The only thing that can get in the way of my pizza making is the weather.
There’s no need to wait for a special occasion, pizza is reason enough for a party, especially when it’s this good! There are a few routes you can go when planning a pizza party. One is to simply lay out a variety of toppings and have your guests build their own pie. Another way is to plan out a few different pizzas so that your guests need only choose a slice of each one they want to try. The second option is a good one if you have adventurous friends who will try anything you throw their way. I chose the second route this time but I made sure to have a little something for everyone.
So what was on the menu? I decided to offer 4 different pizzas which I dubbed Classic Combo, Greek Inspired, Seafood Plus and Chef’s Choice. The Classic Combo was a blend of Italian and American with tomato, basil, mozzarella and pepperoni. The Greek Inspired pizza had garlic stuffed olives, sundried tomatoes, feta stuffed jalapeno peppers and feta, (I think I should have stuffed the crust with feta too, just to keep my theme of using stuffed ingredients). The Seafood Plus pizza is not one you’ll likely see on the menu board of your local pizza place as in addition to bay scallops, shrimp, caramelized onions and a goat cheese béchamel sauce, it also contained butter fried Lion’s Mane mushrooms. I get those from my friend who grows organic specialty mushrooms at Wylie Mycologicals. And finally, the Chef’s Choice pizza was topped with homemade bacon, (yes, I make that too!) caramelized onions, halved red grapes and aged cheddar.
I think my favourite was the Chef’s Choice pizza, it’s a flavour combo I’ve had in my head for a while now and I really like how it works together. Grapes aren’t your typical pizza topping but I quite like them, especially with homemade bacon, (because everything’s better with bacon!). Unfortunately, since I can’t come to your house and build a wood fired oven in your backyard, the best I can do for you is to give you one of the easiest pizza crust recipes you’ll ever find. It requires no kneading and is from a book I’ve been using a whole lot of lately, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.
No Knead Olive Oil Pizza Dough
Makes 4 1lb loaves. This recipe is easily doubled or halved
2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbl granulated yeast
1 1/2 tbl salt
1 tbl sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Mix the yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil with the water in a 5-qt bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container
Mix in the flour without kneading, using a large wooden spoon.
Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature for about 2 hours. You can use the dough at this point, or refrigerate and use over next 12 days. If you refrigerate at least overnight, you’ll develop better flavor in the dough. If you only want to make 1 flatbread, just pinch off a grapefruit sized piece of dough to use…keep the remaining covered loosely in the refrigerator.
This post is part of Foodbuzz's series 24, 24, 24, where 24 meals are posted, one each hour of the day from 24 locations around the world. Head over to Foodbuzz soon to check out the other 23 meals!