Friday, October 22, 2010

Recipe: Easy Pizza

Easy, but not quick. The crust requires an hour of thoughtful, yeasty rumination, so plan for this to take about two hours from start to om nom nom.

For dough you'll need:

1 packet active dry yeast
¾ cup hot water (not boiling, just as hot as the tap will go)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (or use two cups all-purpose flour, just don't use all whole wheat flour—the dough won't be very elastic)
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dried rosemary
more olive oil

You can go nuts with the toppings, but my favorites are:

12 oz. marinara sauce
2 fistfuls baby spinach
2 sausage links, sliced (I like Trader Joe's Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage)
3 oz. chevre (soft goat cheese)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
red pepper flakes

Serves 3–4

1. Turn on Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark. Sing along loudly and shamelessly for best results.

2. In a large liquid measuring cup, stir yeast into hot water. Let sit five minutes to activate the yeast.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, olive oil, salt and rosemary. Stir water / yeast mixture again, scraping bottom of measuring cup, then pour it into the bowl and mix ingredients with a fork. Coat hands in more olive oil and knead mixture thoroughly (two minutes or no). Coat hands again and form dough into a ball. Leave dough in bowl and cover bowl with a cloth or towel. Set near a warm radiator if possible—heat helps the dough rise. Leave to rise for an hour.

4. Preheat oven to 375°. Switch to Joni Mitchell's The Hissing of Summer Lawns.

5. Note, if dough isn't crazy-puffy and risen, that's okay. It'll still taste good. With a palmful of olive oil, grease a cookie sheet. Place dough in center of sheet and use your oiled hands to spread it evenly to the edges. Leave it alone for five minutes to re-rise and contract, then spread it back to the edges of the sheet again.

6. Coat crust evenly with marinara sauce, then spinach, then evenly space sausages slices and small chunks of goat cheese. Cover with mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

7. Place pizza in center of oven and bake for roughly 20–30 minutes, until both the cheese and the bottom of the crust (you can peek with a spatula) are golden brown. Remove and let cool for five minutes, then cut with scissors or a pizza cutter.

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