Pizza

Today is Super Bowl Sunday. You gotta know it’s an event to watch when the publicity surrounding the advertising that airs during the game gets as much press as the actual football game does.

Amazingly, television coverage of the football game starts seven and a half hours before the kickoff. Which means that today, there will be blather going on before the game even begins that lasts 3 times as long as the game. And then there’s the post game show. What on earth will they find to talk about for that long? That’s a rhetorical question if ever I typed one.

This will be the busiest day all year for pizza sales… in America, approximately four million pizzas will be sold by pizzerias. And the consumption of pies will be even higher when store-bought frozen pizzas are added in. I understand how fascinating the football game is and why no one would want to tear their attention away from the broadcast, but I suggest you make your own pizza instead. It’s not difficult, it’ll be hot when you get it and there’s no need to tip the delivery person. Plus, you can load it with whatever toppings you want. So if you love pineapple and ham, or extra anchovies or quadruple cheese, here’s your chance to have exactly what you want on top of your pizza.

Here’s what to do.

Start by making the dough. If you want to eat the pizza during the game, start this well before kickoff, so it has time to rise. This makes enough for two cookie sheet sized pizzas.

Measure out the yeast.

Yeast.

Yeast.

Add the water and sugar and wait for the yeast to bubble (bloom).

Bloomed yeast.

Bloomed yeast.

Measure the flour into a big bowl.

Whole wheat and all purpose flour.

Whole wheat and all purpose flour.

Add the liquid.

Add the yeast and water plus the olive oil.

Add the yeast and water plus the olive oil.

Mix that all together, turn it out onto your counter and knead it until the dough comes together, then form it into a ball. Drizzle some olive oil over the dough and leave it to rise for an hour.

Dough, ready to rise.

Dough, ready to rise.

While you’re waiting for the dough to rise, get the toppings ready.
Grate a ball of mozzarella.

Mozzarella cheese.

Mozzarella cheese.

Slice, then fry onions in butter until they’re caramelized.

Caramelized onions.

Caramelized onions.

Slice some garlic too.

Sliced garlic.

Sliced garlic.

Fry bacon and get whatever other meat you think is pizza-worthy ready.

Pepperoni, proscuitto and bacon.

Pepperoni, proscuitto and bacon.

Lettuce? Yes.

Arugula.

Arugula.

Mostly, pizzas have a layer of tomato sauce on top of the dough. I received this lovely jam for Christmas and thought it would be fun to try it out instead of tomato sauce on one of the pizzas. What I’m saying here is be as creative as you’d like.

Fig and ginger jam.

Fig and ginger jam.

An hour has passed and the dough has risen. Assemble the pizza.

Take half the dough and begin stretching it out to fit the pan. If the dough isn’t stretching, let it rest and work on the other pizza. This gives the dough a chance to relax and it’ll be easier to manipulate when you come back to it.

Stretching the dough.

Stretching the dough.

Here’s what you should end up with.

Completed pizza crusts.

Completed pizza crusts.

Coat the crust with whatever sauce you’re using. Tomato on the left, tomato and fig and ginger jam on the right.

Layer one: sauce.

Layer one: sauce.

Then add the onions.

Layer two: onions.

Layer two: onions.

Next, add the meat. The front is the fig/ginger part and has prosciutto on top.

Add the meat.

Add the meat.

This pizza has pepperoni and bacon on it.

Add the meat, then some garlic slices.

Add the meat, then some garlic slices.

Now add the cheese.

Mozzarella goes on top.

Mozzarella goes on top.

Cook them!

Here’s the meaty pizza.

Pizza with tomato sauce, onions, pepperoni, bacon, garlic and mozzarella cheese.

Pizza with tomato sauce, onions, pepperoni, bacon, garlic and mozzarella cheese.

And here’s the fig and ginger jam, onion, prosciutto, and mozzarella cheese pizza.

Fig and ginger jam, onion, prosciutto, and mozzarella cheese pizza.

Fig and ginger jam, onion, prosciutto, and mozzarella cheese pizza.

Here’s the last suggestion today: try this wine with your pizza. I know that football and beer go together, but trust me on this. It’s a sparkling red wine, light and fruity and goes great with the pie.

Chiarli Lambrusco Gasparossa di Castelvetro.

Chiarli Lambrusco Gasparossa di Castelvetro.

What happened to the arugula? Here it is, on top of the pizza.
This one tasted amazing, and I have the other in the freezer. So much better than any frozen pizza from the grocery store.

Fig and ginger jam, onion, prosciutto, and mozzarella cheese pizza. With arugula on top.

Fig and ginger jam, onion, prosciutto, and mozzarella cheese pizza. With arugula on top.

Enjoy the game! I haven’t got a favourite in the match, so I’ll be cheering for the team with the nicer uniforms.

Only the recipe for pizza dough here, as the toppings are up to you.

Pizza Dough
Makes enough for two cookie sheet sized pizzas

1 tsp. instant yeast
1/2 tsp. white sugar
1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups flour (I used a mixture of 2 cups whole wheat and 2 cups all purpose, but just all purpose works too. In fact, it’s what I typically use)

Add the sugar to the water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and leave to bloom (10 minutes).

Measure out the flour into a large bowl and add the salt. Pour the olive oil and water/yeast mixture into the flour and stir to combine. Turn out the dough and knead it until it forms a ball. Coat the dough with oil and put it back into the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, then put the bowl into a warm, draft free space to rise. I turn on the oven to low for about 5 minutes, turn it off and put the dough in there.

Wait one hour – until the dough has doubled in size. Halve the dough and stretch it to cover a cookie sheet. If the dough starts to rip, you can pinch it together to close the spaces. When you’ve got the dough covering the pan, load it up with your choice of toppings. Cook the pizza at 400°F for 10 – 12 minutes, until the cheese is molten hot and capable of burning the roof of your mouth when you take a bite.

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2 thoughts on “Pizza

  1. MMmmm they look yummy… But making my own pizza crust NOT I’m not very good with pastry so I will buy it and stretch it out myself or give it a good try lol! The rest I can handle. Cheers!

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