Showing posts with label pizza dough. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pizza dough. Show all posts

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Barbequed Chicken Pizza by Lucy Burdette

Lucy and Tonka ready for Christmas
LUCY BURDETTE: Remember the recipe from last week--the stuffed bread? Here's what I would do with the other half of the pizza dough. The recipe for the dough is from THE JOY OF COOKING and can also be found here. It's not hard, it just requires planning ahead so you have enough time for it to rise. It's much superior to something like a Boboli crust, though you could use that in a pinch. 

You can either save the extra dough for about a week in a container in the fridge, or freeze it. The dough doesn't rise quite as well after being frozen, but it works.

The idea for the toppings came from a recipe in Woman's World, but I've adapted it many times over the years.

1 pizza crust, unbaked
1/2 jar of Bone-Sucking sauce (my hands-down fave BBQ sauce, both sweet and tangy)
1.5 cups shredded cheese, smoked Gouda or cheddar
1.5 cups shredded chicken (Here again, plan ahead and save this from the chicken you roasted on the weekend. Or buy one from the supermarket deli. Or use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.)
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
chopped cilantro

Roll out the dough and place on oiled pizza pan. Spread sauce on the pizza dough, followed by cheese, chicken, onion, more cheese on top.

Cilantro may be sprinkled over pizza after cooking or baked right in. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes. Watch this so the crust doesn’t get too brown. (Mine took less than 20 in a convection oven.) Do not use the 475 temp called for by THE JOY OF COOKING:). It's too hot, although the one time I made that mistake the pizza turned out crispy and delicious all the same!

This is one of our favorite suppers, served with a green salad. John and I usually can't eat the whole thing, so there might be one or two slices left over to heat up for lunch--which we fight over naturally. Making myself soooo hungry–off to scrounge up some lunch….

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. MURDER WITH GANACHE will be out in February, but you can pre-order it now.

Follow Lucy on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest! She loves it when you pin her stuff:)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Italian Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Bread @LucyBurdette

Lucy Ready for Anything
LUCY BURDETTE: In this little rest period between holidays, sometimes we crave non-holiday food. No more leftover turkey and mashed potatoes, no matter how good it was! 

I like to make my own pizza dough (and my favorite barbequed chicken pizza, which I will bring you next time.) But this time around I had a hankering to experiment with making stuffed bread. I've seen this in Italian delicatessens and in fact I've special ordered it in Key West for a cocktail party. The insides can be anything--ham and cheese, pepperoni and cheese, broccoli rabe and sausage and cheese, or in this version, spinach, onions and cheese.

The Joy of Cooking recipe that I often use for the pizza crust makes enough for two--so you can have, as we did, pizza one night and stuffed bread another. This bread slices up nicely and can be served for lunch, dinner, or party snacks.


1 recipe pizza dough (can buy this if you don't want to make it)
1 box chopped spinach
1 onion
1-2 balls fresh mozzarella
freshly grated parmesan
2-3 basil leaves
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350. Chop the onion and saute in olive oil until soft and beginning to brown. Drain the spinach and squeeze it dry. (Use your hands for this.)  

Grate the mozzarella and the parmesan cheeses. (You can use pre-shredded but it's saltier and the flavor not as good, I think.) Shred the basil. 


Mix the spinach, cheeses, onion and basil in a medium bowl.


Set that aside while you roll out the dough on a well-floured surface--it should be a rectangle, about 12 by 15 but don't sweat the dimensions. (I used a big cutting board so it would be easy to move the bread to the cookie sheet when the time came.) 

Now spread the filling over the dough, leaving an inch or more around the edges. Fold in the short edges of dough and roll the rest of it carefully over the filling. *See note below for what I'd do differently next time.

Bad photo of uncooked log

You should be left with a log-shaped bread.

Place this on an oiled pan and bake about 20 minutes until golden. 

Let this rest for about ten minutes, then slice and serve hot or at room temperature. Isn't it pretty?

*What I would do differently next time: There was a little too much "bread" in some of the slices. I might try rolling the dough more tightly so the filling was more evenly distributed, or spiraled. 

**Don't skimp on the cheese! And don't be afraid to experiment with the stuffing. And it might be nice with a little marinara sauce on the side...

***And always, always, leave time for reading:) Don't forget that three of our MLK regulars have wonderful new mysteries out this week! Let's support them by filling up our relatives' Christmas stockings with books:). Congratulations Krista for MURDER SHE BARKED, Cleo for BILLIONAIRE BLEND, and Victoria for THE SAYERS SWINDLE!


Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. MURDER WITH GANACHE will be out in February, but you can pre-order it now.

Follow Lucy on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest! She loves it when you pin her stuff:) 

AND last but not least, there's a contest going on at Goodreads for 3 galley copies of Murder with Ganache. You can enter right here.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pizza Margherita

Last Friday, I set out to make homemade pizza.  It's one of my go-to dishes, so it shouldn't have been a big deal.  But I decided to mix things up a bit:  I wanted to try a different crust than my normal recipe, and I wanted to make a pizza Margherita (with very fresh-tasting, simple toppings).  Again, shouldn't have been a big deal, but I messed things up a bit.

See, I got home at about 4 PM and started to make the crust recipe I'd found on the Cooks Illustrated website.  I had combined all the ingredients when I came to a line in the instructions advising me to place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.

In the immortal words of my governor, "oops."

That put a wrinkle in our dinner plans.  But since the Margherita part of my pizza equation came from a recipe on Epicurious that actually called for store-bought refrigerated pizza dough, I decided to follow that path.

The result was that we had the pizza Margherita from the Epicurious website on Friday night ... complete with the dough from a cardboard tube.  It was actually surprisingly good.  The only things I didn't love:  first, the tomato sauce called for a little crushed red pepper, and I thought it was a bit too spicy; and second, the crust was OK, but nothing to write home about.

Thin, store-bought dough

Thick, homemade dough
Still, I had that ball of homemade dough sitting in the refrigerator.  So I pulled it out on Sunday evening, and we did Pizza Margherita Redux.  And it was DELICIOUS.

Thus, I present you with this recipe for pizza Margherita, a mash-up of two recipes with a few of my own modifications to boot.  The store-bought crust option will yield a smaller, thinner pizza; the homemade crust is thick, but remarkably flavorful.




Toppings, ready to go
3 c. (scant) all purpose flour
3 Tbs. vital wheat gluten
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/3 c. ice water
1 Tbs. olive oil + extra for bowl
1 1/2 tsp salt


1 13.8 oz. tube refrigerated pizza dough

Rustic sauce
Tomato Sauce:

1 Tbs. olive oil
12 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes (stems and leaves removed)
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds (coarsely crushed)
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
dash black pepper

1/3 c. chopped fresh basil
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, drained and chopped
4 - 6 oz. shredded mozzarella
1/3 c. shredded parmesan

To make the homemade crust:  Mix flour, gluten, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Mix until combined.  With mixer running on low, slowly add ice water and continue mixing until the flour is all absorbed into a ragged dough ball.  Allow dough ball to rest for 10 minutes.  Then add olive oil and salt; turn mixer back on and let run on low until oil and salt are combined and dough comes together in a smooth ball.  With floured hands, remove dough and shape into a nice, compact ball.  Transfer to a large bowl, cover tightly (with a lid to the bowl or plastic wrap) and refrigerate for 24 - 72 hours.

To make tomato sauce:  Heat a large skillet over high heat for at least two minutes.  Add oil to hot skillet and then, immediately, tomatoes.  Saute over high heat until tomatoes start to char and break down.  Transfer tomatoes to a large bowl and crush with a fork or the back of a spoon (until all tomatoes are mushed but the sauce is still chunky).  Add garlic, fennel, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Stir.

To make pizza:  If you made your own dough, remove it from the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to bake the pizza.  Shape dough into a tight ball (eliminating some of the air), place it in a greased bowl, cover lightly with plastic sprayed with cooking spray, and allow to sit for an hour.

Move oven rack to top third.  Preheat oven to 425.  If you made your own dough, go ahead and put a large cookie sheet in the oven to preheat.

Combine cheeses and basil.

If you are using store-bought dough, roll it out onto a cookie sheet and press it out to a 12 x 8 rectangle.  If you are using homemade dough, coat hands in flour.  Place dough on a large sheet of parchment paper and flatten/stretch until it's a 10 x 15 rectangle.  Top dough with cheese/basil mix and then dot with the tomato sauce.

Sauce dotted on top of pizza.

If using homemade dough, slide the parchment paper onto the preheated cookie sheet.  Place/return cookie sheet to oven and bake (20 minutes for either type of crust, oddly enough - until the crust is golden brown).

Allow pizza to sit for about 5 minutes before cutting it.


Wendy is the author of the Mysteries a la Mode. Visit her on the web or on Facebook. She also writes the Pet Boutique Mysteries under the name Annie Knox; you can follow Annie on Facebook, too!