Artichokes and Olives

The pizza dough recipe I shared earlier was enough for two pizzas.  R and I decided to get a little creative with the second pizza and opted for a few extra veggies.

I am a big olive fan, especially kalamata olives.  I think it’s the sweet, rich flavor that has a hint of saltiness and the tender texture they get when cooked.  Artichokes sounded like a great pair for these olives, with a little bit of feta cheese to add some bite to the pizza.

This hit the spot on a hot summer evening.  Filling and with a fresh, light taste it’s a great summer pizza.  Pair it with a nice glass of wine or summer ale, kick back and enjoy!


Homemade Pizza

Sorry I’ve been MIA for over a week.  A little thing called tech week happened.  And I had to tell my kitchen “I can’t.  It’s tech.”

For those of you non-theatre folk out there tech is short for technical performance.  It’s the time when all the elements come together.  The actors get on stage, lights and sound cues are written, set changes are fine tuned.  In many theatres this process only lasts a week or less.  “I can’t. It’s tech.” is an understood excuse for almost anything when you work in theatre.

So apologize for the lack of posting.  Homemade pizza is my apologetic offering.

The dough is soft and chewy.  Topped with creamy mozzarella and spicy tomato sauce.  Make one with someone you love, or someone you want to impress.  Even if you don’t get it quite right there’s something about homemade pizza that’s better than any delivery or frozen recipe.

Oh and spring for real mozzarella cheese, trust me on this one.

Pizza Dough

1 1/2 cups warm water (105°F-115°F)*
2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar

*If the temperature of the water is below 105°F the yeast won’t activate, hotter than 115°F and the yeast will be killed.

In a small bowl mix the yeast and the warm water.  Let sit at least 5 minutes, you’ll see bubbles forming.  In a large bowl mix flour, olive oil, salt, sugar and water/yeast mixture.  Turn out onto a well floured surface and kneed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Let sit in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.

At this point extra dough can be frozen.

Remove plastic wrap and punch dough down.  Divide dough into 2 balls.  Place each in it’s own bowl, cover, let rest 10 minutes.  Turn dough out onto well floured surface.  With lightly oiled hands, start at the center working outwards, flatten the dough down to 1/2 inch.  Stretch dough.  Let relax 5 mintues. Stretch dough.  Repeat relaxing and stretching until pizza dough is 10-12 inches in diameter.  Sprinkle baking sheet with cornmeal and transfer dough.  Top with sauce and toppings.  Bake in a 450°F oven for 10-15 minutes or until dough is browned and cheese is golden.  Enjoy!

Gorgonzola & Pear Pizza

Gorgonzola and pears make a wonderful combination, creamy and naturally sweet with a taste that lingers on the tongue.  I’ve had it many times on or in pasta, but wondered how it would work as a pizza.  Pizza is a comfort food for me; easy, delicious and satisfies both a crispy and creamy craving.

Gorgonzola & Pear Pizza

16oz Frozen Pizza Dough
1 Bosc Pear (thinly sliced)
2 1/2 oz Gorgonzola Cheese
6oz Thin Sliced Provolone Cheese
Sweet Italian Sausage (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Roll out the pizza dough onto a lightly greased pan.  Cover pizza dough with provolone, lightly overlapping the edges of pieces.  Spiral the pear slices with the top in the center.  If using sausage break into small pieces and sprinkle over pears.  Sprinkle the Gorgonzola cheese on top of everything, not too close to the edges of the dough.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and the outside crust is golden brown.

The bite of the Gorgonzola blends well with the texture and sweetness of the pair.  It has a robust flavor with a light finish.  A great meal if you’re looking for a nontraditional pizza or appetizer for a party.  Also, wonderful as leftovers served at room temperature.