Best Pizza Parlour? The Savvy Kitchen!

23 Sep

My week went a little haywire after the big turkey dinner, so much so that I was sent to the freezer to haul out some homemade soups and rustle up some Saltines from the cupboard.

  Let’s just say that cheesy pizza wasn’t high on my list of desired foodstuffs. So I shall tantalize you this evening with some photos of past pies fresh from my very own oven as well as supply my go-to recipe for home-made pizza dough. This one I have adapted from my mother’s food processor pizza dough recipe — which is virtually no-knead — and a Honey Whole Wheat dough I found elsewhere.

If you don’t have a food processor, buy some frozen pizza dough from the supermarket or one that is pre-made. In a pinch, a Naan bread or Greek pita can stand in for your base. The food processor I own is a hand-me-down, one of the original ones with quite a small bowl. It lacks the very handy grating blade, but came with the plastic blade which is the one I use for making this dough.                                                                 

The recipe indicates it makes 2 – 12″ pie crusts. As a savvy Single, divide this recipe into 4 balls which are sufficient to fit a personal-sized pizza pan (a piece of equipment that was difficult to find, btw). No special pizza pan? Consider using a pie plate, a round cake pan or even a rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper. If you have a bread/pizza/cookie stone use it.

Until you get the hang of yeast, use an instant read thermometer to achieve the proper temperature for the 2 separate warm water amounts used in the reccipe.

Honey Whole Wheat Food Processor Pizza Dough
 — A Savvy Basic —

1.    Place 1/4 cup water water (105 – 115°F) into a small bowl or measuring cup. Sprinkle over top 1 — package Dry Yeast (e.g. Fleischmann’s Traditional). Stir in and allow the yeast water to sit for 8 — 10 minutes.

2.    Fit the plastic blade into the food processor. Measure into the bowl:

                  2 cups          soft ground whole wheat flour
                  3/4 cup       white all purpose flour
                  1 tsp             salt

3.    Process these dry ingredients for 6 seconds. Add the yeasty water through the processor tube and process for 6 seconds more.

4.    With the processor running, run the following ingredients (which I mix together in a measuring cup) through the tube:

             1 cup             warm water (105 – 115°F)
                1 Tbsp           Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
                1 Tbsp           Liquid honey  

until a ball starts to form around the blade (which occurs very quickly). Process another 30 – 40 seconds, adding more water to the flour until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough gets a sheen to it when it achieves this state.

5.    Remove dough from the processor bowl. Divide into 4 equal-sized balls. Lightly dust your work surface with flour and dust your hands as well. Using the heel of one hand, knead dough, about 6 – 8 times, giving the dough a quarter turn each time. The idea is to just get some of the air out of each section of dough, until you can roll a smooth shiny ball.

Frozen dough balls, thaw as needed in refrigerator for the day.

    [At this stage, the Savvy Single will tightly wrap each of the four dough balls in plastic wrap and then deposit the wrapped balls into a large-size re-sealable freezer bag. When pizza is on the menu, remove a ball from the freezer early in the day. Spray the inside of a small bowl, drop the frozen ball into it and cover loosely with plastic wrap and set the bowl in the fridge for the day to defrost. When it is time to prepare supper if the dough in the refrigerator appears to have increased in size, you may need to repeat the kneading a few times to work out the air. When you are kneading hard enough you will heard little air bursts (or ‘toots’) being released.]

6.    Using your finger tips or a rolling pin, shape your dough ball into an 8″ circle, creating a thicker rim around the circumference to form a ‘crust’.

7.    Set an oven rack so it sits at the bottom 1/3 of the space. Preheat the oven to 450°F. I will cut a circle of parchment to fit the base of my pizza pan or I will lightly oil the pan.

8.    Place the prepared dough circle on the pizza pan and set near the warming oven to rise for 10 – 15 minutes. This gives you time to prepare your pizza sauce and toppings. When you are ready to dress the pizza, brush the dough surface with olive oil.

9.    See the ‘formula’ for dressing your pizza, below.

10.    Bake your pizza in the bottom 1/3 of your oven for 20 -30 minutes until the crust is a crispy as you like it and the cheese top layer of cheese is melted and browning/bubbling.

11.    Let the pizza rest for 5 – 10 minutes (to avoid burning your tongue) before you slice and serve!

Dressing A Standard 8″ Pizza

                 1/4 – 3/8 cup               tomato pizza sauce
                 1 cup                              shredded cheese, usually mozzarella
                 1 cup total                    toppings (like meat, vegetables, herbs)

Spread the sauce on your circle of dough (which has been brushed lightly with EVOO). The back of large spoon works well for this. Cover the sauce with half (½ cup) cheese. Arrange your toppings over this, with an eye to making it pretty. If using fresh herbs, such as basil, place them on the top of all your add-ons. Finish the pizza by

Let your glorious pie rest a bit so you don’t burn your tongue!

sprinkling the remaining ½ cup of cheese to create you top layer. When I use goat cheese or Bocconcini or Feta on the top layer, I still use ½ cup shredded mozz for the layer above the pizza sauce but not any mozz on the top layer.

Once you get the hang of creating your own pizza, you can adjust the standard dressing to your own tastes. More sauce? Less cheese? Thinner crust? Liking dressing for a date, the options are endless and potentially anxiety-inducing!

Buon Appetito!

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2 Responses to “Best Pizza Parlour? The Savvy Kitchen!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Planning Day — 23 September 2012 « Savvy Single Suppers - September 23, 2012

    […] plan to make a Pizza one evening, perhaps using some goat cheese and based on my recipe for Honey Whole Wheat Food Processor Pizza Dough. Will need to remember to take the dough out of the freezer the night before or early in the […]

  2. It’s Saturday Night How to Dress for your date . . . . . . with a Pizza! « Savvy Single Suppers - October 1, 2012

    […] Saturday night’s supper started with one of the frozen dough balls from last week’s batch of Honey Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. […]

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