinkle of kosher salt.
I started the dough for this yesterday, 2 cups of bread flour, one cup water, 1/4t tsp yeast, a pinch of sugar and a dash of salt. It was pretty well inflated by noon, I dumped it into a pizza pan and massaged it into shape while the oven preheated to 425-ish. It par-baked for eight minutes and then I pulled it to furnish with toppings. I had some leftover roasted plum tomatoes that went on first in lieu of a sauce, sprinkled on shredded mozzarella, sparingly, and then piled on the meats. Italian sausage, already browned and drained, crispy bacon pieces, fried ham, and prosciutto that was tossed in the bacon grease to brown a bit.
Mrs J’s side got pickled
onion pepper rings, I added mushrooms and chopped ripe olives. I gave it another sprinkle of mozz and slid it back into the oven, it needed another ten minutes or so. It must have been better than usual because Mrs J went on and on about how good it was. I thought it one of my better efforts – she wasn’t just blowing smoke.
Mrs J likes ham and banana pepper rings on her pies. It’s a decent pie.I made the classic: Sausage, onion, and mushroom. I made a batch of Italian sausage from a new recipe this morning. I think it turned out great, much better than the last recipe I used. I stayed close to the recipe although I did add extra fennel and garlic, and splashed in a few tablespoons (per/lb) of red wine vinegar. I like that the recipe is for one pound of ground pork – it scales easily to whatever amount of pork you have. I used a pork shoulder that yielded 7-1/4 pounds of ground meat. I did add some extra fat that I picked up for just this purpose. I’m finding that the shoulders are too closely trimmed these days.
Mrs J saw mention of these on a cooking show the other day and was eager for me to do them in my fancy new smoker.These Romas spent about 2 hours in the smoker, maybe longer. The box temperature never got very high that I saw, about 150 – 175 but there was plenty of smoke from the cherry wood chips I placed into the smoke box, along with a sprig of fresh rosemary wrapped in foil with holes poked in the packet. I put the Romas directly on the wire rack in the smoker, halved and cored but with no salt or oil added. Mrs J sampled one and thought they were done enough – plenty of smoke flavor. I spread them out on the tray to cool. The skins pinched right off with no work at all.
I wasn’t sure what to do with them but Mrs J was ready with a suggestion: Pizza!We did individual pies on onion nan. This one has a little smear of awesome sauce, chopped smoked tomatoes, sausage, mozzarella, pickled pepper rings, and was garnished with fresh basil and a shake of “imported Parmesan with pizza seasonings” after coming out of the toaster oven.
Mrs J assembled her favorite toppings: Ham, pickled pepper rings, and mozzarella. We slid it onto a pizza stone in a 450 oven for five minutes, then turned the broiler on to toast the top. I gave it a spritz of olive oil to help brown the crust.It turned out pretty well. The crust was relatively thick, bread like on the outer edges.I used ham on mine as well as some tiny pepperoni and some hard salami. No veggies except for the cherry tomatoes in the sauce. It got a garnish of thin sliced fresh basil and some grated asiago to go with the red pepper flakes. These were good pies. Sauteed cherry tomatoes and fresh basil make a killer sauce. I like the thicker crusts, and so do the pups, all the more for them!