Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Taste of Home

When you combine friends and family with the sensory delight of food, a return to that food will always bring back some sweet reminder of the family and friends with which you shared the meal.  So, now that I have returned to the north, although I love trying new flavors, I crave those flavors which taste like home. 

One of the first things that I made when I returned was an attempted replica of the Mediterranean pizza at Tomatino's.  Now, my pizza was no where near the wonder that is Tomatino's Mediterranean pizza, but there is something about the smell and taste of pizza crust, cheese, and delicious toppings that has a reminiscent quality. 

I'll be honest.  I made my own pizza sauce, but I wasn't that thrilled with it, so I'll leave it to you to either make your favorite (and share it here, if you will), or use your favorite store-bought brand.  And I'll keep on the search.  However, I really do like this pizza crust recipe!  I made two eight inch pizzas with thick crusts, but you could easily use a pizza stone or baking sheet for larger pizzas (it should easily make two 10-12 inch pizzas).  Feel free to alter your toppings based on your tastes, too. 

Somewhat Mediterranean Pizza

1 tablespoon molasses
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus a little more)
cornmeal (for sprinkling the pan)

Pizza Toppings:
pizza sauce of your choice
sliced roma tomatoes
sliced black olives
quartered marinated artichoke hearts (cut into smaller pieces)
sliced mushrooms
baby spinach
feta cheese
Italian four-cheese blend (or a mixture of mozarella and provalone)

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the warm water, molasses and yeast.  Stir, and let stand for 10 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly.  Using the dough hook, mix in the flour, salt and olive oil, and stir for 6-8 minutes (alternatively, knead by hand), until the dough is smooth and elastic. 

Pour a little olive oil over the dough in the bowl and turn to coat.  Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  If you are using a pizza stone, place it in the oven before you turn the oven on.  Prep your pizza toppings.  Sprinkle the baking pans or pizza stone with cornmeal. 

When the pizza dough is ready, divide the dough in half.   Roll each half into 8-12 inch crusts (depending on how thick you want your crust; 8 is very thick (and will be chewy) and 12 is very thin (and will be crispy).  Place the rolled out crust on the baking pan or pizza stone and bake for 10 minutes. 

Remove the crust from the oven and add your toppings.  I like to put cheese both below and above the toppings.  Bake for an additional 10 -15 minutes.  Enjoy, and think of home as you eat it. 
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Lauren said...

Your pizza puts my chicken mushroom pizza to shame. :) Kind of like your cheese straws. I LOVE reading your blog.

Kelly Jackson said...

Hey Dorothy! Is this the homemade pizza that you made for the youth group leadership team lunch one time??

Barefoot Belle said...

Lauren, yeah right. You know you're good.

Kelly, well, no not really. I think it's better (I really didn't think that pizza I made for y'all was very good!). The crust is definitely much better (and a bit closer to Mellow Mushroom's!).