Thursday, May 13, 2010

Another Day, Another Pie

What is the one food group you couldn't give up? If you have a sweet tooth maybe it's chocolate or cookies? Perhaps steaks or a nicely grilled juicy hamburger?

I say it's carbs- a plate of pasta with some garlic bread and a quartino of red wine-talk to ya later. Those diets that declare you abstain from carbs? F that. Not gonna happen. Moderation, of course, is the key. Any paradigm that forbids you to eat something, walk away quickly. If it won't harm you, that is-fugu, anyone?

Bread-it's so damn appealing, the fresh flavors of yeasty goodness, just like your Goose Island Honkers Ale. Sandwich in a glass, not much different than bread.

Balsamic Onion, Formaggio White Pie-

Pizza dough

1 packet dry active yeast

1 C warm water, 105-110 F

1 ts honey

1.25 C bread flour, King Arthur preferred

1.25 C AP flour

1 ts salt

2 cloves garlic, sliced thin

1 TB good EVOO

1 C cheeses- mozzarella, fontina, Parm-Reg (1 C total, whatev you got)

1/2 C Balsamic Onion Marmalade

Stir the yeast, honey, and water in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy. Combine the flours and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer or other large bowl and stir with a whisk attachment to mix thoroughly. Add the yeast mixture and stir until incorporated. Mix for about 5 minutes using a dough hook on speed 2, until the dough forms a ball and clears the sides of the bowl. The dough should climb up the hook and be smooth and elastic. If you don’t have a stand mixer, once all the ingredients are incorporated knead for 10 minutes on a lightly-floured surface. I always like to play with my food and hand knead for a minute even when using the stand mixer, just to feel it.

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly-oiled bowl, rolling it around to cover the ball with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a somewhat warm, draft free area. Let proof until doubled in size, about 1.5 hrs.

Preheat your oven to 500° F with the stone on a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Punch down dough and let rest for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a lightly-floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out into something that resembles a round shape, perfection is not important. Your dough should be about a 12” round and about ½” thick. Transfer to a pizza peel that has been dusted with cornmeal, keeping the shape as best as possible. If the dough springs back too much, let rest for 10 minutes and try again.

Once peeled up and the oven has been at temp for about 30 minutes, top with EVOO, garlic, balsamic onion, then the fromage-I like about half mozz, then a little pecorino romano and parm-reg. Slide onto your stone for about 8-12 minutes, obviously watching carefully towards the end of cooking, and rotating if your oven ain't even Steven.

Slice up, pour a brewski, enjoy.

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