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.

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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!

Wood-Fired Marinara Sauce Recipe

Here is Chef Gerard again, this time to demonstrate a nice wood-fired marinara recipe. Enjoy!

White Alfredo Sauce – Goes Great with Chicken, Broccoli, Garlic and More!

Hi guys,

I thought the sauce selection here looked a bit slim, so I will be adding a few more to balance things out. This is a recipe I found on www.greatpartyrecipes.com and it works great for white pizzas as well as garlic chicken pizzas or even a pie with broccoli on it! When you don’t want to just open a jar, check out this easy and quick Alfredo recipe.

Alfredo Sauce

This creamy white pizza sauce recipe has long been a favorite on pasta, but it’s one of the best things to happen to pizza in a long time.

1/4 cup butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt and pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the cheese, cream, salt and pepper and heat through, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

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.

Pizzetta 211 Margherita Pizza – As Seen In Sunset Magazine

Margherita pizza from Pizzetta 211 in San Francisco

Sunset magazine recently had an article entitled Pizza Rises in the West in which they detailed some of the West Coast’s best pizza joints. This was a fun little little article, especially if  you live within striking distance of the article’s epicenter, San Francisco. Anyways, they’ve also shared a dough/sauce recipe with us that, on it’s face, looks very plain, but has a few interesting twists that might just make you rethink your current dough techniques. Check out the type of flour and the mix time on that dough. That’s right, a full half an hour of stand mixing to develop the relatively weak gluten in the AP flour. My interest is peaked! Also, you can click here for the original recipe posting. Enjoy!

Time: 2 3/4 hours. The extended mixing time for the dough develops the gluten in the flour and produces a pizza crust with a nice stretchy texture around the rim. A pizza stone, available at cookware shops, creates the super-heated surface you need for a great crust. You can get decent results, though, with a preheated baking sheet instead.

Yield: Makes 4 pizzas (10 to 11 in. each; 32 slices)

Ingredients

  • 2  teaspoons  active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour, divided
  • About 2 tsp. sea salt
  • About 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1  can (14.5 oz.) crushed or diced tomatoes (preferably organic), whizzed briefly in a food processor to a chunky purée
  • 2  garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1  cup  lightly packed basil leaves
  • 2/3  pound  fresh mozzarella (preferably fiore di latte), cut into 1/2-in. cubes (about 2 cups)
  • About 1 tsp. dried oregano

Preparation

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup room-temperature water and the yeast. Let stand 15 minutes at room temperature.

2. In bowl of a stand mixer using dough hook, mix 2 cups flour, 2 tsp. salt, 1 tbsp. olive oil, and yeast mixture on medium speed until well incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add remaining 1/2 cup flour and mix about 30 minutes, or until dough is very smooth and elastic.

3. Meanwhile, make tomato sauce: In a medium pot, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and swirl in hot oil until it starts to smell good, about 15 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, to thicken and cook off the “canned” flavors, at least 25 minutes.

4. While sauce is cooking, put 1/4 cup olive oil and basil leaves in a food processor and whirl to finely chop basil, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Stir 1 tbsp. basil oil into tomato sauce as it’s cooking, along with 1 pinch salt. Pour remaining basil oil into a small bowl and cover surface with a thin layer of olive oil.

5. As soon as dough is ready, divide into 4 portions. Using both hands, roll each portion with a circular pressing motion until it becomes a tight ball. Dust each ball with flour, set it on a floured baking sheet, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let dough rise 1 hour, or until almost doubled in size (do not let rise longer than 1 hour).

6. Put a pizza stone or baking sheet on bottom shelf of oven and preheat to 550° (or as high as oven will go), at least 25 minutes. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, set on a well-floured pizza peel or baking sheet and stretch into a 10- to 11-in. circle. To stretch into a 10- to 11-in. circle, first tap down center of ball with your fingertips to gently deflate it. Next, push it outward from the center with your fingertips. Then pick up the dough circle and, holding it under the rim, turn it like a steering wheel, letting the gravity of the dough help it stretch. Drape the dough over the backs of your hands and gently stretch outward, rotating periodically. Flop the stretched dough down onto the pizza peel.

7. Spoon 3 to 4 tbsp. tomato sauce onto dough, leaving at least a 1/2-in. border.

8. Plant tip of pizza peel (or long edge of baking sheet) on pizza stone (or preheated sheet) and shove pizza quickly onto stone and bake 3 to 6 minutes, or until crust looks dryish but not browned. Remove pizza from oven and sprinkle on about 1/2 cup mozzarella cubes in clusters, then 1 generous pinch oregano. Return to oven and cook 2 to 5 minutes more, or until crust is golden brown and firm but not rock hard. Transfer pizza to a cutting board and drizzle with basil oil. Assemble and bake rest of pizzas the same way.

