Pizza Pizzazz

26 Jul


ABOVE: Margherita pizza and corn and pesto, before hitting the barbecue…

We could eat pizza and salad for dinner every night.

With summer fruit and vegetables abounding right now, there’s no better time for our favourite duo, paired with a glass of cool rose or robust malbec. Sunset optional.

For us, the simpler the better when it comes to pizza. Pesto and cheese. Tomato and basil. Garlicy zucchini and onion. Shaved asparagus.

This season, we’d like to try adding fruit to our molten cheese pizzas blasted on our barbecue.

We’ll keep taking inspiration from 1980s pizza heroes Alice Waters (goat cheese and duck sausage, etc) and Wolfgang Puck (pesto and shrimp etc). Or Pizza Bianco’s the Rosa: topped with red onion, Parmigiano-reggiano, rosemary, and pistachios.

Summer slices over at Cheese Board include:

* Peaches, mozzarella and ricotta salata cheese, arugula in a Lemon vinaigrette.
UPDATE: We added skinned peaches, ribbons of spicy salami, pine nuts and a drizzle of chili honey to our mix of mozzerella and provolone.

* Fresh corn, onions, mozzarella and feta cheese, basil pesto.

How about thinly sliced baby beet, chopped beet greens, goat cheese and parmesan.

Or eggplant with reduced balsamic.

And we never get sick of our go-to fig and prosciutto; and pear, pine nut, gorgonzola.

Alice Water’s Chez Panisse Pizza Dough will do just the trick.

Pizza Dough/Sponge:

1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Light Rye Flour

Pizza Dough:
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1-3/4 cups unbleached King Arthur’s all purpose flour
1/8 cup Bob’s Redmill cornmeal (reserved for pizza peel)

Pizza Topping Ingredients:

1 package fresh mozzarella
1/2 can Muir Glen Organic tomatoes
2 tbsp oil olive (to brush crust)
Torn fresh basil leaves (topping)
Directions:

Mix the dough with the wooden spoon, then knead on a floured board. It will be soft and sticky. Use quick light motions with your hands so the dough won’t stick.
Add more flour to the board as you knead so the dough won’t stick (but no more than is absolutely necessary). A soft moist dough makes a light an very crispy crust.
Knead for 10-15 minutes to develop strength and elasticity in the dough.
Put the dough in a bowl rubbed in olive oil and cover and let rise in a warm place. (If making in advance put dough in a ziploc bag and refrigerate until ready to use). Let the dough rise to double in size about 2 hours.
Punch dough down, and let rise 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven at 450-500 degrees.
Generously cover peel with the cornmeal to help with the transition to the oven (act as ball bearing and slides the pizza right of the peel onto the stone).
Roll out/shape pizza, brush with olive and add toppings (reserving the basil).
Bake until cooked to your liking — 10 minutes in a 500 degree oven.

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