Saturday, July 16, 2016

Shaved asparagus pizza with bacon and buffalo chicken pizza

I think I have more pizza recipes on this blog than any other--each with a different dough and different toppings:

So let's just go ahead and add 2 more topping ideas and another dough recipe to the mix today, mmmmkkkaayy?

I made this so long ago, so I don't have the exact recipes for the toppings, but for both pizzas I brushed the dough with olive oil, spread it with a thin layer of ricotta, and topped it with shredded mozzarella cheese. That's when things got very, very different.

For the asparagus pizza all you have to do is use your vegetable peeler to create long shaves of asparagus (raw). Pile them up high on the pizza and bake until done. The last minute throw on some cooked/chopped bacon, and enjoy!


I don't think I'd had asparagus on my pizza before, and it was extraordinary. The combination of the early asparagus with the smokey bacon was divine! Definitely my favorite pizza of the night.

The boy's favorite pizza of the night had a lot more meat on it (of course): buffalo chicken pizza! For this we took shredded rotisserie chicken and tossed it with Frank's buffalo sauce, topped the pizza with some sliced onions, and baked until done. Again, top with cooked bacon the last minute or so, and give it a light drizzle of your best ranch dressing (Briana's is my hands-down favorite) and a bit more of Frank's buffalo sauce for an extra kick.


The dough was really great to work with too. Easy to throw together, with a nice crusty exterior and chewy, flavorful interior.


Now I can't make the same claims as the original food blogger and say this dough is the best ever, because (a) I love all different kinds of pizza dough and (b) I haven't done a blind taste test to compare all the different dough recipes I made. So just find a recipe that works with your schedule and what you have in your pantry, and make yourself some pizza! :)

Buen provecho,
Jacqueline

Homemade pizza dough, adapted from A Beautiful Plate
Note for dough rising: If your kitchen is very cold you can microwave a large heatproof measuring cup of water for 2-3 minutes. Immediately remove the cup and place the bowl of dough in the microwave until it has risen. 

See this post for my pizza-baking tips.

2.5 cups (300 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
7 ounces warm water (105 degrees F - 115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cornmeal, for the pizza peel (divided)

To bake the pizza
parchment paper
baking stone

Directions
  1. Prepare the pizza dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the warm water and olive oil, and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the dough just begins to come together. It will seem shaggy and dry, but don't worry.
  2. Scrape dough onto a well-floured counter top and knead for ~3 minutes. It should quickly come together and begin to get sticky. Dust the dough with flour as needed - it should be slightly tacky, but should not be sticking to your counter top. After three minutes, the dough should be smooth, slightly elastic, and tacky. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil, and place the dough into the bowl.
  3. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel (or plastic wrap) and allow the dough to rise in a warm, dry area of your kitchen for 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. (see note above for cold kitchen)
  4. Preheat oven and pizza stone: Place the pizza stone on the center (or top third) rack of your oven, and preheat the oven and pizza stone to 550 degrees Fahrenheit (or as high as your oven will go) for at least 30-45 minutes. If your oven does not go up to 550 degrees, heat it to the absolute maximum temperature that it can go.
  5. As the oven is preheating, assemble your ingredients. See my post above or previous pizza recipe links for some ideas!
  6. Once the dough is done, separate into two equal-sized portions. It will deflate slightly, but that is OK. Place the dough on a large plate or floured counter top, cover gently with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. 
  7. Assemble the Pizza: Put a piece of large parchment paper on your pizza peel (or the back of a baking sheet) and sprinkle with 1 TBSP cornmeal. Set aside.
  8. Take one ball of pizza dough and gently stretch into a ~10-inch circle. If the dough springs back or is too elastic, allow it to rest for an additional five minutes. The edges of the dough can be slightly thicker, but make sure the center of the dough is thin (you should be able to see some light through it if you held it up). Gently transfer the dough onto the cornmeal-dusted parchment paper.
  9. Drizzle or brush the dough lightly with olive oil (teaspoon or so). Then top with your sauce (red sauce, white sauce, or ricotta), and add your toppings of choice. If using bacon, precook the bacon and add chopped pieces the last minute or 2 of baking.
  10. Gently slide the pizza from the peel onto the heated baking stone. Bake for at least 7 to 8 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling and caramelized and the edges of the pizza are golden brown. 
  11. Remove the pizza carefully from the oven with the pizza peel, transfer to a wooden cutting board or foil, and slice and serve immediately.

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