Tuesday, October 18, 2011

pizza project

I went a bit crazy last week with meal prep and the best thing I made was this pizza. For those of you who know me, homemade pizza was my college specialty. While others perfected jungle juice, I practiced making homemade dough. My favorite thing to do was to make gobs and gobs of pizza dough and have lots of people over to enjoy a variety of pizzas.

Since college however, I haven't done much cooking for others and I have YET to perfect my dough. So, in a burst of inspiration I got to work on another dough recipe I found, this one from the blog Shutterbean.  The best part of this dough? No kneading and very few steps in the rising process. Of all the dough I've made, this is the first one I didn't have to fight with to get it into shape. BINGO!

I altered the recipe a little by making it partially whole wheat. Toppings wise, I was inspired by some fall ingredients that are coming into season and settled on roasted fennel and butternut squash with caramelized onions and goat cheese. Tons of veggies disguised as deliciousness. Right up my alley.

First, the dough...

Super Simple Pizza Dough
(adapted from Shutterbean)

  • 2 cups whole wheat bread flour 
  • 1 3/4 cups white bread flour 
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast 
  • 3/4 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water 
  • EVOO for pan

  • Stir together 1/3 cup very warm water, yeast, and sugar. Allow yeast to sit for 15 minutes to activate (it should get foamy and double in size). Mix in flour and additional 1 cup of water while mixing with a olden spoon or your hands. I usually stat with the spoon and then use my hands once mixing becomes too difficult. 
Cover the dough and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours. You need a tight seal. I used a kitchen cloth and pan cover that fit my bowl, but plastic wrap is another good option.
Dump dough on cutting board; use a sprinkle of flour to prevent sticking. Cut in half to make two baking-sheet sized pizzas. I froze 1/2 but you could also put 1/2 in the fridge for use within 24 hours.

Roll out dough or manipulate with hands. I used a rolling pin since this recipe makes thin dough- it reduces holes. Oil baking sheet and add toppings. Bake at 500 degrees for 15 -25 minutes to desired doneness of crust. 
eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap :)

Roasted Butternut Squash and Fennel 

Toss small cubes of butternut squash and slices of fennel with EVOO, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees until soft and starting to brown. Put to side for pizza topping or use in salad.

Caramelized Onions
Heat 1 TBSP EVOO and 1 TBSP butter in pan. Add 1 sliced red onion to pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, dried rosemary, and red chili flakes. Cook until brown and soft, up to 1 hour on low. low and slow is KEY here.

Layer Toppings:
Caramelized Onions 
Fennel and Squash 
Goat Cheese

Pizza with Fennel, Squash, and Caramelized Onions with Goat Cheese

I've been noshing on this pizza for meals all week. It tastes great with a drizzle of balsamic or a splash of hot sauce. I'm a sauce girl when it comes to pizza usually so a little extra sauce is right up my alley. Extra goat cheese, another type of cheese, or fresh herbs would all be great additions too. Make this and impress someone- so easy!

Off to work. Good thing its less than a five minute commute!

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