Sunday, July 29, 2012

Naked Pizza

I don't know about your family but my family had a tradition that on Friday we didn't cook but went out for pizza.  Since having to give up dairy I've had such a hard time finding a crust that didn't have dairy in it or wasn't produced on the same equipment or in the same factory as dairy products.  Not wanting to give up my love of pizza I decided that I was going to have to make it myself.

View from our balcony at Roxanne Towers in Myrtle Beach the first night of our 2012 trip and the night I found out dairy is now a no-no!

We were a 1/2 mile from the boardwalk.  MJ says when we go back next year she is going on the big steering wheel (the Ferris wheel in the distance).
Yes MJ is petting a snake.  This was at Alligator Adventure, her fav place in Myrtle Beach, between two trips she petted 2 snakes, a blue tongue skink, a baby crocodile and 2 baby alligators.  Great place she can't wait to back to next year!
I tried a recipe for a cornbread crust and vegetarian mozzarella and it was OK but nothing to write home about.  I remembered while on vacation, that's when I found out about the dairy issue, that we had gone to Ultimate California Pizza and I had a personal pizza with red sauce, Canadian bacon, sausage and fresh thyme on it.  It was delicious!!!  I decided to try and recreate that recipe at home and after a few try's I was came up with something pretty amazing!  You can top it with anything you want and this time I made it with sausage crumbles, ham, caramelized peppers and onions, basil and thyme.  I loved it!!  If you would like to make it vegan you can just change the toppings.

Trust me after making your own pizza just once you won't want anything else!

Ingredients


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting cooking sheet, rolling pin & counter)
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
cooking spray
cornmeal, for dusting (optional)

My Toppings:
caramelized peppers & onions (see below for recipe)
sausage crumbles
6-7 slices of ham, cut up into pieces
dried thyme, to taste
dried basil, to taste

1.  Mix yeast and a small amount of warm water and set aside for 10 minutes.


2.  Mix flour, yeast mix, oil sugar, salt and water together until dough is formed.

Flour, yeast mix, oil, sugar, salt & water

Dough after mixing
3.  Lightly dust counter with flour and turn dough onto counter and knead dough for about 3 minutes.  You want it to be smooth yet a little tacky.

dough before kneading

dough after kneading

4.  Coat bowl with a little olive oil and then place the dough in it coating it on both sides (trust me you want to do this otherwise have fun getting the dough out of the bowl after it rises) and cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Place bowl in a warm place out of a draft.  Let it rise for about an hour or until it has double in size.


5.  The last 15-20 minutes the dough is rising preheat oven to 375*.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray and lightly dust with flour and cornmeal (optional, but I like the texture the cornmeal gives the bottom of the crust).  Place the dough onto the lined baking sheet and roll it out to fit the baking sheet.


6.  Add pizza sauce and toppings of your choice and bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp is golden.  Cut and enjoy!

Before baking

Done and oh so yummy!

Caramelized Peppers and Onions


Ingredients


1 green pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp grape seed oil or olive oil

1. In a skillet over medium heat place oil, onion and green pepper.  Do not constantly stir the onions and peppers!  I mix them every couple of minutes for about 10 minutes.  You will know when they are done when green peppers are soft and onions are translucent.

I love my cast iron cookware!


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