Tara’s Take on Pizza…and Everything

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finished-pizza-up-close

I so love For the Love of Food’s Taste and Create monthly blog event. The concept is simple: two food bloggers are paired together and must create (and blog about, of course) a recipe from their partner’s blog. My Taste and Create partner this month was Tara over at Tara Blogs About Everything, who also happens to be a Daring Baker! This Summer, I took a bit of a break from the Daring Bakers group and was saddened to learn during said break I missed out on making pizza. But when I clicked over to Tara’s blog, I spotted the Daring Baker recipe and did a bit of a happy dance (sadly, I am not exaggerating when I say I did a dance in my living room).

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I don’t just love pizza, I LOVE PIZZA. It’s the perfect excuse to combine cheese and carmelized onions, so I take it whenever I can get it. I followed Tara’s Basic Pizza Dough, but opted for different toppings…cheese and carmelized onions (surprise, surprise). I also threw in the last of the heirloom tomatoes for our area, prosciutto strips and fresh rosemary. And even as I write this post, I’m hungry for another slice (sadly, it’s all gone…too good to resist).

BASIC PIZZA DOUGH
Original recipe from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.
Ingredients:
4 1/2 Cups Unbleached bread flour
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast
1/4 Cup Olive oil
1 3/4 Cups Water
1 Tb sugar
Cornmeal for dusting
Toppings:
6 ounces Vermeer cheese, grated
2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1 large onion, carmelized
8 ounces of prosciutto, sliced into thin strips
Chopped fresh rosemary
rolling-out-the-dough
1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).
2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.
3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.
4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).
5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball
6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.
7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.
9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible.
10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.
11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter – for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan (I had to cheat a bit and break out the rolling pan to get the circle more to my liking), making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.
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12. Top the dough with half the grated cheese and half the carmelized onions, the tomatoes, the prosciutto strips, the remaining onions and the cheese. Then sprinkle the rosemary on top.
13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.
14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.
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5 Comments

Filed under Pizza, Taste and Create

5 responses to “Tara’s Take on Pizza…and Everything

  1. Sounds delicious, and what a fun event! What exactly is Vermeer cheese?

  2. @ Tiffany – Vermeer cheese is a Dutch style cheese very similar to Gouda. In other words, it’s awesome! I get Keswick Creamery Vermeer cheese at one of the local farmer’s markets in DC.

  3. Wow, looks great!!! I am glad I gave you an excuse to make pizza! You truly are a girl after my own heart. Have I mentioned that the lady at the italian deli calls me “prosciutto girl” and saves the ends of it for me! Heehee.

    PS Yours will be up tomorrow! Yay!

  4. I love the use of the yellow tomatoes! Your pizza looks fantastic!

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