Wednesday, July 1, 2015

HomePizzaChef

Homemade Pizza Parlor – They'll Beg You To Make Another!

Bread Machine Cornmeal Pizza Crust Recipe

Posted by Lock On June - 27 - 2015 2 COMMENTS

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Bread Machine Cornmeal Pizza Crust Recipe


Ingredients:* 1-cup warm water
* 1/4 teaspoon salt — optional
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour — divided
* 1-cup cornmeal — plus
* 1-tablespoon cornmeal — divided
* 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
* 2 teaspoons active dry yeast


Directions:

Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except 1-tablespoon cornmeal in bread machine pan in order specified by owner’s manual. Program basic dough cycle setting; press start. Remove dough from bread machine pan; let rest 2 to 3 minutes
 

Pat and gently stretch dough into 14- to 15-inch circle. Spray a 14-inch pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining 1-tablespoon cornmeal.Press dough into pan.Follow topping and baking directions for individual recipes. 1 14-inch crust makes 8 servings.

The Evolution Of Pizza – By Kirsten Hawkins

Posted by Lock On June - 25 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

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Trying to trace the history of the first pizza is a surprisingly controversial subject. Some claim that this popular food is based on early unleavened breads served in the early centuries in Rome. Others trace a connection from modern pizza back to the pita breads of Greece.
Read the rest of this entry »

Amazing Whole Wheat Thin Dream Pie

Posted by Lock On June - 23 - 2015 3 COMMENTS

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The Amazing HPC Whole Wheat Thin Crust Dream Pie

I’ve recently been asked to post the recipe for the HPC Dream Pizza Pie on the blog. This recipe has been around for over 4 years now and is available for FREE download however I thought I would re-post it on the blog as well. If you want the downloadable version simply grab it from the links resources to the right of this post.

If you’ve never tried this pizza give it a try as it’s a favorite for our readers here at HomePizzaChef.

Suggestion – Make your dough the night before you plan to bake your pizza, this will allow plenty of time for the dough to rise and also adds to the flavor of your crust) OK… here we go!

Ingredients:
* 1 teaspoon white sugar
* 1 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C- No need to boil the water)
* 2 packages of Active Dry Yeast (AYD) – Easily obtained form any grocery store
* 1 small bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 1-teaspoon salt
* 1 ¼ cups of Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
* 1 ¾ cups of Enriched Unbleached Bread Flour
Accessories
1- Roller Pin (Or a rollable surface to flatten the dough)
1- 14” Perforated Pizza Pan (The kind with the holes punched into the bottom of the pan)
2- Large Bowls for Mixing
2- Kitchen towels or equivalent

Making The Pizza Dough
Pour 1-½ cups of warm water in a bowl (Approx 105 –115 degrees)
Empty the 2 packages of Active Dry Yeast into the bowl and stir until fully dissolved. Set to the side for approximately 20 minutes.

In a separate bowl mix the remaining dry ingredients (Whole wheat flour, enriched unbleached bread flour, salt, and the sugar).

Check the yeast mixture to ensure that the yeast has become active. It will appear to have increased in volume.

Slowly began to pour small amounts of the dry ingredients into the yeast and water mixture, stirring as you add the mixture. Continue to add the dry mixture until the mixture becomes solid and somewhat “clumpy”. Once you have added all of the dry ingredients to the yeast and water mixture, add approximately 1-½ teaspoons of olive oil to the mixture and continue to knead by hand. If needed, add a little more water to insure the dough is manageable. The kneading process can take 15 -25 minutes to make sure the dough is well blended.

Once the dough is well blended, cut the dough in half and roll (by hand) into (2) small dough balls. Roll the dough balls around in any leftover flour (plain white) that is available. Finally, with a small amount of olive oil, brush the dough balls lightly to moisten and place in separate bowls that you will cover with a wet kitchen cloth and place in the refrigerator overnight. For best results I suggest at least 8-12 hours… however you can use the dough if needed after 2-3 hours.

Preparing The Pizza Sauce

Ingredients:
1 –15 ounce can of tomato sauce
1- 6 ounce can of tomato paste
1 ½ teaspoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of ground oregano (Mediterranean preferred)
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon of Basil Leaves (Mediterranean preferred)

Pour the tomato paste and tomato sauce into a bowl. Add all seasonings including the olive oil. Stir until all ingredients are thoroughly blended. This should result in a smooth tomato sauce… if more smoothness is desired add just a touch more olive oil. Set aside for 3-5 minutes.

