Thursday, July 5, 2012

pizza night!

This holiday week has involved an intense amount of midwestern heat and great food (some highlights: italian sausage, bbq chicken, a tasty reuben, and oh so much yummy custard!). Continuing this focus, we spent yesterday evening at Randy's brother's house, savoring hot pizza (amidst hot temperatures) straight from the pizza oven. Add to that Randy's family, some tasty guacamole, pina coladas, and fireworks, and you have yourself a wonderful holiday.

I lamented to Rudy, pizza-maker extraordinaire (and pizza oven craftsman), about my personal woes making pizza dough. Somehow, it never turns out quite right for me (to the point where Randy had to make totally new dough the last time I tried). Rudy was kind enough to share his recipe, which I've included below. Toppings for our pizzas last night involved various combinations of: tomatoes, sauce, mozzarella, sausage, onions, mushrooms, peperoni, ham, pineapple, and fresh basil from the garden. The final pizza out of the oven was a sweet cinnamon-y treat. Here are a couple pics of the delicious masterpieces:

The evening ended with a local firework show, observed from the comfort of the back deck. Thanks Rudy and Veronica, for great food, family, and a fantastic 4th of July!

Rudy's Pizza Dough

1 packet (1/4 oz) active dry rapid-rise yeast
3 c. bread flour
1 1/4 c. lukewarm water
1 1/2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
corn meal, for sprinkling

Mix half of flour with yeast, salt, water with honey dissolved in it, and olive oil. Beat with an electric mixer for 3 minutes on high. Mix in remaining flour (dough will be very sticky). Knead for 5 minutes on floured surface until smooth.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 10 minutes in a warm place. If using a pizza stone, place it in oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees (or hotter if you're using a pizza oven like Rudy's, which gets up to 700+ degrees!). Punch dough down and grab a handful. Cover the dough, rolling surface, and rolling pin with flour. Roll to about 1/4 inch thick.

Sprinkle your pizza peel or a ridge-less baking sheet with cornmeal. Place rolled dough on the cornmeal dusted pan. Top dough with desired toppings and slide onto hot pizza stone. Baking time will vary based on the temperature of your oven. They took about 2 minutes each in the 700-ish degree pizza oven.
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