Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Italian Pizza

One of my favorite dishes that we had in Italy last year was a sauce-less pizza in the town of Parma. It was a pizza with sausage, potatoes, olive oil and cheese and it was amazing. So much so that I tend to default to it every time I make pizza now.

In the past, I use to buy pre-made pizza dough because I don't like the smell of yeast, but since I'm trying to make most things from scratch nowadays I decided it was time to get over my scent aversion. It's been almost 20 years since I last made pizza dough and I had fun making this one.

I found a dough recipe here but I simplified it to fit my lack of patience and it came out great. I would recommend dividing the dough in 3rds for thin crust or half for thick crust but definitely not 6ths like the recipe states unless you want to make small individual pizzas.

Italian Pizza
Serves 2

(makes 2 thick crust, 3 thin crust, or 6 individual thin crust pizzas)
4 1/2 C Unbleached Flour (Chilled)
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp (Rapid Acting) Yeast
1/4 C Olive Oil
1 3/4 C Water (Ice Cold)
-Add first 3 ingredients to mixer and mix with paddle attachment.
-Add in Oil & Water and combine.
-Change out paddle attachment for the dough hook and knead for 7 mins.
-Divide dough into desired serving sizes.
-Coat a bowl with oil and place dough in coating its surface.
-Let sit for about 2 hrs.
-Place remaining dough (coated with oil) in freezer bags and store in freezer for up to 3 months.
-Once dough has settled, take out and roll on a well floured surface as desired.

Italian Pizza
4 oz Italian Sausage (Cooked)
1 Lg Russet Potato or 2 Yukon Potatoes
1/2 Tbsp Butter (Optional)
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil
1/2 White Cheese (Parmesan, Mozzarella, etc.)
Pizza Dough

-To cook the Italian sausage: place in heated pan on medium-high heat while occasionally breaking apart the meat until browned.
-To cook the Potatoes: peel then chop into 1/2 inch cubes. Remove sausage from sausage pan leaving about 1 tablespoon of grease in pan and cook potatoes in it. (Or cook in a new pan with 1/2 tablespoon of butter on medium heat for about 10 mins.
-Prepare your baking surface (pizza stone or cookie sheet) by coating with cornmeal.
-Place pizza dough on prepared baking surface then add toppings.
-Sprinkle with S&P.
-Drizzle with Olive Oil and top with Cheese.
-Bake @ 425 for ~12 mins.
-Remove from oven and lest rest a few minutes before cutting.

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