Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Zucchini Blossom and Burrata Pizza

I started writing this blog yesterday. 

I failed. 

I tried again this morning. 

0 for 2. 

8 Hours and 2 Hangover Curing Meals Later...

I'm finally making it happen. But, I have to be honest, sometimes I just don't have anything to say. Which is ok, because sometimes I think Rich thinks I am prettiest with my mouth shut. So, silence really can be golden. Or ginger. 

So here it is... short, sweet, and to the pizza. A basic recipe for delicious, healthy(ish), homemade pizza! You can, of course, add toppings (and calories) as you see fit. My two favorite toppings are zucchini blossoms and burrata cheese. You can find zucchini blossoms at your local farmer's market and burrata cheese (the creamy middle of mozzarella) can be found at most grocery stores. And, if you think it's weird to put flowers on your pizza, you should just shut your mouth and try it.

Simple Pizza Dough

4 cups of all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Place a baking stone on the lowest rack to preheat with the oven for 1 hour.

Dissolve the yeast in warm water and set aside. 

Combine the flour,and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix on medium speed until the dough forms into a ball.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball. Divide the dough into 4 equal balls and rub a small amount of olive oil onto each ball to keep them from forming a skin. Place the dough balls under a dish towel, on a lightly floured surface and let them rise for about 45 minutes. 
While the dough is rising, make the pizza sauce.

Pizza Sauce

8-10 tomatoes, cut in halves
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp water
Salt and Pepper

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, and water. 

Cover and bring to a simmer. 

When the tomatoes are beginning to cook down, about 20 minutes, remove the skins, they should slide off easily, and dispose. Once all of the skins are removed, remove and dispose the garlic cloves and crush the tomatoes until they are smooth. 

Continue cooking, uncovered for another 25 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is a deep red color. 

Add salt and pepper to taste. 

To Assemble Pizzas

Roll out dough onto a floured surface to desired shape and thickness. I suggest rolling your dough super thin to get a nice, crispy, Italian style crust. 

Place rolled out dough on a preheated pizza stone** and quickly spoon pizza sauce onto dough and top with cheese. If you are using burrata, do not put it onto the pizza until AFTER the pizza is cooked or you will end up with a runny mess. 

If you are adding zucchini blossoms (or any other toppings) arrange them on the pizza and then place the pizza stone on the lowest rack of in the oven. 

Bake the pizza for 8-10 minutes until the crust is browned and the cheese is bubbly. I generally think that a properly cooked pizza looks a little over cooked. 

Remove the pizza from the oven. If you are adding burrata or fresh basil, sprinkle them onto right before serving!

Makes 4 pizzas

**If you do not have a pizza stone, no problem! you can bake the pizzas on a cookie sheet, just make sure to lightly oil the surface.

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