Friday, December 30, 2011

Pizza.. Food Friday

Let me start by saying I am from New Jersey, yes I know that says a lot. But I am not your typical Jersey boy in all aspects, a few, but not all.

I also want to point out that I have never even seen one episode of The Jersey Shore, although from what people have said, I definitely have seen those types of people at the Jersey Shore. Actually I think I went to high school with people like that.

But that is not what I am writing about anyway. While I can be at times, a gourmet chef, my favorite food to cook is pizza. Ever since I can remember my family has been making pizza, and no we are not Italian, Irish and English mostly, pizza was always a staple in our dinner menu.

When I was younger I would not even eat my Mom's pizza, settling for hot dogs on those days. But as I grew up, the brothers would all fight for how many slices we could eat.

The last few years of college I started making the pizza myself. From the oil stained recipe my mom gave me I would make it for all my friends and they would rant and rave about it. It became a conversation piece mostly, people would ask me if I made my own dough or what was actually in the sauce.

After college I started changing the recipe, using cake flour for one thing. Changing the amount of tomato paste to make a sweeter sauce. Variations of toppings too, like the smoked gouda salmon pizza, or the greek pizza, of course I still would always make one with pepperoni.

It was years later that my mom called me all frantic. She was at my brothers place back in New Jersey, while I was in Utah and could not find the recipe. I dug out the old one I used and told what it was. I laughed at the fact that it was always my Mom's recipe and she was calling me for it. That made me feel good.

Today I am making pizza again, it has been a while. I am not making the dough from scratch, however, I did buy some from the store, but I am making the sauce.

I do not use a recipe anymore, mostly because I just add things until I like the way it tastes, but if anyone would like the one that I started with here it is:

This recipe usually makes 3 14 inch pizzas, enough to feed four healthy people or 3 with lots of leftovers.

Sauce...

4-5 cloves garlic chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 Tlbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tlbs Oregano
1 Tlbs Basil
1 Bay Leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 to 3 Tlbs Sugar (to taste)
1 can crushed peeled tomatos
3 tsp tomato paste

Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan, add the garlic and onion to activate it, do not make the garlic crisp, just enough heat for it to start to sizzle and then add the can of tomatos and paste. Add the seasoning and bring to a boil on medium heat. Turn down the heat and simmer for about an hour. Remove from heat and let sit while making the dough.

Dough

3 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup warm water

Mix the cake flour and the unbleached flour in a large bowl. In another small bowl mix the yeast and the warm water and add a pinch of sugar. Stir slightly and set aside for about ten minutes. Remove approximately one cup of flour from the large bowl and slowly add the water stirring in with a wooden spoon. Add the olive oil to the mixture and turn with the spoon adding flour until it is no longer sticky. Take the dough from the bowl and kneed it until it is elastic... do not over kneed otherwise the dough will be flaky. Wash the big bowl and coat it with olive oil. Put the ball of dough back in and cover with a warm towel and place in a slightly warm oven. I usually heat it up to 200 and then turn it off. Let it sit until the dough rises, usually doubles in size. When the dough is done, remove from the oven and punch it down. Turn the oven back on to 450 to preheat it. Take the dough and place on a flour surface and cut into thirds. How you do this part varies so I will only say that you make the pizza into a circle about 14 inches. The dough will be somewhat thin but that is ok. I use a roller since I am not very good tossing it. I told you I was irish not italian.

When the dough is laid out on the pan, take the sauce and put it in the blender for about 30 seconds to grind up the garlic and onion even further. Then use a ladle to spoon it out and spread it around. Add toppings to your likings and cook in a preheated oven at 450 for about 10 minutes. Sometimes I brush the edges of the dough with olive oil, it adds to the crispiness of the edges which I like.

I will post pictures later when I am done with my pies.

Enjoy.

2 comments:

  1. Did I miss the part where you add 5 pounds of cheese?

    ReplyDelete
  2. While I adore sex...I LOVE a good recipe! Thanks! Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete