Pizza

Traditional Crust

 

approx. 1 1/2 cups bread flour

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 tsp dry active yeast

pinch of salt

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp fine cornmeal

 

Making the dough:

 

This recipe calls for yeast and time for dough to rise, so prepare it the night before you want to eat pizza. You can buy a quick-rise yeast if you want to make it the day of, but a traditional overnight yeast will be tastier.

 

1. Mix together warm water and yeast in a small bowl. 

2. Start with about 1 1/4 cup flour in a large bowl and add wet mixture and salt. Mix with your hands and add remaining flour until dough isn't sticky anymore. 

3. Gather dough into a ball and place on a counterop dusted with flour. Knead the dough by using your palm to roll the dough away from you, turn it 90 degrees, fold it back together and push away with your palm again. Repeat until dough is as smooth as a baby's bottom!

4. Oil large bowl and place dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and set aside overnight (or refrigerate if you're making it 2 days in advance). If the dough rises substantially overnight, punch it down and let it rise again.

 

Rolling out the dough:

 

1. When you're ready to bake, clean off a flat surface and dust with flour. Cut dough into 2-4 sections, depending on how big you want your pizzas. This recipe feeds 2-3 people and can make 4 very small, 2 personal or 1 large-ish pizza.

2. Flatten out the dough with your palm and punch out any air bubbles with your fingertips.

3. To shape the crust, use a rolling pin and roll from the center towards the outer edges. If you want to be fancy throw it in the air a couple times. Make sure to roll dough on the thinner side, as it will draw itself back in while you're putting on toppings (especially if you like thin crust pizza).

4. Sprinkle pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal. If you're using a pizza stone, make sure you've preheated it in the oven and keep it hot throughout the cooking process. Place pizzas onto stone/sheet. Spread sauce and layer on toppings, then bake until the crust is stiff when you try to lift up one side.

 

 

Pizza tips:

 

-If there's no expiry date on your yeast and you're wondering whether it's still good, mix some yeast with water and a bit of sugar and see if it bubbles. If it doesn't, it's inactive.

-When putting on toppings, layer leafy greens like basil below other toppings so they don't burn in the oven

-Tell your friends to bring a topping and have a pizza party! Then try different topping combos and pick your favourite.

Cauliflower Crust

 

1 large cauliflower head

2 eggs (vegan: 2 tbsp flax or chia seed + 6 tbsp water)

1 tbsp coconut or brown rice flour

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 garlic glove, minced

herbs, salt, pepper

 

Chop cauliflower into small pieces and puree in food processor. Use a cheesecloth or nut milk bag to squeeze out the water. You can saute the cauliflower on low heat to draw even more water out.

Mix cauliflower with remaining ingredients and shape into pizzas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden brown and firm. Add toppings and bake again until veggies are cooked.

 

Result: A little time consuming, but delicious as a gluten-free alternative! If you are not vegan I highly recommend using eggs as you can make a thinner crust and actually pick the pizza up up to eat.

 

Online recipe

Buckwheat Crust

 

2 cups buckwheat flour

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tbsp agave nectar (or other sweetener)

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1-1 1/2 cups hot water

salt, pepper, herbs

 

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl. Add wet to dry and mix well. Add more water if needed. Place dough onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten dough out with wet fingers or a rolling pin. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Add toppings and bake again until veggies are cooked.


Result: Very dense and nutty, makes for an interesting crust, especially for dessert pizza. Since it is denser and holds together well, I'd suggest rolling it out on the thin side. 

 

Online recipe

Classic Tomato Sauce

 

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

2 16 oz. cans quality Italian tomatoes (look for no added salt or acid; San Marzano is a good brand)

4 tbsp (or 1 small can) quality tomato paste

basil leaves, torn

olive oil, salt


Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until softened. Add paste and cook gently for 3-4 minutes. Deseed canned tomatoes using a food mill directly into the pot (if you leave seeds in, the sauce will become bitter). Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season and stir in basil and olive oil.

Dessert Pizza?!

 

Yep we did it, we're crazy, and it was flippin' amazing. It worked well with the traditional crust and buckwheat crust (although nix the nutritional yeast for dessert). Here's all the different toppings we tried in our mad science experiment:

 

coconut peanut butter

pear, peach, plum, apple, dates

ricotta, brie, fig goat cheese

Lindt chocolate with orange peel, chocolate truffles!


Someone even made a pizza with plums, peaches and tomato sauce. Tasted like a great sweet savory pizza pie to me! What else can go on a dessert pizza? Nutella, dried coconut, berries, raisins, nuts, jam, the sky's the limit!!

 

Result: Experimentation with your friends is fantastic and can exceed your wildest expectations.

©2018 by The Food Connection. All rights reserved.

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