Monday, June 27, 2011

Rosie Makes A Long Overdue Pizza.

I love a good pizza.
And it's been a while since I've gotten down and dirty and made pizza. It's good to be back in the saddle. Plus, Ticky's coming for a short visit and Ticky needs pizza. Making pizza from scratch is a relaxing exercise for me. I love working the dough and feeling it. And I love all the options I have. I can make this pizza anything I want. Today, I want a pesto pizza.
First, the dough. I am going to make this as painless and simple and easy for you as I possibly can since I want to inspire someone-anyone- to make their very own pizza. From scratch. Most people are scared of making dough. It's yeast, flour, water. That should not be intimidating. For you newbies out there, Rosie will hold your hand and walk you through it. Step by step.
First, assemble your ingredients. You will need: bread flour 1 packet of yeast 1/2 cup warm water 1 egg freshly ground salt and pepper ELBOO (That's Extra Light Bertolli Olive Oil!) bunch of fresh basil
The first thing you want to do is prepare the yeast mixture. Add in a yeast packet to a 1/2 cup warm water. Sprinkle a scant tablespoon of sugar over top. Stir to dissolve. You want to let the yeast "proof." That's how you determine if the yeast is active. You add the sugar so the yeast has a little something to nosh on. And you wait.
You wait until the yeast mixture is poofy and bubbly and foamy.
When it looks like this, you're ready to continue. And here's a Rosie Tip #841: Never add salt to this mixture. Salt will kill the yeast at this point.
I like to sometimes add an egg. Now, for the addition of the bread flour. How much? All I can say is, "It depends." "Depends upon what," you ask? Well, the yeast and flour ratio thingie is a variable. That's why people are scared of making bread. They don't know how much flour to add. And that's because they don't listen to the dough. Always listen to your dough. And in this case, you listen with your hands. For now, listen to Rosie. My advice for you is to take it slow when adding the flour. Let Mama show you how. Step by step. When making a dough, one must add the flour into the mixture a small amount at a time.
First add 1/2 cup bread flour to the yeast mixture.
Incorporate with fork until you have no lumps of flour.
Add in a second 1/2 cup bread flour.
Fork it until you have a sticky dome. Remember to scrape the edge of the bowl.
Add in some freshly ground salt and pepper.
Next, I made a chiffonade of basil. A chiffonade is a technique of cutting. I stacked 5 large basil leaves, rolled them up tightly, and thinly sliced them horizontally so I get skinny ribbons. I did the chiffonade because it's fun. Then I chopped it up because that's what I wanted for my dough. Chopped basil into my dough.
After one cup of flour, this is what the dough looks like.
I slowed down and added about 1/4 cup of flour to the dough. Turn dough out on lightly floured surface and start kneading.
When you have a nice cohesive ball of dough, make a depression and add about a tablespoon of ELBOO. (Extra Light Bertolli Olive Oil)
Work in the oil. Knead some more until you have a nice smooth elastic piece of dough. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic. Rosie Tip #599: For faster rising, wet a kitchen towel and nuke for about 90 seconds. Wrap the bowl in the hot towel and place in a turned off microwave or oven to rise. While my dough was rising, I prepared some of the toppings.
4 tomatillos 4 garlic cloves 1 onion
I have tomatillos from my garden! We bought some tomatillos from the Teeter back in January and planted the seeds. The tomatillos are producing quite nicely now. We'll be canning salsa verde soon. Plus I need to come up with some tomatillo recipes. I'm open for suggestions.
Dehusk, rinse, and slice the tomatillos. Slice the garlic and the onion. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle some ELBOO over top along with freshly ground salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees about 8 minutes, turn slices over and bake another 8 minutes.
Let the dough rise until it's doubled in size. This is my favorite part. The punch down. Flour your knuckles and throw a punch.
I'm using the pizza paddle Ticky gave us. Sprinkle with corn meal or semolina flour - something granular so the pizza dough will slide off when you go to put it on the pizza stone heating up in your 425 degree oven.
Rosie was feeling a bit frisky (A chef's jacket will do that to you.) so she tried a few spins.
Thanks to Ticky for taking the pics.
Starting in the center of the dough, push out with the heel of your hand. Take your time. Let the dough rest every now and then, then come back to it and start pressing out again.
Sometimes I add a little ELBOO over top. This helps in spreading out the pizza pie.
Mr. Hawthorne made his very own basil pesto all by himself - basil leaves pecans ELBOO Parmesan s & p
Spread the pesto evenly over the dough.
Provolone cheese going on.
Next some grated Mozzarella.
Baked tomatillo, sliced onion, and garlic. Green peppers from the garden, tomato slices, and black olives.
More Mozzarella.
Sprinkle some chiffonaded basil over top.
Pizza going in.
425 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Until the cheese is nicely browned. Pizza coming out.
Crispy crust. Fresh flavors. Pesto! Nothing like a homemade pizza.

1 comment:

Sage Trifle said...

That is a beautiful and delicious sounding pizza.