Two Crusts Are Better Than One – Stuffed Spinach Pizza

There is a pizza place here in town that has always had the best stuffed pizza I’ve ever had. It’s long been my favorite slice anywhere, and yet, I’ve never even attempted a stuffed pizza! This recipe is along the same lines as my local spot – not an exact match, but it gets us moving in the right direction – and I plan on trying this out soon. As always, photos and a review will follow soon.

Let me know how it works out for you. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 pound) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down; divide into thirds. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough into a 10-in. circle. Transfer to a 9-in. springform pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of pan.

In a bowl, combine the spinach, mushrooms, onion, salt and pepper. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese over crust. Cover with spinach mixture; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. On a lightly floured surface, roll out a second portion of dough into a 10-in. circle; place over cheese layer. Pinch together top and bottom crust. (Save remaining dough for another use).

Bake at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Spread pizza sauce over top crust; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 5-6 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

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Delfina's Broccoli Rabe Pizza Recipe – My Next Pizza Visit to San Francisco

Recently, Alicia and I met up with some friends on a sunny day in San Francisco and headed out to find a little neighborhood pizza joint called “Pizetta 211.” 2 hours later, and five pizzas later, we were all more than happy we had found the place and that got me thinking about other great places that were within striking distance from home that we could try. I think I’ve found our next destination, San Francisco’s own Delfina. Now I am a sucker for Broccoli in general, but broccoli pizza? You get out of here with that broccoli pizza. I love it! Below is a recipe (found in Sunset Magazine) for Delfina’s Broccoli Rabe Pizza – I’ll make sure to order one when we make the trip down and let you know if it lived up to my home version. I have a feeling it just might 🙂

-Ryan

Pizzeria Delfina’s dough, adapted for baking in a home oven, is the best we’ve ever tried―smooth and supple. The secret lies in how you stretch it. Pizzaiolo Anthony Strong demonstrates in the photos below left.

Delfina’s Broccoli Rabe Pizza
Also on MyRecipes.com

Makes: 3 (12-in.) pizzas, plus dough for 3 more pizzas Time: About 2 hours, plus rising time Note: You can use regular flour, but for a truly awesome crust, go for highprotein Italian “00” (fine-milled) flour.

Dough:

  • 1 tsp. fresh yeast
  • 1½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb., 14 oz. (about 6 cups) “00” pizza flour, preferably Caputo*, or all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt*

Topping:

  • 10 oz. fresh mozzarella packed in liquid
  • 1/3 cup liquid from mozzarella container
  • 1/4 cup shredded caciocavallo or parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup each heavy cream and buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 lb. broccoli rabe (about 1 large bunch)
  • 2 garlic cloves, well smashed
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • About 1/4 tsp. red chile flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup oil-cured black olives (soaked in water and drained if salty), pitted and torn in half
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Make dough:

1. Put yeast, oil, and 2 cups plus 1 tbsp. cold tap water in bowl of a stand mixer and mix, using dough hook, on lowest speed 5 minutes, or until yeast has completely dissolved. Add flour and mix another 8 minutes.

2. Cover bowl loosely with a dampened towel and let dough rise 20 minutes.

3. Add salt and mix on low speed until incorporated and dissolved, 7 minutes.

4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and cut into 6 equal portions. Roll each into a tight ball. Place on a lightly floured tray.

5. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at least 4 hours at warm room temperature. Dough balls have risen properly when they are soft, pillowy, and full of air.

Make topping:

6. With flat side of a chef’s knife, mash a third of the mozzarella into a pulverized mass. Dice remaining mozzarella into 1/2-in. cubes. In a medium bowl, mix both mozzarellas with mozzarella liquid, shredded cheese, cream, and buttermilk. Season with 1/4 tsp. salt.

7. Cut broccoli rabe into 1-in. sections, discarding tough lower stems.

8. In a large frying pan over very low heat, cook garlic in oil, stirring often, until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add chile flakes and toast for a second, then add broccoli rabe. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper.

9. Crank heat to medium-high and cook broccoli rabe, stirring, until liquid starts to evaporate and broccoli rabe is tendercrisp, 5 to 7 minutes.

Make pizza:

10. Heat a pizza stone or baking sheet on lowest rack of oven at 550° (or as high as oven will go), at least 30 minutes.

11. Set 1 dough ball on a well-floured pizza peel or baking sheet and stretch into an 11- to 12-in. circle (see photos above).

12. Spread about 2/3 cup cheese mixture over dough. Top with 1/2 cup broccoli rabe, a pinch of chile flakes, and 2 tbsp. olives.

13. Shove pizza onto stone. Bake 5 to 6 minutes, or until puffy and browned. Drizzle with oil. Repeat with 2 dough balls and toppings (top remaining 3 differently or freeze).

