Monday, June 27, 2011

Now Try Gourmet Pizza! - Recipe

This is how I've been making my pizza dough for years now.  We like to make them as individual pizzas.  In our home I keep a bag of freshly made pizza shells in the cupboard so we can have pizza for dinner any time we are in the mood.

If you follow the instructions for the no-knead bread I gave before, you'll see how easy it is to make in a solar oven. When the power is out, you can still have pizza! 

This is step by step pictures and instructions from "Heart to Heart with Diane", she is in northern Utah and you home schoolers probably know her.

I’m on a jag, for sure.  This no-knead bread-making has me experimenting all over the place, to my family’s delight!
Now try pizza! It is gourmet tasting, cooks in about 7 minutes, and rivals any restaurant pizza I have ever tasted . . .  at a tiny fraction of the cost! And the big bonus is that it is 100% whole grain, fat-free dough that turns out crisp and bubbly!  YUM!
Here’s how:
#1 Cut off a piece of parchment paper the size of your pizza stone (or other cooking surface). Lay it on top of a rigid surface, like a cookie sheet without sides.
#2 Using my whole grain No Knead Artisan Bread recipe (after the initial 2 or more hour rising period), simply spread and stretch an orange-sized ball of dough onto a piece of parchment paper, until it is about 1/2″ thick.  It will be sticky and adhere to the parchment paper like glue.  Add flour to your hands and to the dough as necessary to pull it thin.
#3 Preheat oven to 550 degrees (or 500 if that is as high as your oven will go).  Put your pizza stone or cast iron griddle or upside-down Dutch oven lid into the oven when you turn it on, along with a metal pan filled with 2 cups of water.  Set the timer to 20 minutes.
#4 Spread sauce on top of your stretched dough.  You may use grocery store pizza or spaghetti sauce.  Or use my recipe:

Gourmet Pizza Sauce

  • canned crushed tomatoes—about 1 (15 ounce) can per pizza
  • tomato paste—about 3 tablespoons per pizza
  • basil, chopped fresh or dried basil (about 1 teaspoon per pizza)
  • minced garlic or garlic powder (about 1/4 teaspoon per pizza)
  • Optional: a few spoonfuls of  “V-8 Powder” makes a richer, more nutritious sauce
Stir together ingredients, bringing to a simmer in a saucepan.  Simmer for 5 minutes.
Easy Method: If you’re in a hurry, like I usually am, just spread the crushed tomatoes directly onto the dough, sprinkle with basil and garlic (and V-8 Powder) and then spread it around with a spatula or spoon to incorporate the spices into the sauce. (I’ve omitted the tomato paste.)
#5 Add toppings:
  • cheese!  mozzarella, jack, pepper jack, cheddar, feta, etc.
  • artichoke hearts (my favorite!)
  • red or white onions
  • green onions
  • olives, black or kalamata olives
  • red, yellow or green bell pepper
  • pineapple
  • mushrooms
  • broccoli
  • zucchini
  • yellow squash
  • dried tomatoes
  • fresh tomatoes
  • roasted garlic
  • eggplant (slice very thin or pre-cook)
  • meat: pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, grilled chicken, BBQ chicken, ham, bacon, fish, shrimp, proscuitto, etc.
  • fresh spinach leaves (put these under the cheese or other ingredients so they don’t get burnt and crispy)
  • fresh basil leaves (treat same as spinach)
#6 Prep time takes about 15 minutes—putting the toppings on—more or less, depending on how many eager little hands are helping.  When the oven is preheated, it is time to slide the pizza plus parchment paper onto the really hot pizza stone (or other cooking surface).  Open the oven, quickly slide the pizza (and parchment paper) off the cookie sheet (or other rigid surface) onto the stone and shut the oven door.
#7 Check your pizza (through the oven window—don’t open the oven and let your steam escape!) I was stunned that the pizza was cooked to perfection in about 7-9 minutes!  That hot oven really speeds up cooking time.  I barely had time to set the table!
That’s it!  So easy!

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