Monday, November 2, 2015

Pizza Guest post by HB

Saturday Night Pizza
Almost every Saturday night for over 30 years Susan and I have been making pizza!  It is one of the many bonds between us.  Over the years we have made many changes to try and perfect the pizza, but it will always be a work in process.    This is my first contribution to P & P so I decided to share one of our recipes with you and pass on some of our ideas about what a homemade pizza great!
“Ginger Pepper and Mushroom Pizza with Roasted Tomato and Garlic Sauce”
One of the most important parts of any recipes is to start with fresh ingredients.
Red and orange peppers
Fresh Mozzarella cheese (the soft white one)
Roma tomatoes
Garlic and ginger root
Organic flour
The dough for 1 pizza!  It is essential to make your own dough and it is easy. Start with organic hard white flour and ½ tsp salt well mixed.  Mix ½ tsp of Dry Active Yeast (not the quick active kind as more time always makes a better dough  and hence a crust which is both for flavourful and crispy), with 2/3 cups spring water, ½ tsp sugar and ½ tbsp. of olive oil. 
 Mix the wet into the dry until a wet ball is formed.  Now comes a very important step when it comes to a fabulous crust; Kneading!  This sticky mass needs to be kneaded for 7 to 10 minutes at a minimum in order to develop the dough and make it strong and elastic.  Resist adding a lot of flour if it starts out really sticky, rather use a dough scraper and occasionally coat your hands with some flour.  After 3 to 5 minutes the sticky mass will start to form a ball and by the end of kneading it will be a smooth slightly sticky ball that will push back when poked and spring back when pulled and let go.  It will only take a few tries before this becomes easy.  Just out any online videos on kneading techniques.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl covered in plastic wrap and place the bowl in a place with a steady temperature between 74F and 80F.  Temperature is also critical so take the time to measure your location.  I use the oven with the door open and the light on as it sits at 77F.    It typically takes 2 hours to rise once to double the size.  What is important is not the time rather that it doubles in size.
First roast 4 sliced Roma tomatoes (1/4” min) and all of the cloves from a whole garlic head on a baking sheet coated with olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, fennel seeds, pinch of cumin, and chili powder on each tomato slice.  425F for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool when done.
Next fry the sliced mushrooms and peppers in a small amount of olive oil to drive off the water in them and caramelize their exteriors.  Once done set them aside to cool.  Once cooled add 1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger to the vegetables.
Take the fresh mozzarella out of the fridge and let it come to room temp.
The Pizza

When the dough has risen, gently push down the center and pull it from the sides of the bowl.  On a lightly floured surface briefly knead the dough and form it into a tight ball.  Cover with a bowl and leave for 30 minutes minimum.
Get the oven ready by setting the rack near the bottom and place a pizza stone on the rack.  Set the oven to 480F.  The stone and oven need at least 20 minutes before the pizza is placed on it.
Roll out the dough to roughly 14” diameter and place on parchment paper either on a pizza paddle or the bottom side of a baking sheet.  Cover the surface with plastic wrap and then place a light cotton dish towel over that.  The dough needs at least 15 minutes resting before any toppings
 are added in order to let the dough start to rise again which ensures a light crisp crust.
Once the oven and pizza dough has had enough time then put on the toppings.  Start with the roasted tomato slices and garlic.  Then rip up the cheese in blobs and place evenly on top leaving a space of ½” of uncovered dough at the edge.  Finally add the peppers and mushrooms on top.
Use the paddle or baking sheet to slide the pizza on the parchment paper onto to the stone.    Bake for 3 minutes then open the oven and pull the paper out from under the pizza.  Continue to bake for roughly another 14 minutes.  Depending on the oven it could be a little more or less time so look for the bottom crust to be brown.   Place the pizza on a wooden board to rest for 2 minutes before slicing.




steph said...

yummy!!!! thanks for sharing your recipe!

karen said...

We eat pizza at LEAST once a week, it's an addiction :)

Bernideen said...

I have everything out today to make pizza. Your's looks lovely!