While Visions of Sugar Plums Danced. . .

While Visions of Sugar Plums Danced. . .

Friday, April 3, 2009

Homemade Pizza, and NaPoWriMo

So, I'm spending the day catching up on my writing, posting my poems to Poetic Asides for NaPoWriMo - National Poetry Writing Month, or Poem-A-Day.  This is a good thing, as I'm working harder now to write daily.  In order to make it all count, I *have* to!  It's the only way to get my certificate.  And, maybe I'll have a chapbook as a bonus.  I've also been updating my poetry submissions records, and trying to send more work out.  

While this is all going on, I have dough enough for two pizzas rising on the counter.  This pizza thing is a weekly event for us, and last week's pies were some of our best yet.  

Our toppings?  The first one was made with Italian sausage, green pepper, sauteed onion and mushrooms, and olives, topped with mozzarella.  Pretty simple, and simply tasty.  The second one was our Greek special, with sauteed onion, mushrooms and eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes soaked in olive oil, black olives, green peppers, and feta cheese.  The sauce for both was Contadina's Pizza Sauce, which I feel has a very good flavor.  

Here's my current recipe for pizza dough, which makes a nice thick crust:

Pizza Dough
Enough for two generous pizzas

2 cups warm water
two packets yeast
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup whole wheat bread flour
4 cups unbleached white bread flour, more or less

oil for brushing bowl during rising

*  *  *  

Add yeast to warm water, stirring to dissolve.

Combine the salt and flours (all but about 1 cup of the white flour) in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer, and process with flat beater for a few seconds to blend.  Add yeast and olive oil.  Mix about a minute.  Now switch to a dough hook and knead for about 3 minutes, adding as much of the remaining cup of white flour as needed to make a smooth dough.  If it feels too sticky, keep kneading and add a touch of flour at a time.  If it feels dry, add just a touch of warm water and a little oil, only a Tbs. at a time.  Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes altogether.  

Form the dough into a smooth, tight ball, and place in a lightly oiled bowl - I used the mixing bowl - and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch down, and divide into two balls, form into balls, and let rest for about 15 minutes. 

You are now ready to make your rounds.  I place my rounds on baking sheets dusted with semolina flour. 

 At this point I like to brush the outside crust with olive oil, then spread a mixture of pizza sauce (about 1/2 can) combined with chopped sun-dried tomatoes.  I like to do it this way so the tomatoes aren't close to the top, therefore more likely to burn.  Add your favorite toppings, and bake for about 10 minutes at 450.  After ten minutes, I slide the pizzas off the baking sheets onto the hot pizza stones that live on two shelves in our oven, and are nicely hot at this point.  Bake for an additional 3 minutes or so.  

8 servings


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