In my mind, Mike Piazza will forever be linked to thoughts of the Subway Series, broken bats, and the pissy temper of Roger Clemens. For many of you, however, the former Dodger/Met/Marlin-for-ten-minutes was a beloved figure with his love of heavy metal and his career .308 AVG/.377 OBP/.545 SLG.
So forgive the unfortunate pun. Today’s Foodie Friday will provide a delicious foundation for endless disc-shaped meals. With football season just around the corner – or the Yankees/Red Sox series in full swing – you’ll want to keep this recipe handy. It also makes a great potluck theme – offer to look after making the pizza dough and have your friends bring over their favourite toppings (Seriously, you get the better end of this deal! Have you seen the price of cheese lately?)
This recipe will make one thick crust pizza or two thin crust pizzas. If you purchased a KitchenAid mixer in 2006, then this recipe may be awfully familiar to you. Here’s what you’ll need:
- one package of quick-action active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons if you’re like me and buy yeast by the jar. Make sure it hasn’t expired!)
- one cup of warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
Run your mixing bowl under warm water first to create the optimal environment for your yeast (ugh…that just sounded wrong).
Then add your cup of water to the bowl and the yeast. It should look like this in no time.
Add salt, olive oil and 2 1/2 cups of flour. If you have a stand-up mixer, attach the dough hook. Otherwise use a hand mixer. Mix about one minute at medium for a hand mixer and Speed 2 for a KitchenAid.
Add the rest of your flour (1/2 cup at a time) and mix until dough clings to hook (if applicable) and cleans side of the bowl, about two minutes at the same speed. The amount of flour you’ll need depends on the kind you use. I use a whole white flour so I tend to only use about three cups in all. If your dough doesn’t seem clingy enough, add just a little bit of warm water until you’ve achieved the right result.
For KitchenAid users, keep it on Speed 2 and knead for two minutes. Otherwise, you’ll have to do this by hand, but only for about five minutes (besides, kneading dough is a great way to get your frustrations out. I like to pretend the dough is the face of Jonathan Papelbon…)
Form a ball with your dough and place it in a greased bowl.
Cover with a tea towel and leave it in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Spend this time reflecting on how you’ve only recently noticed that you can project a movie on Mike Piazza’s forehead.
Now you’re ready to make pizza!
Grab a sheet of parchment paper (I apologize for the Martha-ness of the recommendation but face it, the shit works!), brush with a touch of olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal if you have it. Roll your dough out on this – use the whole lump for a thick crust, or separate in half for two thin crust pizzas. Then slide the dough and paper over to a round cookie sheet or pizza stone.
Add your fave pizza toppings and bake in a preheated 350 degree (Fahrenheit, of course) oven for about 10 minutes. Feeling uninspired? Try my recipe for a simple Ham and Mushroom Pizza, which even my picky son enjoyed. You’ll need:
- a can of pizza sauce (I like Eden Organic’s Pizza and Pasta Sauce – you’ll only need a few tablespoons)
- one or two fresh mushrooms, sliced
- one or two slices of deli-sliced ham, sliced into smaller pieces
- one to 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
The fresh herbs you see in the pic are optional. We used some fresh oregano and onion tops from our garden, because we’re hippies.
This is pretty easy: brush the sauce on first, then add fresh herbs, cheese and ham and mushroom.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Need dessert? The Blonde Bomber has a wonderful recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies over at Someone Left The Cake Out In The Rain. If you have spiced rum left over from last weekend, you’re in luck!