I allowed myself two days for the dough process. Because I can. I made the dough the first afternoon, then found myself doing something else later on, so decided to ball it up, refrigerate, and chill. Both the dough and myself.
I've done it so many times, I can do it in my sleep.
You make dough until it feels right.
And I know. It looks downright shaggy at first. Don't worry.
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 package yeast
sprinkle of sugar over yeast
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Mix 1/2 cup water, yeast, and sugar and let the yeast proof. That means it's gotten all puffy and foamy and has "proved" it's alive by producing all those bubbles.
Add in remaining 1 cup warm water, forking it in. Add in 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, then 3 cups of flour, one cup at a time, incorporating.
Smooth and elastic.
Put it in an oiled bowl, roll it around, cover with plastic, and set in a warm to place rise.
Notice that pretty little bubble at the bottom!
That's the gluten network. Networking.
Roll up each ball loosely in plastic, then place in storage bags and refrigerate overnight.
And then I started a-thinkin'. And drinkin' coffee. And that can be a dangerous combination. Gotten me into trouble numerous times. But I put all that behind me and forged on ahead.
Let me cogitate on this pizza for a minute or two.
What do I want on this pizza?
I'm still thinking....
I took some of that, some of this, some of what was in the garden, some of what was in the fridge, and came up with Rosie's Pizza #651.
Remember I made 6 balls of pizza dough. I can individually freeze these for later, or I can come up with a different pizza each day for the next 5 days. That sounds like fun to me. And I already have the first one materializing right now in my mind! (It involves shrimp and fennel...)
But I digest...
Let's get back to what Mr. Hawthorne has now called my "Mediterranean Pizza," for reasons unknown.
I've never been to the Mediterranean.
Rosie's Mediterranean Pizza
1 8-10inch diameter fresh pizza dough, lightly risen
enough baby spinach leaves to cover the bottom of the pizza with a few torn kale leaves from the garden
a few small red peppers that come in the pack with the yellow and orange (I'm trying to help you here. We're going to roast the red peppers. The smaller ones in the assortment are much cheaper than the big sweet red bell peppers.)
Home-marinated artichoke hearts and sliced mushrooms
your favorite extra virgin olive oil, which now happens to be Porto Campo which I get from an "underground source" which shall remain unnamed.
reduced balsamic vinegar sauce
Start with the pizza dough and layer all items up to the olive oil.
Bake on a heated (for 30 minutes at 500°) pizza stone in a 500° oven for 9 minutes.
Plate and drizzle the balsamic sauce artistically around the pizza.
Now, there are only two things that you need to do ahead of time and I did both the night before::
1) marinate the artichoke hearts and sliced mushrooms
2) reduce the balsamic vinegar into a nice syrupy sauce.
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp kosher salt
1 TB fresh oregano
1 TB fresh thyme
2 TB fresh parsley
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 dried bay leaves
1 TB peppercorns
2 large garlic cloves, smashed and slice
1/4 Bertolli Extra Light Olive Oil
can of artichokes hearts
1 lemon, juice and zest
Mix all and bring to boil.
Add in the hearts, cook at a simmer for 10 minutes.
Add in lemon juice and zest.
Pour into a quart jar and refrigerate.
The next morning, I sliced a bunch of mushrooms and topped the jar off. Swirl around!
Reduced Balsamic Vinegar Sauce
I poured about a cup of balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan and added about a 1/4 cup brown sugar. Stir to dissolve and heat over very low heat until reduced by half or more. Use a skewer to mark the level. I ALWAYS set the sauce pan in an iron pan over lowlowlow heat to dissipate the heat. Reduced can go to burnt just real quick, you know?
Roasted pepper and sautéed pancetta bits.
Start working on the dough.
Press it out.
Let it rest and breathe.
Press out some more.
Don't rush the dough.
spinach and kale
marinated mushrooms and artichoke hearts
roasted red peppers
reduced balsamic vinegar
Dough is ready.
Spinach and kale and roasted red pepper strips.
Marinated mushrooms and artichoke hearts.
Pancetta and arils.
450° oven for about 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Serve pizza on an insanely busy plate
which you found at the recycling center
and messily drizzle the reduced balsamic vinegar around.
Enjoy my "Mediterranean" Delight Pizza!