Friday, January 20, 2012

A Pickle Pizza Story

I find it only appropriate to begin my blogging with the one and only... PICKLE PIZZA!!! (cheers of joy chime in) but just to warn you, this does become a bit of an all day process, but well worth it. (This 'recipe' is more like a novel, but that's how it has to be.)

Thursdays for our household have become "Pickle Pizza Day" (there's always leftovers for Friday's lunch :), so Thursday mornings is when I begin my preparation of the dough.

Part One:

Dough Ingredients-

3 cups Whole Wheat Flour plus a little to add to dough
1 tsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
Italian Seasoning (I use A LOT, season how you like)
1 Honey Stick (about a tsp.)
2 1/4 tps. Dry Active Yeast

In a large mixing bowl mix in the flour, salt, olive oil and Italian seasoning, set aside.

In a small mixing bowl add the yeast, honey and a half a cup of warm water. Stir until yeast dissolves.

Then add the yeast mixture to the large bowl and stir until blended. Then add one cup of water to the flour and stir until water is dissolved and then work the dough for a good ten minutes until all the flour is completely worked in and the dough becomes smooth and soft.

You now have your dough, but it needs time to sit and rise, I give it a good 8+ hours. I make it into a ball and put a little flour on the outside of the ball just so it doesn't stick and then put it in a tupperware container and into the fridge for the whole work day.

Part Two:

Toppings Ingredients-

8oz of Pizza Sauce (in the summer I like to make homemade sauce from my garden, but Trader Joe's has a yummy sauce that I use when homemade isn't available)
4 cups Mozzarella Cheese
A little more Whole Wheat Flour for rolling out dough
A little more Olive Oil for brushing on dough
Hamburger Sliced Pickles (the cheaper generic store brand is BEST!)
Roasted Red Peppers
Jalepeno Slices
Banana Pepper Slices
Fresh Pineapple (cut up into little bit size pieces)
5 sliced button mushrooms (I put them on my half because JB doesn't like them :)

When I get home from work I take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit out a half hour to an hour (in the tupperware without the lid on it)

In the meantime I heat the oven up to 450˚ with the pizza stone already in the oven so it gets nice and hot.
                *side-note: We LOVE our pizza stone (Thanks to my cousin Ryan for a lovely Wedding gift!) and we leave it in our oven at all times. When not cooking pizza, it stays on the bottom rack and it helps the oven heat up and circulate heat evenly creating a 'stone oven' effect :) It also helps season the stone very well and requires no cleaning at all, no soap, no water, no scrubbing, NOTHING! (When some build up occurs I brush the charred flaky excess off into the garbage, but that's it and that's even a rare occasion.)

While the stone and oven are heating up I get a large bamboo cutting board and rolling pin out, sprinkle flour onto board to make a nonstick surface for dough. Roll dough out until smooth and thin and a nice circular shape. (Make sure to really roll dough out thin because it will get thicker while cooking). Pinch edges of dough to create a little bit of a crust and it helps keep the sauce within the edges. Brush dough with a thin layer of olive oil over the whole thing (make sure to get the edges!)

Take stone out of oven and transfer dough from cutting board to stone (I usually have to use a nonstick spatula for assistance in a smooth transfer.)

Cook dough for 13 minutes WITHOUT toppings.
While the dough is cooking into a lovely crust, get the rest of the toppings out and ready.

I like to take all of the jarred items and mushrooms and rinse them under cold water to get rid of some of the excess salt so you don't go into sodium overload.

When your crust is ready, take it out of the oven.

Next, spoon sauce evenly all over, leaving the crust edges without sauce. Sprinkle cheese over sauce. Then add the pineapple, mushrooms and jarred toppings. Brush a smidge of oil on the edges of crust. 

Now it's time to cook again! Put pizza back into the oven and bake for another 13 minutes. When time is up, put the broiler on low until the cheese is golden brown, usually about 2 minutes or so.

Pickle pizza is done! Let cool for a few minutes, it's going to be piping hot.

But wait, there's more! Another key to pickle pizza enjoyment is a delicious little dipping concoction. I strongly recommend a sprinkling of red pepper flakes on top of your pizza slices, then I mix ranch dressing and Frank's Hot Sauce together for an awesome combination.

My last recommendation, to satisfy your sweet tooth for a treat try some of Trader Joe's Organic 73% Super Dark Chocolate. One piece is all you need for a happy ending to this Pickle Pizza Story.


1 comment:

  1. YOU are impressive!

    Because you allowed Trader Joe's abandonment to lead you to something better, AND because any bitterness you harbored toward Joe was dissolved in dark chocolate which you are now promoting. This, all of this, is a thing of beauty.