Creating the pizza pie….

Once you’re ready to assemble the pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit for approximately 15 minutes. The goal is to raise the temperature of the dough to room temperature…

Grab one of the dough balls and begin to shape the dough… refrigerate the leftover dough ball for future use.

Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out until it is “paper thin”… this can take 15-20 minutes… make the dough as thin as possible without tearing the dough.

Oil your pizza pan with olive oil by placing a fair amount of olive oil on a brush or a kitchen cloth. Spread evenly across the perforated pizza pan. Using a perforated pan will help create the quick baking effect that produces a crispier pizza crust. At this point we’re going to try something a little different. Pre-heat your oven to 300-325 degrees.

Once the oven is hot and BEFORE you dress your pizza… slide your pizza dough that you’ve stretched across your perforated pizza pan into the oven for NO MORE THAN 2 ½ minutes.

Remove the dough from the oven.

Now place your pizza stone in the oven. The dough has now been pre-heated and should be fairly warm. Crank your oven up to 425-450 degrees to make sue it is plenty hot prior to resuming the pizza bake.

Now we’re ready to add our pizza sauce. With a large spoon, spread your pizza sauce evenly across the pizza dough. Make sure the sauce is spread evenly across the entire pie.

Adding your pizza toppings…

OK… now we’re ready for the good stuff… here are the toppings that I use for this pizza…

Ingredients:
½ cup white or red onions (I prefer the red onions for the bold flavor…)
½ cup green pepper all seeds removed
½ cup small mushrooms
½ cup uncooked Italian Sausage – Usually found packaged in a plastic roll at any grocer
10- 15 small round slices of Canadian bacon
10- 15 small round slices of pepperoni
2 cup s finely shredded mozzarella cheese (you may use less or more depending on your taste)
1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese (measure to taste)

A sprinkle of freshly ground pepper

If you have a small automatic chopping machine use it… It’s perfect for this recipe. Place the onions,  peppers and mushrooms into the chopping machine and chop until very fine and small…

You should actually have to remove these ingredients from the chopping cup with a spoon. That’s how fine these ingredients should be… If no automatic machine is used, make sure you chop the onions, peppers and mushrooms into very small and fine portions…

Now evenly spread your cheeses across the warm pizza crust. Once your pizza sauce layer and cheese layer have been added, sprinkle the finely chopped mixture of onions, peppers and mushrooms evenly across the pizza.

Using very small pinches of Italian sausage, strategically place the Italian sausage across your pie. Once completed, add your slices of Canadian bacon and pepperoni evenly across the pizza. For better cooking, try not to overlap the meats. Once this is completed we’ll sprinkle the fresh ground pepper lightly across the entire pie.

We’re ready to slide the pizza back into the HOT oven for 6-8 minutes or until the edges of the crust are golden brown.

What’s left? Pull up a chair in the kitchen and anxiously wait for your masterpiece to complete the baking process. Once baked, carefully remove the hot pie and cut with a pizza cutter. WARNING – By this time family members and friend are probably gathering around your kitchen waiting to dig in…

Hide this secret recipe in a safe place so you can refer to it later…
ENJOY!

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Yeast Free Pizza Dough

Posted by Lock On June - 21 - 2015 3 COMMENTS

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Yeast-Free Pizza Dough

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My Favorite Assorted Pizza Making Tips

Posted by Lock On June - 17 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

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My Favorite Pizza Making Tips!

Less Sugar allows longer baking time

Speeding up the dough Process – More Yeast equals less preparation time…

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450-465 degrees- normal crust

Thicker crust – 400-450 degrees…

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Pizza bone – Edges of crust are over cooked….
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Different methods of forming brings about different characteristics of the pizza crust.

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Hand Tossing / Hand Stretching – Good volume and randam distribution of the gases in the dough will create a more cake type dough.

Sheeting – Will degas the dough (air makes the dough rise) This will create a thiner more cracker type crust…

Pressing – Heated roller pins will help redistribute the gases in the dough.
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Crispier doughs are made by adding more water to the dough. Experiment with various amounts without lloosing h\the ability to handle the dough.

