RUSTIC PIZZA DOUGH (thin crust)

Who doesn’t love pizza? I personally don’t know anybody that doesn’t like it. For me it’s all about the crust. Don’t get me wrong, if you don’t have quality cheese and other toppings it’s not going to cut it. However, to paint a good picture, you need a good canvas. Don’t you agree?

Twice now,  we have been invited to friends and have had homemade pizzas. I sort of lost hope that I could ever duplicate a good crust.  But after the last invite I decided to give it another try. What you see here my friends is one of the best crusts I have ever had; including those fancy wood fired restaurants. I think I may have come up with the one that will make you stay home.

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There was another motive for this last attempt. We have a ton of tomatoes. As per usual, they all come off at the same time. My husband loves goat cheese pizza. PHILADELPIA, SHAKESPEARE, and GOAT CHEESE PIZZAS I like it too but there are other flavor sensations I also enjoy. My pizza was a ramp pesto, chopped calamata olives, and burrata. Hot off the grill and topped with fresh basil. Totally AMAZING!!!

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I cut my dough into 4 pieces because I wanted two larger pies. It worked out beautifully. I had two left over, so I froze one, and gave the other to my daughter. Mine was actually cooked on the grill. A thin crust with a major crunch factor and dough as light as air. I even impressed myself with this one.

If you’ve never worked with dough, don’t be intimidated. You really need to give this a try. Mine came out perfect the first time. I did have to add a little more water during the kneading process. I noticed some dry crumbs that weren’t mixing in. If you have to make additions do it sparingly and with patience. Using your Kitchen Aide is pure genius.

RUSTIC PIZZA DOUGH

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 C bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp French grey sea salt
  • 2 1/4 C cold water
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Olive Oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In the bowl of a Kitchen Aide mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix all the dry ingredients on low until incorporated.
  2. Switch to the dough hook, add the cold water and the honey. Mix on low for 10 minutes.
  3. The dough should be smooth and elastic, it should not stick to the bowl. If it sticks to the sides of the bow sprinkle a little more flour. If it is too dry and the dry ingredients are still not mixing in, add a little more water.
  4. After 10 minutes, remove the dough from the bowl and cut into 4 or 6 pieces and form into rounds. Place the rounds on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil on top of each round spreading gently with your hand over the top.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a cold oven with the door closed for 2 hours to rise.
  6. On a work surface sprinkle some flour and remove one piece of dough and flatten into a disc. Using your hands or a rolling-pin spread the dough out into a disc or oval 10-12 inches in diameter (if you cut the dough into 4 pieces your discs will have a larger surface area)
  7. Dust a pizza peel (you can also use some sturdy cardboard) with cornmeal and place your dough on top making sure it slides around easily.
  8. ON THE GRILL: pre-heat and oil you grill generously. Slide the dough from the peel onto the grill and lightly brown on both sides turning gently as it cooks. Remove and top with your favorite toppings. Be careful not to overload as this is a thin crust. Return to the grill and cook to desired doneness.
  9. IN THE OVEN: place a pizza stone in the oven and pre-heat the oven to the highest temp (most ovens will go 500-550. Slide the dough from the peel onto the stone and repeat the steps as for the grill. Finish by placing it under the broiler for a nice charred effect.

* After the dough has risen you can easily freeze it. Just place the dough into a lightly oiled Ziploc or plastic bag and place in the freezer. When ready to use remove it from the freezer and let it thaw overnight in your refrigerator.

* Cutting: I have recently been taught by two friends to use a pair of scissors when cutting my pies. It works really well. Give it a try!!!!

Original recipe found at: https://ciaoflorentina.com

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

 

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PHILADELPIA, SHAKESPEARE, and GOAT CHEESE PIZZAS

Our son Cameron, the consumate actor, lives in Philadelphia PA. We traveled there yesterday to see his play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. All I have to say is WOW!! We were blown away. If you are in the area stop by, cop a squat, and enjoy. They are perfoming in Liberty Lands Park and it’s free.

