Now, THAT'S Amore !!!!!
Okay, okay. Maybe I'm a little over the top here. Last night on the way home from somewhere, the local Jazz station at the University was playing all Brat Pack stuff for a couple of hours. They played several by Dino and it has stuck in my head. I have been meaning to get this post written, as these pictures and pizzas were made on Thursday, Valentine's Day.
Our discussion group at the La Vista Ecological Center was having a vegetarian potluck, and I opted to make pizzas. Heart shaped pizzas. (One looked vaguely heart shaped. The other- HAH!) LOL, anyway, they turned out really good except that I didn't get any "out-of-the-oven" pictures because we were rushing off to the potluck and I waited until the very last minute to finish cooking them so they'd be hot or almost hot for supper.
I started these in the morning on Thursday, got the dough made and put them together and partially cooked them. Then I had to leave for Physical Therapy. I didn't get home til 5:30 and so I put them back in the oven and finished them off so we could leave at 6:15.
First, make the dough. I wanted to make a whole grain dough, which is a bit of a challenge when you like your pizza crust a little on the light and airy side.
Here's how it looks.
And here's how I made it :
3 cups white whole wheat flour, (Eagle Mills) plus more for kneading
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 1/2 teaspoons quick rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more to coat bowl
2 cup warm water
Add 3 cups of flour, yeast, salt and sugar to a deep
bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour in the water and olive oil. Stir with a
wooden spoon to combine—dough will be very wet and sticky. Add enough of
the remaining flour, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the dough is
tacky, but no longer wet. Sprinkle the rest of the flour on a clean
counter or board. Dump the dough onto the floured surface and knead in
the remaining flour. The dough will be very soft and smooth, but should
be not be tacky—add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time if you need to.
Lightly coat a bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl,
cover and set aside in a warm area. Let rise until doubled in volume.
This will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the
temperature in your kitchen. This is enough dough for 3 large pizzas. If you only want to make one, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and place in fridge or freezer for another time.
While the dough is rising, you can make your pizza sauce. You can use any number of sauces..home canned marinara is what I use. This time it was a carmelized onion and garlic marinara. You can use store bought pasta sauce if you want. Set it aside a minute.
Now, assemble your toppings. Once again, I went way overboard on these...but here are the toppings I had and used :
Thin sliced onion
Dried tomatoes, soaked in a little olive oil
Thinly sliced zucchini and yellow crookneck squash
Sliced black olives
Red and yellow bell peppers, sliced into rounds
Cheese: I used mozzarella, and shredded colby/jack and shredded parmesan and romano
Now----get your dough rolled out or patted out or however you like to do it. Using a small fork, stick a bunch of holes throughout the crust-this will keep it from bubbling up and making your toppings slid off into the pan! I made enough for 3-4 pizzas here--2 to take, and one for my son's supper. Happy Valentine's Day, man-child of my heart! lol
Next, using a spoon or a brush, divide your sauce amongst your crusts. Some people like a light sauce. My Irishman likes a lot of sauce. So, you do what you like best.
Now...assemble your pizzas !! A couple of thoughts (from my experience) --you want to put spinach and things that can scorch easily closer to the bottom and covered up with cheese. I put the squash down there too, so it would absorb more liquids as everything cooked. Mushrooms and onions near the top. I put the minced garlic under the mushrooms too, because it scorches easily, and you're going to be cooking this pizza at 500 degrees. Here's what mine looked like before going into the oven:
(oops--same picture as the top one)
I also shook a little extra parmesan on top and then crunbled a small handfull of my organic dried basil from my garden over the top of it all.
Place pizza stone on the center rack of your oven. Preheat to 500ºF.
Divide the dough into 2 equal balls. Place a lightly floured sheet of
parchment paper on top of a round pizza pan or the back of a baking
sheet. On the parchment paper, shape each into a 16-inch round, top as
desired. Slide pizza onto the pizza stone ( you can pull the parchment
out after the crust sets in about 2 to 3 minutes, or just leave it under there and let it cook right on it--it's easier to transport if you're taking it somewhere.). Bake until crust is golden, at least 15-20 minutes and maybe longer.
I think next time I won't put the sun dried tomatoes on top. They carmelized a little. Tasted REALLY good, but didn't look as great as I'd like. Or maybe soak them in the olive oil longer might help, because I really like them on top. Might have to make pizza again soon, so I can keep experimenting. lol
Pizza is a fun way to eat a lot of vegetables at a time. I don't like a lot of meats on pizzas, though I am partial to a hard salami with onions and mushrooms...mmmm. lol
Bon Apetit !
Sarah is hosting a Homemade Mondays bloghop. Check it out !!