The extra moisture in the dough will allow heat to rise into the dough and create a heat barrier and cannot be passed into the sauce therefore the crust collects in the bottom of the dough thus making thedough bake crispier.
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The softer your dough the crispier your crust will be however the more firm your dough the thicker your crust.
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Line ingredients on the counter in the order of use.
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Thin-Crusted Pizza With Chicken & Kalamata Olives

Serves: 4

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 to 6 minutes

kalamata olive
[kahl-uh-MAH-tuh]

An almond-shaped Greek olive (also spelled calamata ) that ranges in length from about 1/2 to 1 inch. Kalamatas are a dark eggplant color and have a flavor that can be rich and fruity. They’re often slit to allow the wine vinegar MARINADE in which they’re soaked to penetrate the flesh. Kalamatas are marketed packed in either olive oil or vinegar.

Dough
* 1 envelope active dry yeast
* 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
* 2/3 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
* 2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the crusts

Toppings
* 3 cups thinly sliced grilled chicken meat
* 3/4 cup sliced, pitted kalamata olives
* 4 cups shredded fontina cheese
* 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

1. In a medium bowl combine the yeast, sugar, and water. Stir briefly and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of the flour, the salt, pepper, and the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir with your fingers until the dough holds together.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, 8 to 10 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn the ball to cover the surface with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

2. Punch down the dough in the bowl. Transfer it to a lightly floured work surface and cut into 4 equal pieces. Roll out each piece into an 8-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Lightly brush both sides of each round with olive oil and place the rounds on baking sheets.

3. Gently slide the crusts from the baking sheet onto the grill and cook, uncovered, over direct medium heat (350° to 450°F) until grill marks are clearly visible, about 2 minutes. Don’t worry if the crusts bubble; they will deflate when you turn them over. Transfer the crusts to the baking sheets, with the grilled sides facing up.

4. Distribute the chicken, olives, cheese, onion, and parsley evenly among the crusts. Transfer the pizzas again from the baking sheet to the grill and cook, covered, over direct medium heat until the crusts are crisp and the cheese is melted, 3 to 4 more minutes.

5. Serve the pizzas warm, cut into wedges.

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Creating A Basic Pizza Crust

Posted by Lock On June - 13 - 2015 2 COMMENTS

Bacon Cheeseburger Upside-Down Pizza

Posted by Lock On June - 11 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

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Ingredients
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, quartered, sliced
1 medium bell pepper, cut into bite-size strips
6 slices bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chunky pizza sauce
3 Italian plum tomatoes
6 slices Cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
In large saucepan, brown ground beef with onion and bell pepper; drain. Stir in 6 slices crumbled bacon and pizza sauce. Spoon into ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with tomatoes; top with cheese slices.

 

Topping
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 slices bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled

In medium bowl, beat eggs slightly. Add milk and oil; mix well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour and salt; beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Pour evenly over cheese slices. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until topping is slightly puffed and deep golden brown.

Crazy Crunchy-Crust Pizza Recipe

Posted by Lock On June - 9 - 2015 6 COMMENTS

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You’ll like this quick pizza recipe! Great unique crust with a savory flare… you may even want to add your own touch to the toppings.

Ingredients:

Batter Mix
* 1 cup flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or oregano
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper
* 2 eggs
* 2/3 cup milk

Toppings
* 1 pound ground beef
* 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
* or
* 1 cup pepperoni
* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 1 cup pizza sauce
* or
* 8 ounces tomato sauce mixed with oregano and pepper
* 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
* 1 can (4 oz.) mushrooms

Directions:

In medium skillet brown ground meat, seasoning to taste.
(No need to brown pepperoni). Drain well, set aside.

Lightly grease and dust 12 or 14 inch pizza pan or 10X15 jelly roll pan with flour
or corn meal. Prepare batter by mixing to flour, salt, Italian seasoning, pepper,
eggs and milk in a small mixing bowl. Pour batter in pan, tilting pan so batter
covers bottom.

Arrange topping of meat and onions over batter. Bake on bottom
rack in 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until pizza is deep golden brown.
Remove from oven; drizzle with pizza sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Top with
mushrooms or other toppings.