Make ahead: Dough can be formed into balls (step 5) and chilled overnight, tightly covered with plastic wrap, instead of rising on counter (it will rise slowly in the fridge). You can also freeze the dough for up to 2 weeks (let chilled or frozen dough come to room temperature before stretching).

Variation: Pizzetta 211 Pepperoni Pizza

Follow directions for Pizzetta 211 Margherita Pizza. In step 7, lay 8 or 9 slices Molinari Hot Salami or your favorite spicy salami over dough (you’ll need about 4 oz. for 4 pizzas). Bake as directed.

Tonight’s Pizza Margherita

The Number One (#1) Secret Ingredient in Pizza Dough – You May Not Like The Answer

For a long time, I was an impatient pizza chef. After all, a recipe that required almost a week to prepare sounded ludicrous! Who could plan their eating habits that far in advance, I wondered? Well my friends, you and I have to become those exact people if we are ever to reach our lofty pizzaiolo goals. Time, after all, is the number one secret ingredient in pizza dough.

There is no one bigger ingredient in a dough recipe that will affect the flavor and depth of your dough. Brand of flour, oil or no, salt or no… all of these options are minuscule compared to the choice you make when you prepare a dough half  an hour before you bake it.

I have found this one rule to be true for almost all home pizza making: If the recipe calls for two hours of rise time in between mixing and baking, place your dough in a covered bowl, place the bowl in the fridge, and leave it there for three to five days. If the recipe calls for twelve hours of rise time, place your dough in a covered bowl, place the bowl in the fridge, and leave it there for three to five days. A long, slow, cold rise time will do wonderful things to your dough. In fact, about a day or so into the rise, pull the dough and and punch it down – then place it back in the fridge of course. This will further develop the flavor and texture (not to mention redistribute the bubbles which have formed in your dough).

So there you have it. I know, it’s kind of a bummer. As you read this article, the spark went off in your head “How about pizza tonight!” But what you need to retrain yourself to think is this, “How about pizza five days from now??”

It’s time to start paying attention to time, the secret ingredient in all pizza dough.

You People Love Your White Pizza – What the Food Network Has to Offer

I’ve noticed a trend over the past few months of writing this blog and it is this: you people LOVE your white pizza! The top ten most searched terms on the blog, as well as search engine hits, all have “white pizza” somewhere in the search string. So what is up? What’s with the white pizza obsession? Are you purists who would rather eat pizza in its original state before tomatoes arrived in Italy? Are you all on some kooky new diet where you can’t eat any fruits or vegetables and instead are only eating carbs and dairy? Or is white pizza America’s hidden secret favorite pizza and I’m only just now arriving at the white pizza party? I’d love to hear what your reasons for loving white pizza are!

Anyhow, I thought since you are SO into white pizza, I’d start creating a few white pizza posts specifically for you. Here are a few of the “celebrity” chefs’ takes on white pizza. Many of these preparations call for “pizza dough” without really giving you any specifics. I’d like to humbly point you to this post which I believe is the best dough recipe I’ve tried so far. Enjoy the recipes, and as always, leave me some comments and let me know what you’d like to see next from In Search of the Perfect Pie.

Picture of Traditional White Pizza Recipe Traditional White Pizza

Picture of Traditional White Pizza Recipe Roasted Garlic White Pizza with Garlic Sauce

Picture of Traditional White Pizza Recipe White Pizzas with Arugula

Picture of Traditional White Pizza Recipe White Pizza with Alfredo Sauce

Picture of Traditional White Pizza Recipe Pizza Bianca

A Great New Use for A Shower Cap – Part II

Okay, so the craziest thing just happened to me. I arrived home to find a padded envelope sitting on my porch waiting for me. I opened up the manila sleeve and to my surprise, a fan of the blog had sent me a SET of “shower caps” which had actually been manufactured for the exact use I was using a real shower cap for! They came in all sorts of fun sizes with all sorts of fun food printed on them.

Come to find out, bowl covers are quite common! In fact, there is even a local company called Green Feet that sells them for six bucks (complete with fun fruit print). Check them out and check mine out below.  Thanks, you North-Eastern pizza fan! And for anyone else out there considering sending me pizza related presents, there’s never been a better time than now – send them my way! I won’t mind 🙂