February 9, 2011


Friday Night Pizza

Like many families my family has pizza on Friday nights. As a child, we had pizza on Fridays with my Dad working nights at Shakeys Pizza - I remember the sawdust on floor and watching him make pizzas. As a teenager, we had pizza from the local town pizza shop, and, happily we still have it when we visit every summer. One of my favorite combinations that I first had there is garlic and bacon!

In my home,we do a mixture of take out pizza when I can't face another kitchen mess or I make it from scratch. My family prefers a thin crust pizza like John's Pizza in NYC (we love that place)! I have experimented with a handful of pizza dough recipes with poor results-they were either too tough to roll out or too doughy or took too long. That all changed when I found Jamie Oliver's pizza dough recipe. I just love the recipe because it tastes good, is fairly quick to make, the rise time is relatively short, and it is easy to roll!

Pizza Dough
Here is Jamie Oliver's recipe

In 1 hour and 20 minutes you can have your own fresh pizza dough
6 to 8 medium-sized thin pizza bases.
7 cups strong white bread flour or Tipo "00" flour or 5 cups strong white bread flour or Tipo "00" flour, plus 2 cups finely ground semolina flour
I use 7 cups of bread flour1 level tablespoon fine sea salt
2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dried yeast
1 tablespoon raw sugar
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water

Here is what I doIn the bowl of a heavy duty mixer add yeast, sugar, oil, and water. With paddle attachement mix until just combined scraping down and bits of yeast above the liquid line. Let it sit for about 3 to 5 minutes until foamy.
Add the 5 - 6 cups of the flour and salt and mix on low with the paddle attachment. Adding the remaining flour gradually. Switch to your dough hook when the mixture comes together and the dough comes off the side of the bowl. Every mixer is different so when it sounds like your mixer is straining change the to the dough hook. Knead until smooth and springy on medium speed for about 8 to 10 minutes.

Place your dough in an extra large bowl greased with oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot at let rise until doubled (about an hour).

If you prefer J.O.'s hand mixing method here are his instructions:Sift the flours and salt onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a large measuring cup, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.
Remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it to push the air out with your hands. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. If using right away, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas - this amount of dough is enough to make about six to eight medium pizzas.

Jamie says: Timing-wise, it's a good idea to roll the pizzas out about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them. Don't roll them out and leave them hanging around for a few hours, though - if you are working in advance like this it's better to leave your dough, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. However, if you want to get them rolled out so there's 1 less thing to do when your guests are round, simply roll the dough out into rough circles, about 1/4-inch thick, and place them on slightly larger pieces of olive-oil-rubbed and flour-dusted aluminum foil. You can then stack the pizzas, cover them with plastic wrap, and pop them into the refrigerator.

Here is a quick and tasty pizza sauce recipe that I whip up in my Cuisenart.

Pizza Sauce28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes
2 Tablespoons of a rough chopped bell pepper (red or green)
1/4 of a yellow onion rough chopped
2 cloves of garlic through a press or not
1 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of salt to taste
dash of pepper flakes

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and bring to simmer (not a boil) and cook for 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature before using.

Cheese and Toppings2 pounds mozzerrella shredded or sliced (sometimes get mine slice at the deli counter at my grocery store)
Any toppings your can imagine - when I fry up sausage or burger or what have for meals during the week, I save some for our Friday pizza night.

Pepperoni is a must have
Sauted or raw mushrooms and onions
Thin sliced tomatoes and basil with an olive oil drizzle and grate of parmesan cheese
Slice and roasted cherry tomatoes
Pesto or herb pastes of your choosing
Sliced coooked yukon gold potatoes with asiago or fontina cheese and fresh rosemary (I had this out and have been wanting to try it).
Cured olives

I went though an arugula phase where I piled the pizza high with arugla then cooked for 2 minutes and then drizzled lightly with olive oil.

Pizza Friday
spinach pizza
Preheat your oven to 500F 15 minutes ahead of time. If you have pizza stone use it (I rarely take my stone out of the oven).

Forming the PizzasWorking on a well floured surface have ready a bench scraper and rolling pin. Take your ball of dough and flatten out with your fingers into a rough circle. Start rolling and if the dough springs back let it sit on the counter for a few minutes until it relaxes. Roll to your pan size.

Oil your pan. Place your dough on the pan and add sauce about a 1/2 cup (not too soggy) onto the dough leaving the edge free of sauce. Add mozzerella cheese, toppings, and the a pinch of spice mix.
Bake for 8 minutes then slide off pan onto the pizza stone (I use a thin spatula to loosen any parts that may be sticking to the pan) Bake directly on pizza stone for a few minutes until thoughly cooked. This works best with pans with a rolled edge or no edge. When I remove my pizza I use an Airbake edgeless cookie sheet as my pizza peel. Move pizza to large cutting board and slice with a pizza wheel knife.
such a treat
pizza fresh from the oven


The Student's Guide To Nail Polish said...

Awesome recipe. I too like my pizza as thin as possible. Like paper, but tastier.

I'm going to be an anal Brit here and say his name is "Jamie" not "Jaime", lol.

Great blog! Now a follower.

magi said...

I loved ur images of pizza in ur blogs..
Pizza Equipment