Return to oven for 10-15 minutes til cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.

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It’s The Cheese That Makes Our Mouths Water!

Posted by Lock On June - 7 - 2015 1 COMMENT

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Let’s face it, one of the favorite ingredients of any pizza is the cheese.  It’s that hot and stringy cheese that separates pizza from all other foods. The moment you pull that slice from the pie and the hot stringy cheese stretches unto your plate, we all get excited about “what’s next”.

Let’s take a moment to look a little closer at this wonderful an essential ingredient of our beloved pie.
Most pizzas are made with mozzarella cheese. Though this may vary from time to time, mozzarella cheese is by far the favorite when constructing a delicious pizza.

What is mozzarella cheese? Where exactly does it come from? How is it made? Have you ever asked yourself these questions?

Mozzarella cheese is a sliceable curd cheese originating in Italy. That’s probably not a surprise to you. Traditional mozzarella is made from water buffalo (Ok, before your eyes get big, not the North American buffalo or bison as many people mistakenly think) milk, and its flavor is highly prized. Water buffalo milk is three times more expensive than cow’s milk and is costly to ship, so expect a corresponding high price tag on imported buffalo mozzarella.

These animals are typically only herded in a few select countries, primarily Italy and Bulgaria.  Due to this, most mozzarella as we know it, is now made from cow’s milk. Water buffalo milk is very high in fat and in many cases is not easily digestible in its raw form. As such, it is used exclusively for making mozzarella and not as a beverage.

Mozzarella contains 40 to 45 percent fat, although there are now lower fat, skim versions available as we’ve seen them make their way into the “low fat” pizza market space.

This type of mozzarella cheese is not aged like most cheeses and is actually best when eaten within hours of its making. The process of making mozzarella is called pasta filata, which means the curds are heated in water or whey until they form strings (hence the term “string cheese”) and become elastic in texture. The curds are stretched, kneaded until smooth, and then formed into round balls to make fresh mozzarella cheese.

Different Mozzarella Cheese Types – Fresh Mozzarella Varieties

Mozzarella is not aged and is best when eaten within hours of its making.

Most people are quite familiar with mozzarella cheese. It is the cheese traditionally used on pizzas and to make fried cheese sticks. It’s important to note, there is quite a difference in flavor and texture between fresh mozzarella and processed sliced or shredded mozzarella, and it’s well worth your time to understand the differences.

It is easy to make homemade mozzarella cheese, and it can be used in a variety of recipes, including salads, meats, poultry, seafood, and vegetables.

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Fresh mozzarella cheese balls are sold in a brine, whey or water solution which helps them retain hydration and shape. It is smooth, mild, and slightly sweet/sour with a distinct milk flavor. The texture is creamy and much softer than mass-processed mozzarella cheese forms that are familiar to most. True buffalo mozzarella is much superior to any made with cow’s milk and is highly sought throughout the world.

Small balls (typically about one inch in diameter) of fresh mozzarella marinated in plain or herbed olive oil are called boconccini. Smoked mozzarella is known as mozzarella affumicata. Manteca is fresh mozzarella molded around a piece of butter.

Mozzarella rolls can be found with fillings of olives, prosciutto, Parma ham, sun-dried tomatoes, and any variety of herbs. The simplest and most enjoyable way to eat fresh mozzarella is with sliced fresh tomatoes, basil leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil. You’ll see this dish in a variety of forms served in many authentic Italian restaurants.

Fresh mozzarella is in high demand across America. It can typically be found in most common commercial grocery stores and in some Italian markets. It’s a good idea to keep fresh mozzarella in its liquid bath until ready to eat, and eat. This will usually last 2 to 3 days. If you choose to purchase fresh mozzarella you should always check the product dating and buy the freshest cheese that you can find. It’s preferable to purchase cheese made the same day. It’s also important to note, fresh mozzarella becomes bitter and sour with age. Freezing this type of cheese is also not recommended.

