When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
I love having Saturdays off from work, its such a freeing day to be home with time to do whatever you like. This week Jason and I treated ourselves to two really lovely dinners out and about (Honey and JeanRo Bistro) so my main goal for Saturday was to make dinner at home and watch the Olympics (I am an olympic junkie, I am actually going to miss them when they’re over, minus the ice dancing).
After having pretty rich food the past two nights in a row a small homemade pizza with veggies sounded beyond good. A (perhaps needless) word of caution about pizza – DO start making your pizza crust before 6:00 in the evening if you want to eat before 7:30. I, being the amazing planner that I am, forgot that pizza dough needs to rise like bread dough for 1-2 hours + an extra 20 minutes… because of this we didn’t eat until around 8:00. Lesson learned, will plan better next time.
While I was waiting for my dough to rise I 1) watched Mad Men and 2) did the dishes. The reason I mention this at all is to vocalize how AWESOME the vintage Melamine plates I recently bought at Northside’s Chicken Lays an Egg are. Chicken Lays an Egg is a really rad (and inexpensive) vintage shop that moved from Camp Washington to 1608 Chase Avenue about half a year ago. The ladies who own/run the place are great, and the goods they sell are vintage meets funk meets all around awesome ( as in easily spend an hour and a half there trying things on and browsing awesome). I bought a set of dinner plates, saucer plates, and a few matching tea cups for about $5.00. They are in great shape, and are bright and speckled and are really fun to serve food on. Chicken Lays an Egg is open Wednesday through Saturday 12-6, Sunday 12-5.
At this point Mim came over to hang out/help out + take really goofy pictures of me trying to stretch out the pizza dough. I had lofty dreams of spinning pizza dough like you see at Dewey’s… needless to say I didn’t look nearly as cool. The dough recipe that I used makes a slightly smaller pizza then most standard pizza pans allow you to make, and although I was worried about it not being big enough to feed three people at first luckily it did just that. We each were able to have two decent sized pieces + one piece left over for whoever got to it first.
* I am a huge fan of Malbec wines, and the Malbec that I bought ( about $9.00 at Krogers) went perfectly with this pizza. Very subtle, rouded flavor with a tiny fruit bite.
For the pizza dough I used Smitten Kitchen’s “really simple homemade pizza” recipe, with only one tweak in regards to the time the dough was allowed to rise (she calls for 2 hours, I went with only 1 and it worked just fine).
1 1/2 cups flour (can replace up to half of this with whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
- Stir all of the dry ingredients, yeast included, in a large bowl.
- Add your water and olive oil and stir until a loose ball forms. The dough will be a “shaggy mess”.
- Flour a hard surface and dump the entire contents of your bowl onto it. Knead the pizza dough for about 1 minute, until the ball of dough is smoother and more cohesive.
- Oil the orignal bowl and place the kneaded ball of dough into the oiled bowl, turning it once to coat lightly on all sides with oil.
- Cover the bowl and place it somewhere warm for 1 hour. I put it inside my oven (the oven is turned off) but with the oven light on.
- Dump the dough back onto the floury counter and smash the air out of it with your palm. Give it one or two good kneads.
- Fashion the dough back into a ball and recover it in the bowl for another twenty minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 425, and lightly flour your pizza pan.
- Flatten your dough ball into a rough circle that resembles a finished pizza (just smash it with your palm a few times). Then hold the dough in front of you ( like I am in my picture) and turn it like a steering wheel, holding onto the edges. Gravity will stretch the pizza dough for you without ripping it.
- Place the stretched dough onto the pan, and stretch it out some more if you like.
- Add whatever toppings you want and bake for 10 minutes.
My Pizza Toppings
1/2 cup organic tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp chedder
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
large handful parmesean shavings
1 tomato sliced
1 zuchinni sliced thin
1 cup raw sliced mushrooms