Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Awesome Cheeseless Pizza

As promised, I return. I started out the night planning to make a minestrone soup that sounded amazing, but realized that since I have a paper due on Thursday it might not be the best idea to make something which requires so much prep work. So instead, I decided to make homemade pizza.



It all started out innocently enough. I whipped up the dough in a matter of minutes (recipe below), preheated my toaster oven and took some pictures.

Then, I rolled the dough out, placed it on a little baking sheet and put it in the toaster oven to prebake the crust a little to avoid sogginess. I start cleaning up and suddenly, my toaster oven breaks. It just shuts off and refuses to turn back on. Now, I don't have a milchig oven. My toaster oven (which was a wonderful wedding gift from my father's friend) was all I had for milchig baking. But I didn't have time to mourn that loss just then. I had pizza dough to save!

Now here I was, two small pizza crusts all set, and my only option was to make them pareve and bake them in my meat oven. So I combed my kitchen, foraged in the fridge, probed my pantry and finally came up with some reasonable ingredients. Now I just had to make them work.



I threw my pizzas together, stuck them in the oven and prayed they'd be good. Well, folks, I'm either a culinary genius or very very lucky. Maybe both. They were delicious. I'll admit to being a bit unprepared for my first bite. It didn't thrill me and I had to adjust to some of the flavors. But by the third bite, I was hooked. The crust was perfect! Crunchy on the bottom and soft and warm on the inside. The seasonings had been daring, but it made for a really interesting experience in the finished product. I'd definitely do it again, maybe with some lightly cooked spinach, fresh mushrooms and red pepper next time.

This is a quick, easy, yummy, and (dare I say it?) healthy dinner for two (or three if you want to be stingy with the dough).



Enjoy!

PS--The pizza dough recipe is not mine. A friend of mine shared it with me. She got it from recipezaar, but the link I have for it no longer works, so I can't give credit to the original person that made it. :(

Sara's Accidentally Cheeseless Pizza


Dough:

1 (1/4 ounce) package of yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
1 Cup warm water
2 1/2 Cups flour (I used bread flour, but the recipe doesn't specify, and I'm sure you could make this whole wheat)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Topping:

Your favorite pizza sauce (mine happens to be Liebers)
small amount of green schug (Middle-eastern jalapeno sauce), to taste
garlic powder, to taste
onion powder, to taste
curry powder, to taste
turmeric to taste
1 small can of corn
1 small can of mushrooms (if you have fresh, use them! I hate canned mushrooms, but it's what I had on hand)
1 small onion, sliced into thin strips
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin (or crushed/minced/left off entirely if that's your preference. I would actually recommend sautéing them a little. I didn't, only because I was feeling lazy. I ended up picking most of the garlic off my pizza.)


Instructions:

1. Combine the yeast and warm water. Stir until dissolved.
2. Add olive oil
3. Combine dry ingredients. Add to liquids, mixing as you go, until it forms a cohesive dough ball (as pictured above. You may have to do some kneading by hand, but nothing too intense.)
{NOTE: When I made this, I found I had to add a tablespoon or two of water to the dough before I got the right texture. You don't want the dough to be especially sticky, but you also don't want it to be falling apart. It should be cohesive and easy to handle.}
4. Let the dough rest about 5 minutes. Take this time to start your oven preheating to 450 degrees fahrenheit.
5. Roll it out to the size/shape you want. I divided the dough in two and made two small pizzas with thick crusts. The dough could probably be divided in three or four but you'd either have smaller pizzas or thinner crusts.
6. Spread on sauce and schug. Season to taste with garlic powder, onion powder, curry powder and turmeric.
7. Smother the pizza with the rest of the toppings (and any additions of your choice. I was constrained to what I had on hand, but if you've got anything fresher/better, go for it.)
8. Bake at 450 for about 15 minutes.
9. Eat. Yum! :)

PS--It occurred to me after I made these that I actually had all of the ingredients on hand to make a pretty awesome Mexican pizza: Black beans, corn, mushrooms, onions, seasoning (like ground red pepper? Chili sauce? Cumin? Maybe some taco sauce mixed in with the pizza sauce?) and that would have at least added protein the meal. I'm sure I'll try it sometime. If you do first, let me know how it is. :)

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