60. Cheese Pizza, pg. 142
A tip of the chef's hat to Dean Martin, singing, 'When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore.'
I almost feel like writing an ode to pizza right now, thinking how delightful most of my experiences with the food have been. But I'm going to assume that you're here not to read my bad poetry, and would rather be inspired just to make food yourself (or live/eat vicariously through me.)
The idea of making pizza turned into a nearly all-day venture. We went shopping at Central Market in the morning, getting a few needed veggies and cheeses. Mid-afternoon, we started the dough, chopped and sauteed some onions and mushrooms, and made our way into sauce making.
We used 1 c. of whole wheat flour, and then ended up adding less regular white flour than it called for -- when the dough is smooth and elastic, and it's not needing much flour to knead, you can stop adding flour. I think we shorted the dough about 1/2 c. flour total. I also used 2 t. agave instead of sugar, which kept the dough lightly sweet. We kept our crusts pretty thin, and they did bake to a chewy crunch.
Toppings-wise? We went kind of crazy. Onions, mushrooms, garlic, artichoke hearts, and then for cheese, we used fresh mozzarella (one ball was plenty for one recipe, unless you're going all-cheese) and garlic chevre. Trust your inspiration, follow your heart, etc. You know what you like: do it.
Sauce. After draining most of the liquid from a quart jar of canned tomatoes, I dumped the remaining tomatoes into the sauce pan with a small chopped onion, garlic, spices, and salt. After letting it boil for awhile, I felt it was going to be too thin, so we added about 2 T. tomato paste and left the pan cooking uncovered until we were ready to put it on the crust. This made a pretty sweet sauce, so adjust to your likes.
Baking. If you're using a pizza stone, let the oven pre-heat for about 30 minutes so that the stone is good and hot when you put your pie in. Our first pizza (half the dough) took only about 13 minutes -- cut in half by the pizza stone. We split the remaining dough into two "personal sized" pizzas, and they took only about 8 minutes each.
We really enjoyed this pizza, and therefore ate a lot of it (and nothing else). We had about 1/4 of the recipe left over. I've used this recipe for calzones before, and makes a nice 4 servings. But as pizza (with hungry eaters), consider this one to be 3 servings. Three lovely, steamy servings. :)
Overall: 4.6 out of 5 My only complaint would be the too-sweet sauce. We'll work on it. :)