Guy’s Crispy Deep-Fried Pizza

Guy Fieri of the Food Network brings us todays video in the form of do-it-yourself fair food: Deep-Fried Pizza! Now I know what you’re thinking, or at least I think I know, and just give it a chance. Check out this three minute video and look at what that final product looks like. It’s actually pretty tasty looking!

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Canola oil, for frying (amount determined by vessel used)
  • 1 recipe Perfect Pizza Dough, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 2 ounces whole pepperoni
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, coarsely shredded
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oil to 365 degrees F. A deep-fryer is best, but if using a stove top method, fill a cast iron Dutch oven or heavy chicken fryer with oil about 4 inches deep.

Roll dough out and cut it in half. Stir the oregano and basil into the pizza sauce. Slice the pepperoni. Spread half of the pizza sauce on half of each side, of the dough, add the cheese and pepperoni, distributing evenly. Apply a thin line of the water to the edge of the dough and fold each over onto itself and press to seal.

Check the oil temperature and carefully add the pizza pockets. Cook for 2 minutes, turn over and cook for 1 minute more. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Transfer the pizza to serving plates and garnish with remaining pizza sauce, Parmesan and fresh basil leaves.

Perfect Pizza Dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for bowl
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)

Combine all the dry ingredients in bowl of food processor or stand mixer. Or if by hand, combine in a medium bowl. Add the warm water to small glass bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Add oil and yeast mixture to dry ingredients and depending on method using, combine until a dough ball forms. For food processor, pulse on dough setting until dough is smooth and elastic. For stand mixer, slow speed until dough is smooth and elastic. For hand method, knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball. Lightly oil a large bowl, add the dough ball to it, cover tightly with plastic wrap or a well-floured tea towel, and set in a warm place or a 100 degree F oven until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down, and let rest for 5 minutes. Divide the dough in half for 2 large pizzas or into 4 equal pieces for calzones or small individual pizzas. Roll the dough into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Cooks Note: Can be made ahead and also freezes well.

Yield: 2 large or 4 small pizzas or calzones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Inactive Prep Time: 1 to 2 hours

Ease of preparation: Easy

Thanksgiving Pizza from… Not Martha!

This was too good to not pass on to you. It’s a Thanksgiving pizza… pie! The Not Marthas, over at wearenotmartha.com created this genius Thanksgiving invention, complete with homemade cranberry sauce, turkey, herbs, and what else, an apple pie in the middle! I personally consider it a step towards the futuristic meal-in-a-pill – just this pill is about 16″ in diameter. What can I say, they’re working on it!

Check out the Thanksgiving Pizza Pie at wearenotmartha.com.

Fixed!

Ok, I think I’ve actually, finally, probably, (maybe) fixed this damn thing which apparently broke about a week ago when I migrated from wordpress.com. Looks like most of the usual traffic had been blocked from finding me here for the better part of last week, but I think we’re up and running now! Here’s hoping. And here is a quick and easy video on white pizza.  And sure, Claire looks like she’d rather eat you than any sort of silly pizza, and sure she “LOVVES” store bought pizza dough, and… well, I guess suffice it to say I needed a video to test and make sure that the video embedding was all nice and happy. So do like I do, and watch this one with the sound off… and a hand held up in front of your faec so you can’t see her overly emotive face…. Oh what the hell, here it is – enjoy!

Breakfast Pizza and Test Dough

Tonight I was testing a new dough formula (think secret ingredients) and came up with a few simple combinations, and photos, that I hope get your mouth watering and your brain looking around this here blog for a good dough recipe to try out in your own kitchen. One was a simple pie with fresh tomato, provolone, and parmesan. The other was a breakfast pie with my breakfast potatoes from this morning, two raw eggs, ricotta, parmesan, and white truffle oil. There were both fabulous, and we all agreed that the secret ingredient was promising to boot! Here’s to inspiration!

-Ryan

My Latest Variation on a Thin Crust Dough Recipe – Bacon Grease Anyone?

Hi Ya’ll,

Just wanted to share with you my latest variation on my dough along with a new little video I shot for you the other day. Things to note in this new variation: Vital Gluten, malted syrup, bacon grease, and a rolling pin! Enjoy.

