Yesterday afternoon, I had a meeting downtown with a potential client. The meeting ended around 3, and since I was far closer to home than to the office, I got to go home early yesterday. It was nice not dealing with rush hour or a 25-55 minute commute (depending on traffic.) So I had to take the opportunity to make something I probably normally wouldn’t on a week night. During the week I stick to simple, 30 minute or less meals. And by 30 minutes or less, I’m including prep time. I just don’t feel like cooking after work most days, I’d rather do other things.
Yesterday I decided to make some pizza dough. I personally like Giada de Laurentiis’ recipe. It’s basic, and probably similar to many others. Of course, I can’t find a link to the recipe now so I’ll type it up.
You need: 1 large measuring cup, 2 large bowls, plastic wrap, a rolling pin
2 c warm water
4 1/2 t active yeast (or two packets)
1/2 t sugar
5 c all purpose flour+extra for kneading
2 t salt
1 T garlic oil for the rising bowl
Sprinkle yeast into water in a measuring cup, then stir in sugar and let sit for 5 minutes. Your mixture should become foamy. I *always* proof my yeast. Mix salt and 2 c of flour in a large mixing bowl. Stir in yeast/water/sugar mixture until smooth, then add the other three cups of flour and stir until sticky. Remove from bowl and knead on a lightly dusted surface for about five minutes. Brush a large glass bowl with garlic oil, place your dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let your dough rise for an hour in a warm, non drafty place. Your dough will nearly triple in size. Punch down once and knead three times in the bowl. For smaller pizzas (the size of naan, and this is what I always do), separate the dough into six equal sized balls.
You can either freeze them all individually for up to a month, use them now, or refrigerate them for up to a week. If you’re going to make pizza now, I recommend setting your oven to 425 and rolling out a piece of dough between two layers of plastic wrap-using a rolling pin. Use a seasoned cast iron skillet or a non-stick dark metal pain to bake your pizza. I don’t have a pizza stone so I can’t give directions for that.
Last night’s pizza was a rolled out dough covered in no-oil carmelized onions and mother of hen (maitake) mushrooms, then a layer of super thinly sliced potatoes. I used a mandolin set between 1/16th and 1/32nd to slice the red potatoes. I then used the oil brush I used on the bowl on the potatoes. There was less than…1/4 t of oil left on the brush. I sprinkled Parma on top and baked for 12 minutes. This is what my pizza looked like before I moved on to the next step:
My only regret was being afraid to put too many potatoes on this pizza for fear they wouldn’t cook. If you make one and slice your ‘taters thin enough; you should be able to do at least two layers. Then, because I saw it on Goodbye Texas, Hello PA I had to add fresh arugula on top. I actually stopped half way through making this to go buy some organic arugula. This is the end result…yeah; I ate half my pizza before taking a picture.
Full disclosure, I definitely dipped this in some roasted vegetable sauce. I can’t help loving marinara.