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Philadelphia, known as the birthplace of American democracy. It was named by William Penn. Philadephia is Greek for “brotherly love”. The first capitol of our nation, home of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the signing of the  Declaration  of Independence, the Eagles football team, the Flyers, and Boyz II Men. Philly is rich in history and the arts. A walk through the city is a breathtaking view of architecture at it’s finest.

It is also a haven for foodies with some of the best retaurants and chefs in the world. Did you know that Philly is famous for it’s cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, peeps, and Philadelphia cream cheese? It’s also home of the wing bowl, an eating competition that draws nearly 20,000 people. Who doesn’t love wings?

We had a fantastic meal at El Camino Real. Tacos and Margueritas all around for everybody. Very close to where our son lives and plays; in a very hip, up and coming neighborhood. Wahlburgers was directly across the street, sadly no sightings of Mark. I was hopeful!!!

You always look at your children and wonder if they are eating right and taking care of themselves. In an effort to ensure that, I told him I would start sending him some recipes that were easy. One of Cameron’s favorite meals has always been my goat cheese pizzas. Simple to make, light, few ingredients, and very tasty and filling. I figure that a starving actor can afford to make them too. I am posting this recipe in honor of him and his play. I hope you enjoy it too! By the way, Cameron is center stage in the red scarf!

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GOAT CHEESE PIZZAS

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil, 1/4 to 1/2 C
  • Garlic cloves, peeled, lightly smashed
  • Fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Goat cheese, 1 log
  • Naan or flatbreads, amount depends on number you want to make
  • Fresh Basil, coarsley chopped
  • Salt, pepper, crushed red peppers, to taste

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees, place rack to 2nd lowest position in your oven.
  2. Brush the naan or flatbreads with olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt on the crust to taste. Put on the rack in the oven and pre-bake for about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Remove crust from the oven and with the smashed garlic clove, rub it all over the crust while still warm.
  4. Layer the tomatoes in a single layer all over the crust.
  5. Top with goat cheese, the amount depends on how much you would like.
  6. Put back in the oven and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes until the crust is crisp and browned, less if you don’t like it crunchy.
  7. Remove and top with the chopped basil.
  8. Salt and pepper to your taste and add crushed red peppers if you like a little heat.
  9. Drizzle lightly with additional olive oil.
  10. Cut into servings and eat immediately.

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It’s just that easy. It makes a great, light, summer meal or quick appetizer for guests. It also helps with those bounty of tomatoes that are soon to come.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

 

 

 

Book Club & Vegie Pizza

It’s always fun to get together with my girlies. We have been a book group for about 4 years and friends, it seems, for years. I have to say, our reading efforts are terrible. We do however, enjoy a glass of wine or two, and laugh a lot. I think one of our most infamous get togethers was 50 Shades of Grey. Now, that was a discussion and many bottles of wine!!!

This is a collage of our crazy group!

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This month we are reading a classic, Treasure Island. The inspiration came from the recent TV series, Black Sails. If you haven’t seen it and get the opportunity I highly recommend it.

Everybody brings a bottle of wine and some food, to pass and share. I made a cold vegie pizza; it’s one of my fav’s. I have lightened it up so I can really enjoy it. It was a recipe originally taken from a pampered chef party that I went to many years ago. If you don’t want to lighten it up, by all means use full fat products. It feeds about 8 people easily and either way is quite tasty.

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WW VEGIE RANCH PIZZA

32 servings at 4SP per serving

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 C light mayonnaise
  • 1 (1oz) package powdered Ranch dressing mix
  • 2 (8oz) cans reduced fat Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1 C fresh broccoli, chopped
  • 1 C red pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely grated
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 C reduced fat (2%) shredded cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, yogurt, mayonnaise and Ranch dressing and beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  3. Remove crescent rolls from the cans, (I hate this part, those cans scare me when they pop..Haha).
  4. Roll out in one big piece onto a large cookie sheet that has either been greased or you can use a sil-pat (no added oils). Pinch the seams together as needed.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely.
  6. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the cooled crust.
  7. Top with the chopped vegies.
  8. Using a pizza cutter, or a large knife, cut into 32 squares.
  9. Serve immediately. (can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.)

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo