It seems like I've been making a lot of pizza lately. When it's a little chilly, I love turning the oven on. And what better way to make great use of all that heat than by baking pizzas! I was in the mood for something a little different today, though. Instead of my usual red sauce and pepperoni pizza, I opted for a white pizza. It's actually one of my favorite pizzas, but for some reason, I rarely make it.
After patting out some of the dough, I spread some roasted garlic paste over the pie and drizzled a little extra virgin olive oil over the whole thing. Into the oven on a baking stone it went for about 10 minutes. I removed the crust and spread some ricotta over the the pizza, then sprinkled mozzarella and grated parmigiana reggiano over the ricotta. I had a very ripe tomato I needed to use, so I thinly sliced it and put on top of the cheese, then seasoned the whole thing with salt, pepper, and a little dried oregano. Back into the oven for about 10 more minutes. It was wonderful - my kitchen still smells like a great New York pizza parlor!
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
2-1/4 teaspoons dried instant yeast
1-1/2 cup tepid water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
Mix flour, vital wheat gluten, instant yeast, water and olive oil. If dough does not come together and form a ball, add a bit more water. Let dough rest 10 minutes. Add salt, mix well, and knead for 5 minutes. Place dough in oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in draft-free area to rise until double, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Slice off the top of 1 head of garlic. Place in a piece of foil. Drizzle with 1 or 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold up foil around garlic and seal tightly. Place in oven for 20 - 30 minutes, until garlic is tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Squeeze garlic into small bowl and mash into a paste.
Raise temperature of oven to 500 F.
Pat dough into circle. Spread roasted garlic paste over dough, leaving a 1 inch border. Drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil. Place in oven (on baking stone, if available) for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and spread pizza with 1/2 cup ricotta (or more, if desired). Sprinkle with grated mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese. Optional: place sliced tomatoes, spinach, blanched broccoli, or mushrooms over cheese. Season pizza with salt, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano. Return to oven for additional 10 minutes, until crust is sufficiently browned and cheese has melted.
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