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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pizza Night

David would fire the chef if I didn't make pizza at least once every 10 days. I don't mind making it, in fact it is one of the easier things to make for dinner. I do however get sick of eating it! I try and mix things up now and again with BBQ Chicken Pizza and one time I even used leftover Spanikopita filling instead of pizza sauce, which was pretty tasty. After an afternoon of cranberry picking I decided to just go with our basic favorite pepperoni and mushroom. I never make them round in case you were wondering about the funny shape. It has been nearly a year of experimentation, but I think I have finally found the perfect crust and sauce. The crust recipe comes from the Cafe Flora Cookbook. In addition to the herbs I usually add a clove or two of garlic to the crust as well. It naturally becomes roasted as the pizza bakes. Since supplies are limited here in Fairbanks I just buy the best can of organic tomato sauce I can find and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of Penzey's Pizza Seasoningfor the sauce. I have tried using a whole host of fresh herbs to make my own sauce, but Penzey's seems to be the winner.

Herbed Pizza Dough
from Café Flora Cookbook

1 cup warm water 105-115 degrees
2 teaspoons of dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil plus extra for coating the dough
2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Put the water in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and sugar, stir and let stand until foamy, 5 minutes.

Stir well, and add the olive oil, herbs, salt, and 1 cup of the flour, and mix well. Add the remaining flour a ½ cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. If this becomes too difficult with a spoon, mix the flour with your hands.

Knead the dough. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead it with your hands until all the flour is incorporated.

Lightly coat the entire ball of dough with oil, return it to the (uncleaned) bowl, and cover with a towel. Let sit until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Roll out the dough and add pizza toppings.

Makes two 10 inch medium crust pizzas, or one very large thicker crust pizza!

Just as I was completing this post I found this posting on A Good Appetite for Peach and Blue Cheese Pizza. I am tempted to try it next week!

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