Tuesday, January 27, 2009

homemade pizza!

One of the (very few) disappointments of our locale on the peninsula is that we have not found any good, local pizza. This might be partly because we left behind a few fantastic pizza places in Seattle. Some nights I long for Pagliacci's AGOG Primo and Pagliaccio Salad, or a slice from Atlantic Street. What we've found in our area so far just hasn't measured up. So we've taken to making our own.

Tonight's pizza topping combo is courtesy of Jennifer Kurkoski (fellow Googler and culinary sage). I'm going to put it all onto a cornmeal crust. I think it's quite possibly the best pizza I've ever made. 

Pear Gorgonzola Pizza

Cornmeal pizza dough:
2 tsp. active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
2/3 c. warm water
1 2/3 c. flour (plus more for work surface)
1/4 c. cornmeal (plus more for baking sheet)
1 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (plus more for bowl)

6 oz. gorgonzola, crumbled
1 large portobello mushroom
8 oz. mozzarella, shredded
1 large pear
olive oil

Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the warm water in a small bowl. Let stand until yeast is dissolved and mixture is foamy (about 10 minutes). 

Combine flour, cornmeal, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, add yeast mixture and oil to the well. Slowly stir with a wooden spoon until dough just starts to come together (sprinkle with flour if dough is too sticky, but not so much that it becomes dry). Transfer to lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Rub oil over dough and return to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about an hour (the dough should double in size). 

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Transfer dough to floured surface and knead for 30 seconds. Sprinkle cornmeal on baking sheet. Using fingers, press dough out on baking sheet to desired size. (Word of warning: dust off the extra cornmeal at this point before baking, otherwise there might be some smoke and the fire alarm might go off. That might have happened tonight!)

Brush the dough with olive oil and bake (about 8 minutes). Thinly slice mushroom and pear. Layer mushroom, gorgonzola, pear, and mozzarella (in that order) onto mostly baked crust. Return to oven. Bake until cheese is golden (about 5 minutes).

Add a simple spinach salad (tonight's version includes apples and walnuts) and we have a not altogether unhealthy meal to accompany our weekly viewing of the Bachelor. Perhaps it will be so tasty that Marika will weigh in with a comment this week!


  1. Yup - Peninsula (and indeed most of California) is pretty grim for pizza. Za's in SF is pretty good (even by East Coast standards) as is the Cheese Board in the Gourmet Ghetto of Berkeley, but the Peninsula - indeed - make your own is the way to go!

  2. This was another favorite...I don't know what I'm going to do when the Bachelor ends!


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