10.29.2014

Slab Pizza Pie



I have a dream.  I actually have so many dreams that my husband can't keep up. I think it's pretty reasonable to ask for a wood fired pizza oven in my back yard.  I'm married to a General Contractor. You would think he could make this happen.  

I feel lucky enough to have a couple of pizza stones. I can pretend I have a wood fired oven.  I have to admit when I start to crank the heat up in my oven to achieve that perfect crisp crust, there may have been a few small fires sparked.  The smoke alarm generally goes off and it scares the living h*** out of my Maine Coon cats.  I generally hear the comment, "what's mom burning now".  

 

When I was growing up the only pizza I had came from a packaged box mix by Apian Way. Inside the box was a package of crust mix and a small can of pizza sauce.  My mom would mix the crust with water a push it into a baking sheet.  We didn't own a round pizza pan only a rectangular baking sheet.  The canned sauce was spread over the dough.  We generally only had mild cheddar cheese, so that was used and my mom would fry up some ground beef and sprinkle on top.

Pizza was not my favorite food as a child.


If you don't own a pizza stone or a wood fired oven, this recipe is a great alternative for a crisp crust pizza that will feed a herd.

I decided to use the Crusty Bread dough recipe for the crust.  I added 1/2 cup more flour so the dough would be easier to work with and not so sticky.

For this recipe you will need:

Crust:
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water

You can follow step-by-step instructions to mix the crust dough here.  Allow dough to sit overnight at room temperature.

Once the dough has risen overnight, I am ready to build the pizza.


Pour 1/3 cup olive oil onto a baking sheet.


This is the crusty bread dough with an additional 1/2 cup flour that I mixed the night before.  It has been raising for approximately 14 hours.  You don't have to let your dough raise that long and it can raise as long as 18 hours.


Drop the dough onto the oiled baking sheet.


Carefully press the dough to the edges of the baking sheet.

This won't happen the first attempt.  The dough will need to rest off and on while to get it to reach the sides of the pan without putting holes in it.  Be patient it could take up to an hour.  Prepare in advance.  I have covered the dough with plastic wrap and let it set for up to 2 hours until I was ready to bake the pizza.  It's ok for it to sit for a while.


I like the fact that I can leave the dough ready to go for a couple of hours.  This way when everyone is ready to eat, all I have to do is add the toppings and bake. I love anything that can be prepared in advance.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap while preparing the other ingredients.


Sauce and toppings:

1/3 cup olive oil
1 28-oz can plum tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup olive oil (in addition to the 1/3 cup above)
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
1/2 red onion
1/2 cup kalamata olives
8 slices prosciutto 

Before you begin to assemble the ingredients preheat oven to 525 degrees Fahrenheit or as hot as your oven will go.


I personally love a chunky tomato sauce.

Crush the tomatoes with your hands.  It's pretty messy and I squirt seeds everywhere.




To the crushed tomatoes, add 2 cloves garlic, chopped.



Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.


Add 1/4 cup olive oil.


Chop 1/4 cup fresh basil.



Stir ingredients together and set aside.


My local grocery store just happened to be pulling fresh mozzarella today.  Lucky me!


Fresh mozzarella can be difficult to shred, so I'm going to dice it.


I have about 2 cups.  You can use more or less.


Halve the olives, if you desire.


Cut the onion in half leaving the root in tact.



I just barely trimmed off the roots.  I want to keep the ends intact.


Cut thin slices.


Set aside.


I'm making one last attempt to pull the dough to the corners of the baking sheet.


Layer is this order.  Mozzarella first.


Spoon on 1 1/2 cups of crushed tomatoes. You will have left over sauce.



Add sliced onions.  I like to fan them out a bit because it looks cool.


Add the sliced olives.


Top with prosciutto.


Place in a preheated 525 degree Fahrenheit oven on the lowest rack.


Bake for about 15 minutes or so.  I like the edges to get crisp and brown.

Remove from oven.  Let cool for about 5 minutes.  At this point the pizza can be carefully lifted out of the baking sheet onto a large cutting board, if desired for easy cutting.  You can always just leave it in the pan for serving as well.

There you have it Slab Pizza.  Of course you can choose your own toppings.  May I suggest thin sliced sandwich pepperoni and jalapenos.  Just remember not to overload the pizza, it can make the crust a bit soggy and the goal is a nice crisp crust.





Slab Pizza Pie

Crust:
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water

Sauce and toppings:
1/3 cup olive oil
1 28-oz can plum tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup olive oil (in addition to the 1/3 cup above)
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded or cubed.
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half
8 slices prosciutto 

For the crust:  Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let set at room temperature overnight or at least 8-10 hours.



When ready to prepare pizza:
Preheat oven to 525 degrees or as hot as your oven can get.  Coat a baking sheet with 1/3 cup olive oil.  Scrape the dough from the bowl into the baking sheet and gently press the dough toward the edges and corners of the pan.  Let the dough rest until it can be eased into the corners.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.  Dough can set for at least 2 hours before topping.

