We've attempted homemade pizza a handful of times in our house, but we can never seem to get the dough just right. That is until I remembered there was a recipe for pizza dough in the smitten kitchen cookbook, which is part of my ever-growing cookbook library. Deb actually has two recipes for pizza dough in her cookbook: "rushed" and "leisurely". We followed the "rushed" recipe since we didn't decide we wanted pizza until that evening.
As for the AMAZING combination of toppings, that was our very own creation, and an excellent one at that (yes, I just tooted my own horn). Tomas and I finished the pizza and we were still craving more. We used fresh artichokes, which were a little labor-intensive to prepare (boil and pull apart), so if you are not in the mood for that you can use artichokes from the can. But if artichokes are in season by you, it's worth while to use the fresh ones. That goes for the roasted pepper as well--- we bought a fresh pepper and roasted it over the stove, but you could also buy the pre-roasted peppers in the jar.
Let's get down to business!
Rushed Pizza Dough
(recipe from the smitten kitchen cookbook by Deb Perelman)
Yield: one 12-ounce dough, making 1 thin 12-inch round OR 9-by-13 inch loosely rectangular pizza. (We chose to make the pizza rectangular).
-1/2 cup warm water (about 110 to 116 degrees) *I had nothing to measure the temperature, and it turned out fine.
-1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
-1 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for counter
-1 teaspoon table salt
-Olive oil, for coating bowl
-Turn your oven on to warm (about 200 to 225 degrees) for 5 minutes; then turn it off.
(There are two ways to make the dough: by hand or by mixer. I made my dough by hand, so those are the directions I will include here.)
-Pour 1/2 cup warm water into a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water, and let it stand for 5 minutes. Add the flour, then salt, and mix with a wooden spoon until a rough, craggy mass forms. Turn dough and any loose bits out onto lightly floured counter, and knead for 5 minutes, or until a smooth, elastic dough forms.
-Coat inside of a mixing bowl with olive oil, place dough back in bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Place in previously warmed oven, and let it sit for 30 minutes, or until doubled. (It took my dough about 45 minutes to double in size).
-Remove dough from bowl and roll out on floured countertop.
|After, letting sit for 45 minutes|
Ingredients for finishing your pizza:
-Cornmeal, for sprinkling the bottom of the pizza pan
-Fresh or canned artichokes. If using fresh, you'll need 2-3 artichokes. If using canned, one can should be sufficient.
-1 red bell pepper or small jar of pre-roasted peppers
-Mozzarella cheese (about 100g-150g)
-Ricotta cheese (about 100g-150g)
-Juice of 1/2 a lemon
-Oregano, black pepper & red pepper flakes for seasoning
Directions for finishing your pizza:
-Heat: set oven to its highest temperature.(Our oven never reaches its highest temperature, but we cooked our pizza at about 300 degrees Celsius or 570 degrees Fahrenheit). While the oven is heating,you can prepare your fresh artichokes and fresh bell pepper.
-Artichokes: boil until soft (about 20- 25 minutes). You should be able to pierce through the stem with a fork. After removing from water, remove the stems and spiny inside of the artichoke.When you touch it you'll know why you are removing it. You don't want that part of the artichoke poking you in the throat while you are eating. The part of the artichoke that you will use is the "meat" of the artichoke which you will scrape from the insides of the leaves. Once collecting all of your "meat", chop coarsely and squeeze your juice from 1/2 a lemon on top. (The lemon juice does wonders for the flavor of the artichoke).
-Red bell pepper: Place over the flame on a gas stove, and rotate every so often so that all sides blacken. Once all sides of the pepper are blackened, remove from heat, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Once pepper is cool, you can gently peel off the charred skin and rinse. Then, chop in thin slices.
-Cornmeal: Sprinkle surface of pan and place rolled out pizza dough on top.
-Tomato sauce: Spread your sauce on the dough. You'll only need a few tablespoons as this pizza is supposed to be more cheesy/vegetable-y.
-Cheese: Add your cheeses. Put an equal mix of chopped mozzarella and dollops of ricotta throughout the pizza.
-Seasoning:Sprinkle some seasoning on top of the cheese.
-Artichokes, Roasted Pepper & Seasoning: Add your artichokes and then your roasted pepper. Top with a little bit more seasoning.
-Bake:Put your pizza in the oven and bake until the dough is golden & crispy, about 10 minutes (give or take).
-Enjoy every bite!
|juice of 1/2 a lemon|
|dollops of ricotta|
|red pepper flakes & oregano|
|artichokes, roasted red pepper & ground black pepper|
ready for the oven!