Processed Mozzarella Cheese

Contrary to fresh mozzarella, mass-produced mozzarella cheese is dryer, less flavorful, and has a rubbery texture. This bears little resemblance to its fresh counterpart. It’s quite a firm cheese that melts easily, which makes it best used as a binder for sauces, for melted toppings, and in baked dishes like our beloved pizza pies. Processed mozzarella cheese is easily attainable in part skim, low-fat, and non-fat versions. It’s typically packaged in pre-sliced or shredded assortments. It’s a good idea to keep processed mozzarella cheese tightly wrapped. It can usually be used within 2 to 4 weeks, if you want it to retain its full flavor.

The next time you sink your teeth into your favorite pizza pie, remember it’s the cheese that makes our eyes widen and lips smack. “Oh my”, pizza, what a wonderful and delightful treat.

Great Mediterranean Pita Pizza Recipe

Posted by Lock On June - 5 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

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Ingredients:
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 medium onion, finely minced
* 1/2 green bell pepper, small dice
* 1 pound ground lamb (or turkey or chicken)
* 1 teaspoon cumin
* 1 teaspoon coriander
* 4 sprigs fresh oregano
* OR
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* Salt and pepper
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste
* Water (optional)
* 4 large fresh pita
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
* 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
* 2 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed, small dice
* 1/4 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
* Olive oil (optional)
* Fresh torn basil (optional)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 500F. (Note: If pita is fairly sturdy, place assembled pizzas
directly on rack. If not, preheat a baking sheet with the oven.)
In a large sauté pan, preheat oil and pan over medium flame. Add onions and
peppers and sweet for about five minutes to soften.
Add ground meat and more oil if necessary to prevent sticking. As meat browns,
break up with a wooden spoon to combine with veggies and brown evenly

History of Chicago Style Pizza

Posted by Lock On June - 3 - 2015 10 COMMENTS

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The Chicago-style “deep-dish” pizza that many people love was invented at Pizzeria Uno, in Chicago, in 1943, reportedly by Uno’s founder Ike Sewell, a former University of Texas football star. However, a 1956 article from the Chicago Daily News asserts that Uno’s original pizza chef Rudy Malnati developed the famous recipe.

The pizza’s foundation is simple. It uses a thick layer of dough (made with olive oil and cornmeal) that is formed to a deep round pan and pulled up the sides. The pizza crust is then parbaked before the toppings are added to give it greater spring.

Parbaking is a cooking technique in which a bread or dough product is partially baked and then rapidly frozen or cooled. The raw dough is baked as if normal, but halted at about 80% of the normal cooking time, when it is rapidly cooled and frozen. The partial cooking kills the yeast in the bread mixture, and sets the internal structure of the proteins and starches (the spongy texture of the bread), so that it is now essentially cooked inside, but not so far as to have generated “crust” or other externally desirable qualities that are difficult to preserve once fully cooked.

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Hawthorne Lane`s Pepperoni Pizza Recipe

Posted by Lock On June - 1 - 2015 1 COMMENT

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A Monster Of A Pie!

Ingredients:

* 2 pc. Pizza dough (see below)
* 1 teaspoon Virgin olive oil
* 2 cups Whole milk mozzarella cheese, grated (loosely packed)
* 1/2 cup Buffalo mozzarella, cubed into 1/2″ pieces (about 4 oz.)
* 1 Red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ strips
* 12 Kalamata olives
* 2 tablespoons Grated Parmesan cheese
* 2 ounces Gingrass Family Smoked Pepperoni, sliced very thinly (1/8″ or less)
* 2 tablespoons Chopped Italian parsley

Pizza Dough
* 4 cups All purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cup Warm water (about 90 F.)
* 1 teaspoon Salt
* 1 teaspoon Fresh yeast
* 1 1/2 teaspoon Honey
* 1 tablespoon Olive oil

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 500 F. and place a baking stone or tile in to heat.

Roll the dough into roughly 10 ” rounds using a pie pin or by pounding and stretching the dough.

Sprinkle a light cutting board or pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina and lay the dough down on it. Brush the olive oil over the center of the dough then spread the mozzarella cheese evenly over the dough, leaving a half-inch rim without cheese.

Arrange the cubed buffalo mozzarella, the olives and the roasted peppers over the cheese. Finally, slide the pizzas into the oven.

Bake for five minutes then remove from the oven and arrange the sliced pepperoni over the cheese and sprinkle the Parmesan over. Return to the over and continue to bake for five more minutes or until the edge of the crust becomes golden brown and the cheese bubbles in the center.