For the sauce: Crush tomatoes with your hands into a bowl.  Add minced garlic, salt, chopped basil and olive oil.  Stir.  

To assemble:  First, spread mozzarella cheese on the dough.  Second, carefully spoon sauce over top of the cheese.  Third, add onions, olives and prosciutto.  Place in preheated oven on the lowest rack and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serves 6



Inspiration:  Mom and Bon Appetite Magazine

10.23.2014

The Pumpkin Harvest and Halloween Treats


I just can't remember a more beautiful Autumn in Utah.  The weather has been so lovely and I can't believe I'm still picking tomatoes.

I just harvested my pumpkins and gourds in time for Halloween and to do a bit of decorating around my home to celebrate the perfect season.  My garden is naked without them attached tho their vines.


I'm sure you have favorite recipes that you can't live without during this time of year.

Here are a few of our family favorites.  Halloween just isn't Halloween without them.


Old Fashioned Caramel Apples made with a simple caramel recipe of my Grandmothers.



Spudnuts!  Nothing beats a hot doughnut on Halloween.  If you have never made homemade doughnuts, this is your year.  You family and friends will love you more than Dunkin'.


 How about these Creepy Witch Finger cookies.  One of the most popular recipes from my blog.  I know they look so gross, but they are a delicious butter cookie.



These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are not so sweet and perfect to tuck in a lunch box or a quick breakfast.


My little trick-or-treaters never left the house without a hot bowl of soup.  Pumpkin Coconut Bisque is warming and a deliciously easy.  This is my favorite bisque during the cold winter season.  

I'd love to hear about some of your family favorite treats and meals for Halloween.  

Share if you dare!  

10.20.2014

Ghostly Cupcakes and a recipe for Boiled Icing






I am lucky enough to have my grandmothers old wooden recipe box.  I was thumbing through this old box looking for her recipe for chili sauce.  I carefully pulled out recipes that had been handwritten on recipe cards, torn sheets of paper, and even napkins.  I can see her sitting at a ward church potluck and using her napkin to write down the recipe of a new dish she had never had before.  I found a recipe written on a piece of paper from a small desktop calender dated back to 1954.  Many of the recipes did not have instructions or specific amounts.  I chuckled to myself when I read things like a "handful of..." or a "box of..." 
 I
I stumbled upon a recipe for Boiled Icing. I remember my mom making this icing to top Grandma's recipe for Devils Food Cake.  I haven't had this for years!  

I thought it would be fun to turn the icing into a fun cupcake for Halloween.  I was lucky enough to have my grand kids visit last week and thought how fun it would be to make this recipe with them.  I had forgotten how much chaos is involved with these cuties.  I told my daughter that the Midwest tornadoes had nothing on her kids.  We had fun times with some fun memories and I'm just getting around to making the cupcakes and the grandchildren are hundred of miles away (self pity). 



You will need the following to make Grandma's boiled icing recipe:

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla

18 chocolate cups cakes  Here are two great recipes to choose from:  Grandma's Devils Food OR Mumma's Chocolate Cake
mini chocolate chips or candy eyes


In a small sauce pan add 1 1/2 cups sugar.


Carefully add the 1/2 cup hot water.


Add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar.

Sorry about the blurry pics on this post.  I had a few camera setting issues.  I'm still trying to figure out this new camera that I've had for 7 months.


This is very important.  Carefully stir the water, sugar and cream of tartar.  I try very hard not to let any sugar crystals stick to the sides of the pan.

Because there isn't any fat in the recipe, if sugar crystals form then the icing could turn to sugar. Gently stir while warming over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.


When the mixture begins to boil, clip on a candy thermometer.  Notice that no sugar is around the edges of the pan.  If there are sugar crystals present, just wet a pastry brush with water and wash the sides.



Let the mixture gently boil over medium heat until it reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit.


When the temperature has almost reached 240 degrees, add the 3 egg whites and 1 teaspoon vanilla into a large mixing bowl.


Mix until egg whites begin to foam.


When the temperature of the sugar mixture reaches 240 degrees, remove from heat and pour into a heat proof measuring cup.


With the mixer running slowly pour the hot mixture into the egg white mixture.



 Beat for about 10 minutes until very thick and shiny and just barely warm.


Another blurry pic...

I like to use a disposable pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.


It helps to place the bag into a large cup to fill.




Pipe onto cooled chocolate cupcakes.


Add candy eyes or mini chocolate chips.

I can't believe that I was out of mini chocolate chips, but found some candy eyes.


CUTE!






 





Ghostly Cupcakes with Boiled Icing

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla

18 chocolate cups cakes  Here are two great recipes to choose from:  Grandma's Devils Food OR Mumma's Chocolate Cake
mini chocolate chips or candy eyes

Print recipe