In Search of the Perfect Pie

A pizza making blog showcasing recipes, instructions, tips & tricks, photos, videos and more!

Author: Aimee

Adding Panache to Pizza – A New Dough Recipe from Mario Batali

Now that I’ve been diving into pizza again I’ve realize that it’s time to get out of my comfort zone. It’s hard to do when the task at hand is dinner and NO ONE wants to go hungry on a Friday night! I’ve been using the same dough recipe for a couple of years now and I know it by heart. I know what it’s supposed to feel like and how many ounces one batch yields. It’s like that old friend whose sentence you can finish and whose quirks you love .  So now, fellow pizza followers, it’s time.  I came across a Mario Batali recipe that uses wine in the dough recipe. I have never tried it and I am not sure that I will. I think I like the idea of beer or maybe garlic and fresh basil better. That is my task this week, to come up with a flavorful dough that will give pizazz to pizza Friday! Can I get some jazz hands to go with that?

PIZZA DOUGH

Mario Batali

  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar and mix well.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the warm water, wine and olive oil.  Using a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until the mixture is too stiff to stir, then mix with your hands inthe bowl until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn the dough out.  Knead gently, dusting the work surface lightly with more flour as necessary, for 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, elastic and only slightly sticky.

Oil a large clean bowl, add the dough, and turn to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, set in a warm part of the kitchen, and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down, and it is ready to use.

Gary L. Howe for The New York Times

Making the Perfect Pie at Home

As promised I made my unique pie at home on Friday night.  I decided to use baby spinach I had at home instead of using the broccoli rabe. What a great idea! It was delicious! Here are some pictures of my new favorite pie. If you are inspired by the photos, here is my original post with the recipe.

Food 52- A Place for Unique Eats

Tonight at our house is Pizza Friday.  We look forward to this day each week for two reasons, convenience and it’s our favorite food.  I like to make one regular cheese pizza for my fiance, Jon and one unique one, for moi!  This week I turned to Food 52 for my unique eats.  Pizza CAN be healthy, you just need to tweak the ingredients to make it healthy. I am going to try a broccoli rabe, potato and rosemary pie to add a vitamin rich element to our dinner tonight.

I check out Food 52 daily to see what trends us common cooks are diving into. Amanda and Merrill, the authors of said website, are packed with knowledge and love to share it with us. I can always count on finding a creative alternative to a dish that has run it’s course on our pallets.

Stay tuned for an update on how this unique pie turns out!

Broccoli Rabe Pie

courtesy of Sarah Shatz Food 52 contributor

SERVES 2 10″ PIZZAS OR 4 MINI-PIZZAS

Broccoli Rabe, Potato and Rosemary Pizza:

  • 2 uncooked pizza crusts (recipe below)
  • 1 large yukon gold potato, very thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound broccoli rabe, washed, ends trimmed
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced, plus 2 garlic cloves lightly smashed but still intact
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Rosemary sprigs for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Arrange potatoes in one layer on a baking tray. Bake until edges begin to turn golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Increase oven temperature to 475 F.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add broccoli rabe and blanch 30 seconds; drain. Plunge broccoli rabe into a bowl of ice water. Cool and drain again. Lay in one layer on a kitchen towel to thoroughly dry. Cut in 2″ pieces.
  4. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté briefly, 30 seconds. Add broccoli rabe and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté one minute. Remove from heat. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
  5. Assemble pizzas: Lightly brush pizza crusts with olive oil. Rub all over with smashed garlic cloves.
  6. Arrange one layer mozzarella cheese over crusts. Top with one layer of potatoes and broccoli rabe. Sprinkle one tablespoon rosemary over each crust. Top with grated Pecorino cheese.
  7. Bake on pizza stone or on tray on lowest rack in oven until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 15 minutes.
  8. Before serving, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with fresh rosemary leaves and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.

Pizza Dough Recipe:

  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup semolina flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups cold water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. Stir yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and semolina. Mix well. Let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes.
  2. Combine remaining flour and salt in another bowl. Add to yeast with cold water and olive oil. Mix well to form a dough.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead with hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Or use a mixer with a dough hook, and knead about 5 minutes.
  4. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides with oil. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another 45 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into 2 equal disks (or 4 if you would like small pizzas.) Let rest 30 minutes before shaping. Lightly flour a work surface. Using your fingers or heels of your hands, stretch the disks out to 10″ shapes.

Read more: http://www.food52.com/recipes/2611_broccoli_rabe_potato_and_rosemary_pizza/

Cheese and Herb Pizza Recipe – My Favorite Pie

When Ryan asked me to collaborate on his pizza website I knew this was a great opportunity to share my trials and tribulations on pizza making. It was also a great opportunity to find that passion I once had in “Finding the Perfect Pie!”  When Ryan began his pizza quest I hopped on his pizza wheel, on the East Coast, and began my journey of tossing the perfect dough. While I haven’t gotten my recipe 100% perfect it’s pretty darn close. Recently, I had been fighting with a soggy-ish crust, which lead me to post a question on his blog.  After answering my question he then asked me to be a co-author. How exciting!

Now that pizza making is second nature to me it’s found it’s way into the weekly rotation of dinners.  It’s become a bit hum drum to say the least. When I first started out I experimented constantly with different toppings and tried recreating pizzas we had in restaurants. One in particular is from a restaurant here in NH, Nonni’s (http://www.nonnisitalianeatery.com).  Their cheese and herb pizza was unique. Sweet and salty, my two favorite combinations.  Once home, I was able to recreate the honey and roasted garlic paste used as the sauce and the rest is history.  I have never actually measured any of these ingredients.  These amounts are not exact.  You made need two heads of roasted garlic to make the sauce depending on how big your pizza is.

Cheese and Herb Pizza a la Aimee

Honey and Tyme Paste-

1 Head Roasted Garlic

1-2 Tbsp Honey

1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme

3-4 Tbsp Olive Oil

Salt to taste

Fresh Mozzarella

Preheat oven to 400.  Cut 1/3 off the top of a head of garlic to expose all the cloves.  Place on a sheet of foil. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of olive oil and a bit of salt.  Wrap the foil to around the garlic to create a pouch. Roast for 45 min. Uncover and roast for 15 min more or until the garlic is a deep golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool.  In a small bowl squeeze out all the garlic.  Add the honey, thyme and olive oil and mix well. All the flavors should be balanced and you should be able to taste them all. Add enough olive oil to make a spreadable paste.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

On your dough spread s substantial amount of paste  add your mozz and bake until bubbly and brown.

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