chorizo, pepper & mushroom pizza

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

If you haven't noticed, I've been blogging everyday.  Through my years of reading food blogs I knew that November meant NaBloPoMo. So when I started my blog I thought, I'm going to do it, I'm going to write a post everyday for a month. How hard can it be?

Well, when you write a food / baking blog, it's freaking hard. Not only do you have to write, you have to cook things to go with it. Now, I'm not suggesting I don't feel a sense of accomplishment that I am taking this on, but I think I underestimated what it entailed. Writing a post everyday is sort of cleansing, yet it's forcing my cooking motivation. It's forcing me to try new things and try all those recipes in my bookmarks folder. There's a lot.  You'll find out soon enough.

I do also love sharing all my cooking experiences not just my friends and family, but whoever stumbles upon my little blog about my adventures in the kitchen.

Tonight's post was easy to write, it's one of my favourite things to eat and to make. Pizza. Delivery pizza tastes like greasy cardboard and unfortunately in the burbs we don't have any authentic oven baked pizza joints, so I recreate it as best I can at home.

The dough recipe is always the same, unless I add some whole wheat flour to the mix, but the toppings are always different. I tend to always have mushrooms and peppers, meat depending on the mood or what's in the freezer.  Earlier I had bought some great pre-sliced chorizo in anticipation of pizza making and it worked perfectly.

Basic pizza dough

This recipe will make one small, thin crust pizza. I usually double it since I like it bready and a little bit thicker

1 1/2 cups flour  (1/2 of this can be replaced with whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (may need 1-2 tablespoons more)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine and stir dry ingredients, including yeast in a large bowl. Add water and oil, stirring into as close to a ball as you can. If you find it too dry, add more water until it is mostly in a ball.

Dump everything on to floured surface, yes even all the dry and clumpy bits on the bottom. Knead everything into a homogeneous ball. Once in a ball, knead for a minute or two further. You can alternately use the dough hook of your stand mixer, but I find it easier to knead by hand.

Lightly oil bowl you mixed the dough in with a cooking spray. Dump dough ball back into bowl and roll around until all sides of the dough have been coated. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two, until it has doubled.*

Dump raised dough back on the a floured surface and press the air out of the dough with the palm of your hands. Fold back into a ball and put it back into the bowl under the plastic wrap for another 20 minutes.

Roll out pizza dough onto a pizza stone or a baking sheet with or without cornmeal, I usually forgo the cornmeal. Top with whatever sauce and toppings you please, mine were green peppers, mushrooms and chorizo.

Bake at the highest heat possible, usually 500 degrees until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbling. About 16-19 minutes depending on the heat of your oven and the thickness of your dough.

Once out of the oven, let the pizza rest for a few minutes otherwise when you try and cut it, your topping will slide off. Which will cause a sad face.