Remove from the oven and place on a cutting board. Sprinkle the chopped Italian parsley over and cut into six or eight pieces. Serve immediately. Pizza Dough makes dough for six pizzas Combine the salt, flour and honey in an electric mixer and mix using the dough hook to distribute evenly.

Add the water and yeast and mix for two minutes on low speed to bring the dough together. Increase the speed to medium and mix for six minutes, pushing the dough back into the mixing bowl if it creeps up the side. Add the olive oil and mix until the dough has absorbed to oil and comes back together. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand to stiffen. Form into a ball and allow to rest for 30 minutes under a damp cloth. Scale into 4-1/2 oz. pieces then form into tight balls by rolling under your hand.

Perfect Pesto Pizza Recipe

Posted by Lock On May - 30 - 2015 1 COMMENT

Today’s pizza is an Italian Favorite. It goes to the very heart of great Italian cooking. If you enjoy pesto you’ll love this pizza pie.

“Pesto” the name itself comes from the Latin root “pestle,” which is typically fitting as the sauce, in its simplest form, its made by crushing a few key savory ingredients together. There are two forms of pesto sauce that are commonly used… pesto alla genovese and pesto alla siciliana. Both forms of pesto sauce are from Genoa and Sicily, respectively.

Pesto alla genoese is made with garlic, salt, extra virgin olive oil, Pecorino Sardo cheese, and Genoese basil.  (Note that Genoese basil is just one member of the large basil family.) The recipe for pesto alla siciliana is similar, but with tomatoes and less basil. Most accept the fact that the Genoese recipe for pesto, was the original recipe.

Pesto  sauces are typically made with a veriety of different ingredients and have been part of Italian cuisines since Roman times. In addition to the well known two basic pesto recipes, other variations include red bell peppers,  sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, walnuts, parmesan cheese, and ricotta cheese. In fact, some pesto sauces are made with arugula instead of basil.

Pesto is a very versatile sauce and can be used as a bruschetta topping, on pasta, on cooked meats, and even in soups. Of course today we’ll be using pesto sauce for our pizza. A lovely way to explore pesto sauces is to buy a few different kinds, and make a platter of pesto bruschetta using each sauce… then decide which sauce suits your fancy for your favorite pizza pie.

By the way, most basil plants grow year after year and will increase in size if they are planted in nourishing soil.

While the herb is delicious to eat fresh from the bush in salads or as a pasta topping, it can also be used delightfully in the form of a pesto sauce as you’ll see today.

HomePizzaChef’s Premier Pesto Pizza

  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) stemmed spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil from oil?packed sun?dried tomatoes or olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • Olive Oil (of course…)
  • Your favorite thin pizza crust recipe (see many crust recipes on this site)
  • 1/3 cup sliced drained oil?packed sun?dried tomatoes
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Alternative Pesto Recipe

  • * 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • * 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • * 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • * 3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
  • * 3 garlic cloves, finely minced

Blend first 4 ingredients in processor to coarse puree. Transfer pesto to small bowl. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.)

Now… To Make The Pizza…

Preheat oven to 500F. Grease 12 inch pizza pan with olive oil. Arrange dough in pan and spread all of pesto over dough.

Sprinkle with sun?dried tomatoes…then your favorite cheeses.

Occasionally I’ll add a sprinkle of Italian sausage for extra taste.

Bake pizza until crust browns and cheese melts.

Enjoy!

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The Potato Pizza Bake Recipe

Posted by Lock On May - 26 - 2015 1 COMMENT

Today we’re going to introduce you to something a bit different. We’re going to incorporate the beloved potato into a pizza recipe. I’m sure you’re going to love this.

Before we get started, first a few words about the beloved potato.

The history of the potato has its roots in the beautiful Andes Mountains of South America. It is an austere region that is marked by fluctuating temperatures and relatively poor soil conditions.

It’s quite amazing that the tough and durable potato evolved in the thin air (elevations up to 15,000 feet) of this region. The potato is tough, just like like the people who first settled the region.

The tough pre-Columbian farmers first discovered and cultivated the potato some 7,000 years ago. They were impressed by the ruggedness, storage quality and its nutritional value of the potato.

