Playing with pizza

Last night we brought out the pizza stone to experiment with pizza. Because we don’t make it often, we have never perfected the art of making one that actually *looks* like a pizza. Here is our “creation” back in 2007 when we first had a go at it:

The amoeba

The amoeba

3 years later…

The pizza

The pizza

Mine still look like the amoeba but Alex has clearly perfected the pizza shape.

Lucky for us, the dough is always delicious. (Big thank you to Rick and Deb.) You mix 3 cups flour, 1 cup warm water, 1 envelope rapid rise yeast, 2 TB olive oil, 1 TB honey, and 1 tsp salt and knead them in a mixer with a dough hook for a few minutes until everything comes together. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel for an hour to rise. This will yield 2 individual size pizzas.

We used the following two topping recipes and they were fantastic. I’ll definitely be making these again soon as I continue to attempt to make a normal looking pizza.

Spinach, White Bean, and Taleggio Pizza

1 ball of pizza dough (see recipe link above)
olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 to 5 ounces taleggio, sliced or pinched off into small bits
1/4 cup white beans
parmesan cheese
4 ounces fresh spinach (we used baby spinach leaves)

Spread a couple of teaspoons of olive oil over the dough, then evenly scatter the garlic, taleggio, and white beans. Grate a bit of parmesan over the pizza (you should need very little, about an ounce). Toss the spinach in a large bowl with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Because it’s hard to slide a heavy pizza off of a cookie sheet or peel, and because you’re going to have a mound of loose spinach leaves that tend to fly off when you shake it, transfer the pizza to the hot stone BEFORE adding the spinach.

Once you’ve transfered the pizza to the pizza stone, pull out the oven rack (if you haven’t already) and gently mound the spinach leaves in the center of the pizza. Close the oven and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until the crust is brown on the edges and the spinach is wilted.

The second pizza was based off of a recipe from Bon Appetit. Instead of chanterelle mushrooms, radicchio, and pancetta, we used cremini mushrooms, endive, and pancetta which made for a very tasty pizza.