Recipe

  • 22.5 oz of flour
    • First put in 2oz of vital gluten
    • Then 20.5oz of all purpose flour
  • 1T malted syrup
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1tsp Instarise yeast
  • 2T bacon grease
  • 1.75c + 1T warm water (’bout 100 degrees)

Toss all the ingredients into your stand mixer and mix on slow ’til everything comes together – should be about 2-3 minutes. Once it looks like a chunky, cohesive mass, turn the mixer off and let the dough sit for 10-20 minutes with a nice clean shower cap over the top of the mixer bowl – many people like to put a towel over the top of the bowl, but many other people claim that the towel absorbs the moisture in the air, which isn’t great for the dough, so I like the shower cap. Reusable as well 🙂 Once at least ten minutes is up, start mixing again on slow for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the mixer off and rest for another 10-20 (remember that shower cap). Finally, pull the dough out and form 4 10oz balls and place into air tight containers (this could be tupperware, plastic bags, etc). Put the containers in the fridge and let them hang out for two to three days. After at least 48 hours, pull the dough out two hours before you plan to bake the pies. One hour before you want to eat, put your stone in the oven, crank it up as hot it will go, and let it pre-heat for the last hour. Lastly, pull your dough out onto a lightly dusted counter, flatten your ball out with your knuckles – try pushing the bubbles that have formed out to the outer rim of the dough. I’ve been playing with a rolling pin recently and liking it a lot, so grab a floured rolling pin and do some rolling out til you get a nice flat disc going. Lastly, pick it up and slap it back and forth to dust off the excess flour, toss it a few times to get that final thin stretch, then plop it on a peel, top it, and slide it in the oven. If your oven gets nice and hot, you won’t need to cook it more than five minutes or so. Enjoy!

Alton Brown’s Latest Wood Fired Pizza Recipe

Alton Brown of the Food Network recently released another episode in which he covers recipe and techniques for making flat, crisp, BBQ’d pizzas. I have to admit, I’ve always loved Good Eats, but for some reason, never really liked his pizza dough recipes. From my point of view, the best dough comes from two to four days of prep time, and I don’t think his half-hour show has the ability to showcase the BEST techniques, so this might explain my WANT to love his pizza dough, and my subsequent let down. I was sad to discover that this recipe, as like the last try, was not a contender to recipes from Tony Gemignani and Peter Reinhart.

Now again, I love that good ol’ Alton, and his show is always chock full of useful knowledge, regardless of whether you like the recipe or not so I still full-heartedly recommend watching the episode (below) and picking up a little pizza science. Also, he did suggest one novel ingredient (novel to me anyways): Malted Barley Syrup. Really enjoying the results from the Syrup so far 🙂

Enjoy!
-Ryan

Ingredients

Dough – Enough for 3 (16-inch) round pizzas:

  • 16 ounces all-purpose flour, plus extra for peel and rolling
  • 1 envelope instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 10 ounces warm water, approximately 105 degrees F
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons for bowl
  • 1 tablespoon malted barley syrup

Margherita topping – Enough to top 1 (16-inch) round pizza:

  • 1 large tomato, cut into 1/3-inch thick slices
  • 5 to 7 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2-ounce grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/2 ounces part skim mozzarella, shredded
  • 4 to 6 large basil leaves, shredded

Date and prosciutto topping – Enough to top 1 (16-inch) round pizza:

  • 3 1/2 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 3 to 6 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2-ounce grated Parmesan
  • 1-ounce prosciutto ham, approximately 3 slices, coarsely chopped
  • 4 whole dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Pizza cracker:

  • 2 to 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Special equipment:

  • Vise-Grips

Directions

Dough:

Combine the flour and yeast in the work bowl of a stand mixer. Add the salt, water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and malted barley syrup. Start the mixer on low, using the hook attachment, and mix until the dough just comes together, approximately 1 1/2 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead for 15 minutes.

Tear off a small piece of dough and flatten into a disk. Gently stretch the dough until thin. Hold it up to the light and look to see if the bakers windowpane, or a see-through, taut membrane has formed. The dough will be quite sticky, but manageable. Fold the dough onto itself and form it into a smooth ball. Oil the bowl of the stand mixer or other large canister with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Put the dough in the bowl and roll it around to coat with the oil. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and leave at room temperature to double in size, approximately 1 hour.

Split the dough into 3 equal parts using a knife or dough scraper. Flatten each piece into a disk on the countertop. Form each piece into a ball. Roll each ball on the counter until they tighten into rounds. Cover the balls with a tea towel and rest for 45 minutes.

To shape and cook the margherita pizza:

Heat a gas grill to high and make sure the grill grates are clean and free of debris.

Toss the tomato with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic, salt and red pepper flakes in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

Lightly flour the countertop and flatten 1 of the dough balls. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 16-inch round, rotating and stretching the dough as you go. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured pizza peel and stretch to re-shape if necessary.

Oil the grill grates and decrease the heat to medium. Brush the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil and flip onto 1 end of the hot grill, leaving room for the tomatoes on the grate. Put the prepared tomatoes on the grill, close the lid and cook until the bottom of the crust is golden brown and the tomatoes are softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Brush the raw side of the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil, then immediately flip using the peel. Top with the grilled tomatoes, smashing and spreading the tomatoes to create a sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, mozzarella and basil. Close the lid and cook until the bottom of crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted, another 1 to 2 minutes. Using the peel, remove the pizza to a cooling rack and let rest for 3 minutes before slicing.