Western man did not come in contact with the potato until as late as 1537 when the Conquistadors tramped through Peru. And it was even later, about 1570, that the first potato made its way across the Atlantic to make a start in the soil of Europe.

Though the tuber was productive and hardy, the Spanish didn’t initially recognize these qualitites and put it to very limited use. In the Spanish Colonies potatoes were considered food for the underclasses; when brought to the Old World they would be used primarily to feed hospital inmates. Wow…the potato has surely evolved since those days.

It would take three decades for the potato to spread to the rest of Europe. Even so the potato was cultivated primarily as a curiosity by amateur botanists. Resistance was due to ingrained eating habits. The potato’s popularity was somewhat hampered by it’s reputation as a food for the underprivileged and perhaps most importantly its relationship to poisonous plants.

That was then, but this is now and I’m going to show you how we’re going to incorporate the beloved potato into a pizza dish that you can enjoy whenever you like.

Let’s get started shall we…

What you’re going to need…

Ingredients:

* 1 pound ground beef
* 4 cups thinly sliced potatoes (or you can use potato halves)
* 1 med. onion (sliced thin)
* 1 can Cheddar cheese soup
* 1 soup can milk
* 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 1/2 teaspoon oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 6 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
* 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Easy Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cook ground beef in skillet until it loses redness. Place potatoes and onions in buttered 9×13″ pan. Add meat to mixture. Mix cheese soup and milk until smooth and add to meat and potatoes; mix together.

Combine tomato sauce, salt, pepper, oregano and sugar. Pour sauce over the top, but do not mix. Dot with butter. Cover pan with foil. Bake at 375 F for 1 hour.

Remove cover and arrange sliced cheese on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Return to oven, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until cheese bubbles.

There you have it, ni9ce and easy and more importantly super deliciuos. I hope you enjoy adding a pizza twist to one of our favorite foods… the potato.

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Herb Dough & Balsamic Mushroom Pizza

Posted by Lock On May - 18 - 2015 5 COMMENTS

herbedmushroomToday’s pizza recipe combines one of my favorite pizza ingredients with the aromatic vinegar of Modena, Italy. Balsamic vinegar, a vinegar made from the juice of white Trebbiano grape that is heated and aged in wooden barrels, typically for several years. We’ll accent the flavor of the pizza by using a delightful herb dough for the base.

Making The Pizza Dough:

Herb Pizza Dough Recipe

Ingredients:
* 1 package Active Dry Yeast
* 1 teaspoon Sugar
* 7/8 cup Warm Water — 110 degrees
* 1/4 cup Italian Seasoning
* 2 1/4 cups Flour
* 1 tablespoon Flour
* 1/2 teaspoon Salt
* 1 tablespoon Garlic Olive Oil — as needed
* Oil And Cornmeal For Pan

Pizza Dough Directions:

Stir together the yeast, sugar and warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, chop the herbs. Turn off machine. Add flour and salt.

Turn the machine on and off a couple of times. While the machine is running, add yeast. Process until the dough forms a ball at the side of the bowl. Add garlic olive oil and process for 30 to 40 seconds more.

Transfer dough to a bowl that has been oiled with olive oil. Turn the dough until the entire surface has been coated with the oil. Cover bowl with a damp towel and allow to rise in a warm draft free place for 1 hour or until doubled. Roll out on a lightly floured surface and if dough is too elastic, try tossing it from hand to hand to flatten it out. Lightly grease the pizza pan with a little oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place the dough on the pizza pan and trim the edges.

Bake for 10 minutes @ 425 degrees. Remove from oven, lightly brush the crust with a little more oil. Makes enough dough for one 12″ crust.

Pizza Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound fresh white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
or
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked blacked pepper
1/3 cup prepared pesto
1 cup shredded fontina cheese, divided
1/3 cup roasted red peppers

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a 12-inch pizza pan with vegetable cooking spray. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat live oil until it just begins to smoke. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic; cook,stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden, about 5 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, thyme, salt and black pepper; cook and stir until liquid has nearly evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes; set aside. Spread pesto over reserved pizza crust; sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the cheese. Top with reserved mushrooms mixture and roasted peppers; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until hot and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Cut in wedges; serve immediately.

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