Sunday, March 16, 2008

friday night pizza

I recently finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and I have firmly decided to institute my own Friday night pizza regimen. This week we tried it out. Her recipe for pizza dough is tasty, healthy, and easy. And, paired with some good house wine, you have a standard dinner to prepare with little thinking ahead, but lots of fun and variation. Hoping that eventually its the sort of thing kids remember and friends know they always have a plan for Friday evening.

I'm dairy free (except for some goat and sheep's milk cheeses) so my half of Friday's pizza was topped with zucchini, spinach, and roasted butternut squash (leftover from the previous night's dinner). I also used my new baking stone which produced a great crust. We are planning a garden now and thinking ahead for pizza topping veggies! Enjoy.

From the book:

FRIDAY NIGHT PIZZA (Makes two 12-inch pizzas)
3 tsp. yeast
1½ cups WARM water
3 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2½ cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour

To make crust, dissolve the yeast into the warm water and add oil and salt to that mixture. Mix the flours and knead them into the liquid mixture. Let dough rise for 30 to 40 minutes.

1 cup sliced onions 2 peppers, cut up

While the dough is rising, prepare the sliced onions: a slow sauté to caramelize
their sugars makes fresh onions into an amazing vegetable. First sizzle them on
medium heat in a little olive oil, until transparent but not browned. Then turn down the burner, add a bit of water if necessary to keep them from browning, and let them cook ten to fifteen minutes more, until they are glossy and sweet. Peppers can benefit from a similar treatment.

Once the dough has risen, divide it in half and roll out two round 12 inch pizza crusts on a clean, floured countertop, using your fingers to roll the perimeter into on outer crust as thick as you like. Using spatulas, slide the crusts onto well floured pans or baking stones and spread toppings.

16 oz. mozzarella, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh tomatoes in season (or sauce in winter) Other toppings
1 tbs. oregano
1 tsp. rosemary
Olive oil

Layer the cheese evenly over the crust, then scatter the toppings of the week on your pizza, finishing with the spices. If you use tomato sauce (rather than fresh tomatoes), spread that over crust first, then the cheese, then other toppings. Bake pizzas at 425° for about 15-20 minutes, until crust is brown and crisp.

Some of our favorite combinations for summer are:
Mozzarella, fresh tomato slices and fresh basil, drizzled with olive oil
Mozzarella, chopped tomatoes, caramelized onions, mushrooms
Chopped tomatoes, crumbled feta, finely chopped spinach or chard, black olives

Good winter combinations include:
Farmer cheese, chicken, olives and mushrooms
Tomato sauce, mozzarella, dried peppers, mushrooms, and anchovies

1 comment:

Patti said...

You probably don't remember the Schum/Welch Friday pizza dinners with whole wheat were from the ages birth to 2 when we did it each week. Continue on!