Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Pizza Porn

Two quick weeknight veggie pizzas! First, mixed veggie:
white veggie pizza

and second, mushroom and carmelized onion:
white mushroom pizza

Take your pick!

Both were made with a cheesy white sauce instead of a tomato based one. Basically, I made an extra thick, spreadable bechamel sauce and melted in a couple of handfulls of cheese, in this case white cheddar and parmesan. (If you wanna get all Frenchy, this is technically called sauce Mornay.) There's a recipe here for basic bechamel sauce if you need it. Double the flour at the beginning and add the cheese last. If it needs thinning out once the cheese is melted, whisk in a little more cream/milk/water. You're going for runny peanut butter consistency.

For the veggie pizza, I chopped up whatever I could dig out of the produce drawer: broccoli, thinly sliced summer squash and zucchini, carrot, shallot, fresh basil and roasted red pepper. The mushroom version was sliced baby ports, rosemary and a smattering of leftover carmelized onion. Both got lots of fresh chopped garlic and a sprinkling of mozzarella plus a finish of fresh chopped parsley and sea salt. Boy, who only tried the veggie version on account of his hatin' of mushrooms, proclaimed it "really good". I couldn't decide which one I liked better, so yea, really good and a welcome change from 'plain old' red sauce.

And speaking of pizza, things are on their way to going superdelicious in the pizza and bread category here at S.C. Check out what's up in our back yard over at Modern in MN.

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Comments:
Looks very yummy!!!
 
Good luck with the wood fired oven, it should be good for tandoori chicken and naan, too!

Care to share your pizza dough recipe? When you posted your McGriddle experiments, my first thought was "I would have gone for Punch Pizza dough". I haven't found a pizza dough recipe that I'm nuts about yet.

Speaking of pizza, Black Sheep Pizza on Washington has a good oyster mushroom pizza.

-- Stan
 
yo Stan!
my hairstylist *just* told me about Black Sheep place last week. Apparently their oven is coal fired. Can't wait to try it.

I've been using a recipe for dough that I concocted that has some whole wheat flour in it. It's based on one that I was always only sort of happy with that was all white flour, and I definitely like it better with my tweaks:

4C. white bread flour (hold back 1C. to start)
1C. whole wheat flour
2T. vital wheat gluten
2pkg. active dry yeast
1T. sugar
1T+ 1tsp sea salt
2 1/2C. warm water
1/4C. olive oil plus a drizzle for oiling the bowl

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water and oil and add to the dry ingredients. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 15 minutes in a stand mixer, then finish it up for a few minutes by hand). It's also a good idea to let the combined wet and dry stuff sit for 10 minutes or so before starting to knead. You're going for as wet/loose a dough as can be easily handled, so adjust the water/flour proportion as necessary. IME, the most common beginner dough mistake is to make the dough to dry/stiff which makes the end result not as good.
Let rise until doubled, then punch down and portion/use. Or, let rise in the fridge overnight or for up to a day or so for better flavor.
This is basically a double batch of dough and yields 8 individual-ish pizza sized dough blobs. I usually use a couple right away and then freeze the rest in separate, sandwich sized ziplock bags and thaw in the fridge or on the counter as needed. It also works great for foccacia for sandwiches, just shape and let rise for an hour or so before poking some dimples and drizzling on olive oil, herbs and salt.

The brand/type of flour you use makes a HUGE difference. I've always liked King Arthur bread flour best but it can be hard to find locally (trader joes sometimes has it). I order that and the vital wheat gluten from them online. I have seen the wheat gluten in the health food section of cub.

The wood fired oven community is flour (and tomato) geekery at its ultimate, and I suspect I'll have to get on that bus and experiment with the authentic Italian OO types at some point which means all bets will be off as to recipe and ingredients. I'll be happy if I can produce something that's at least as good as Punch but I'm secretly hoping I can get good enough for us to quit them all together :)
 
Hi Splatgirl. Is this still your go-recipe for pizza dough? I've tried quite a few, none seem to be just right, so I was going to give yours a try too. I have learned that the one day cold retard seems to be the best for me.

If this is still your best recipe, could you also tell me what happens with the 1 cup of flour that is held back?

Thanks. Kathy
 
Hi Kathy
Yep, it's still my go-to for indoor pizza--I just used it a couple of weeks ago for cast iron deep dish.
The cup of flour that you hold back should be added as needed to adjust the wetness of the dough.

Peter Reinhardt's Neo-Neopolitan dough is another good recipe to look for. (It's very similar to mine.) That said, I think pizza crust is one of those things that people have a very specific set of criteria for, and it's as much about handling and cooking as it is about recipe...
 
I did make it in the indoor oven last night and we really liked it (I used all the flour), at the end I said to self, oops..I think I was supposed to hold back 1 cup. I'll try it again without. But we really liked the taste better than any other we have tried.

I DO have a WFO oven, but I've been practicing indoors lately trying to find a great crust for the summer parties. Does this work well in the WFO oven, or do you use something else?

Thanks again - Kathy
 
My default WFO dough is sourdough--high hydration (like between 75 and 80%) and lean--basically purist Neopolitan style. I have never tried this recipe in the WFO, but as I said, it's similar to Peter Reinhardt's Neo-Neopolitan recipe which people say is great in the WFO.
I also prefer a 100% white flour dough for WFO. I do make one that is ~50% whole wheat and it's decent, but not as good as the all white flour version.
 
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