Pizza is a pie and today is national Pi Day so here’s a tribute to everyone’s favorite pie.
Everyone loves pizza, right? While my family loves traditional pizzas smothered in tomato sauce, cheese, and meat, my preference leans more towards the pizzas you find at California Pizza Kitchen. I’ll take a pizza with no sauce, rich roasted vegetables, and non-traditional pizza cheeses any day. Here in Albania the former is what you find in very restaurant in the country. I’ll eat them, but I won’t love them.
My solution is to make my own at home. Rather than make one large pizza for the entire family, I make individual sized pizzas which allow each of us to add the toppings we prefer. We even turn pizza making into an activity that the entire family can participate in. The dough recipe is from Cuisine At Home. It is easy and makes enough for four individual sized pizzas. If you don’t want to make four pizzas you can cover the left over dough tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to two days.
I found inspiration for the topping by what I had on hand in the refrigerator. My pizza included a layer of thinly sliced brie cheese (freeze briefly to make slicing easier), caramelized red onion, and crisp prosciutto and I added fresh avocado and a bit of fresh chopped rosemary for color and flavor. You could easily add a tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni–which is what I did for my boys— or go entirely vegetable with peppers, mushrooms and onions. Think of the crust as an empty palate and let your imagination go wild.
CARAMELIZED ONION, BRIE & PROSCIUTTO PIZZA
For the Dough:
1 Teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 Teaspoon honey
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon Kosher salt
4 Teaspoons olive oil
- Dissolve the yeast in the water. Stir in the honey and let stand until the liquid begins to bubble, 3-5 minutes; stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Pulse the flour, salt, and remaining olive oil in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. With the machine running, pour in the yeast mixture and process until the dough forms a ball around the blade.
- Remove the dough from the processor and knead on a lightly floured surface, adding more flour as necessary, until smooth and elastic, 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the dough stretches gently when pulled, 30-60 minutes.
- Punch dough down and divide into four pieces; shape into balls and roll in your hands until smooth, about one minute.
- Arrange dough balls on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap coated with non-stick spray, and let rise for 30-60 minutes more.
- Press each dough ball out on a lightly floured surface. Turn dough, pressing on its center, then roll each into a 7 to 8 inch circle. Transfer the rounds onto a pizza peel generously dusted with cornmeal; brush each with 1 teaspoon olive oil, then add toppings.
3 ounces diced prosciutto
2 cups thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup brie cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 ripe avocado, diced
2 Teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone on the bottom rack.
- Cook prosciutto in a saute pa until crisp; transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and reserve drippings.
- Saute onions in drippings over medium heat.
- Add 3-4 Tablespoons water at a time as needed, to keep onion from scorching. Saute onion until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Divide and spread the brie evenly amongst the prepared dough circles.
- Divide onion, prosciutto, avocado and rosemary among the pizzas.
- Carefully transfer the pizzas to hot pizza stone. Bake pizzas until crust is browned, about ten minutes.