To shape and cook the date and Prosciutto pizza:

Heat a gas grill to high and make sure the grill grates are clean and free of debris.

Layer 2 paper towels on a plate and lay the mozzarella slices in a single layer. Top with 2 more paper towels, a second plate, and a 2 pound weight. Set aside at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, lightly flour the countertop and flatten 1 of the dough balls. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 16-inch round, rotating and stretching the dough as you go. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured pizza peel and stretch to re-shape if necessary.

Oil the grill grates and decrease the heat to medium. Brush the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil and flip onto the hot grill. Close the lid and cook until the bottom of crust is golden brown, for 1 to 2 minutes. Brush the raw side of the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil, then immediately flip using the peel, brush with remaining 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and top with the Parmesan, prepared mozzarella, prosciutto, dates and thyme. Close the lid and cook until the bottom of crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Using the peel, remove the pizza to a cooling rack and rest for 3 minutes before slicing.

To shape and cook cracker pizza:

Lightly flour the countertop and flatten 1 of the dough balls. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into an 11 by 17-inch rectangle to fit a standard, stainless steel cooling rack. Lay the dough sheet onto the rack and gently stretch around the edges, pinching to hold in place. Brush the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Attach the Vise-Grips to 1 end of the cooling rack to use as a handle. Turn a gas burner on high. Hold the rack about 2 inches above the flame, and move back and forth constantly until the bottom is golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully turn the dough over, brush with 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Cook, as before, until golden brown, an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

A Great Pizza Read – Recipes from a Pro

Recently I’ve purchased Peter Reinhart’s fabulous pizza book, American Pie, and let me tell you: best – pizza – book – ever! The book details Peter’s travels through Italy, New York, California, Chicago and other locations in search of his most favorite pizza in the whole world. The first half of the book is his tales of pizza travel. The second half of the book, however, is a giant pizza resource center wherein Peter tries to re-create all of the various pizzas he had across the world and shares his recipes and findings with you. This would be cool enough for me to pick up a copy, but then you consider that Peter is a professional baker AND recipe product developer and suddenly his collection of dough, sauce and toppings recipes seem like the Lost Arc of the Pizzanant! I guess what I’m trying to say is that Peter’s book was not only a mouthwatering good read, but also has become my #1 go-to guide for new dough and sauce recipes.

I wanted to share with you a recent recipe I made from his book, as well as some photos of the results. This dough was much different to work with than my dough that I usually make, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly, and the flavors and texture (not to mention the great big bubbles that formed out on the crown of the pizza) were well worth the learning curve. I would highly recommend you go spend $15 and pick up this great resource!

Peter Reinhart’s Neo-Neapolitan Dough

The dough to use for making New-Haven-style pizza and/or pizzas in the style of Lombardi’s, Totonno’s, or Grimaldi’s. Makes a “thin, crisp crust with airy pockets in the crown”. Slightly sticky and may be tricky to work with. Requires high-gluten flour.

Makes 4 10 ounce dough balls ( but I like to make 13.3 ounce balls)

Ingredients

Directions

  1. With a big metal spoon, stir together all the ingredients in a 4-quart bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer until combined.
  2. Fit mixer with dough hook; mix on low speed for about 4 minutes, or until all the flour gathers to form a coarse ball.
  3. Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then mix again on med-low speed for 2 more minutes, or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and sticks just a little to the bottom.
  4. *If the dough is too soft and sticky to hold its shape, mix in more flour by the tablespoonful; if it is too stiff or dry, mix in more water by the tablespoonful.
  5. The dough should pass the windowpane test—snip off a piece of dough and gently tugging and turning it, stretching it out until it forms a paper-thin, translucent membrane somewhere near the center; if dough does not form this membrane, it probably needs another minute or two of mixing).
  6. Immediately divided the dough into 4-equal portions; round each piece into a ball and brush or rub each ball with olive oil.
  7. Place each ball inside its own zip-lock freezer bag; let the balls sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, then put them in the refrigerator overnight or freeze any pieces you will not be using the next day.
  8. The next day, remove the balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to roll them out to take the chill off.

Results

Perfect Homemade Pizza (dot com)

I’ve recently had the good fortune to be in touch with Chef Vinny from perfecthomemadepizza.com and I just wanted to pass along his site and contact info for any of you who would like a bit more information on how to perfect that perfect pie you have been working on for so long. Vinny’s site has a few good recipes for dough, sauce, and even covers different cheeses and other ingredients. He even sells an instructional DVD where he shows you step by step how to make the perfect pie. Oh, and he is award winning – had I mentioned that?? He has won awards for best tasting pizza up here in Northern California. Quite the accomplishment! Anwho, click on over to perfecthomemadepizza.com or drop Vinny an email at chefvinny@gmail.com and let me know what you think of his site and DVD.

I, for one, am a fan.