Foodie blog roll


Saturday, June 14, 2014


Pizza Siciliano
1 13"x 17" pizzas
(Italy)

One of my first jobs was as a young pizzaiuolo (Italian for pizza chef) at Sally's Sicilian Pizzeria in Deer Park, New York.  Sicilian pizza is slightly different than the Neapolitan pizzas most Americans are familiar with.  For the first thing, Sicilian pizza is rectangular and secondly, while Neapolitan pizza is known for being very thin, Sicilian pizza is 1 inch or more thick.
                                                                                 Prep time: 1 hour 45 minutes
                                                                                 Pizza cook time: 15 minutes
                                                                                 Total time: 2 hours

Ingredients

Basic Sicilian Pizza dough:

13.2 ounces (2 1/2 cups) bread flour, plus extra for "bench" flour
7.4 ounces lukewarm (105°F) water
.21 ounces fine sea salt
.32 ounce extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for the pan and to drizzle
.21 ounces of honey
.16 ounces active dry yeast

to make more than one pizza the bakers ratio is: flour=100%, water=70%, honey=2%, yeast=1.5%, salt=2%, and olive oil= 3%

Spicy New York Style Pizza Sauce:

4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some to drizzle
1 tablespoon butter
1 heaping tablespoon dehydrated onions
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
28 ounces canned San Marzano tomatoes, finely hand crushed or pureed
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar

toppings:

2 cups Spicy New York Style Pizza Sauce (see recipe above)
8 ounces of grated whole milk mozzarella
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

Sliced pepperoni, sausage (sliced or crumbled), onions (sliced or chopped), green or peppers (sliced or chopped), pitted green, black of Kalamata olives (sliced or whole), ham (sliced or torn), meatballs (sliced), salami (sliced), Basil (whole or chiffonade), anchovies, or a combination of the above

Preparation
Basic Sicilian Pizza dough:

1.  Proof the yeast by mixing the honey into the water in a bowl or large measuring cup until the honey dissolves; sprinkle the yeast over the honeyed warm water and stir in.  Let the mixture to stand until the mixture forms a spongy head, about 10 minutes (if the yeast doesn't form a foamy head discard and start again, the yeast is “dead”).
2.  Add the flour to the bowl of your stand mixer and form a well in the center; put the salt, the olive oil, and the proofed yeast into the well.  Attach the dough hooks to the mixer and turn mixer to low and mix until the dough begins to come together and no dry flour remains.
Increase the mixer’s speed to medium-high and mix, scraping down the bowl side occasionally if necessary, until the dough is stretchy and smooth and comes cleanly away from sides of bowl (it may stick to the bottom of the bowl but that’s ok), the dough should be only slightly sticky to touch; about 6 minutes.
3.  Transfer the dough onto lightly floured flat work surface and knead into a smooth ball; about 5 minutes do not skimp on this step as it develops the elasticity of the dough.
4.  Lightly coat the inside of a large bowl with some extra-virgin olive oil.  Add dough ball and turn to coat it with oil (be sure to coat the ball or it will form a crust which will impede the dough's rising). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to double in size, about 1 hour.   
5.  At this point the dough can either be used immediately or the dough can be placed in an appropriately sized resealable plastic bag(s), sealed and placed in a refrigerator for up to 4 days to allow additional flavour to develop.   Remember, if you’ve refrigerated the dough allow at least 1 hour before you are going to make the pizza(s), take the dough out of the refrigerator shape into a ball(s) and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for that time.

*note: if you are making multiple pizzas, after the dough has doubled in size divide the dough into equal sized portions for immediate use or place each portion in its own resealable bag for maturing. 

the pizza base:

1.   Lightly oil a 13"x 17" rectangular, rimmed cookie sheet (I call them pizza pans).
2.  Proceed to form the pizza by placing the ball of dough on a flat, floured work surface and flatten it out to form into a rough rectangle; then using your hands, work the rough rectangle into a finished 13"x 17" rectangle, us a rolling pin if you wish.   Lightly flour the rectangle to keep it from sticking to itself and fold the finished rectangle in half and transfer it the oiled pizza pan, unfold it and adjust it to fill the pan edge to edge.
3.  Cover the pan with a damp cloth (try to avoid having the cloth touch the dough) and allow to rise in the pizza pan for about 1/2 hour.
4.  Proceed to prepare the Spicy New York Style Pizza Sauce.

Spicy New York Style Pizza Sauce:

 1.  In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, bring the olive oil to the ripple state, add  the dehydrated onions, the basil, the oregano, the crushed red pepper flakes**, and the granulated garlic  and cook, stirring constantly, until the  herbs are fragrant, about 1 minute. 
2.  Reduce the heat to low and add the crushed/pureed tomatoes, stirring constantly until the tomatoes combine with the herbs and begins to caramelizes, about 3 minutes.  Raise the heat and bring to a simmer.  Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, black pepper, sugar and additional red pepper.
3.  Cover and simmer for about 1/2 hour over low heat.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  
*note:  left over pizza sauce can be frozen and used at a later date
**note:  if you're not sure of how spicy you like your sauce start with 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and adjust seasoning during cooking.

Place your oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat the oven to 550° F.

constructing and baking the pizza:

1.   Build the "pie" by distributing the tomato sauce over the "pie" completely to the edges (or to within 1-inch of the edge if you enjoy the crust).  Top this by evenly distributing first the grated Parmesan then the shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce.  Add any additional toppings and finally even distribute about 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil over the entire pizza.
2.  Place the pizzas in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and begins to brown slightly, becomes bubbly and the bottom of the pie begin to brown; at 550° F. this should be about 15 minutes.  Watch the pie and, if your oven does not heat evenly, move the pie around to insure it cooks evenly.

service:


When the pizza is finished remove from oven, immediately sprinkle with the Parmesan and either cut the pie in half or thirds the long way and then into fourths width-wise to produce 12  slices.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


New York Style Pizza
(America)
makes 1 14-inch pizza
Whenever I long for my childhood in New York my taste buds turn to a New York style thin crust slice.  This variation of pizza is a direct descendant of the original Neapolitan “pie” brought to America by Neapolitan immigrants.  This is the pizza preferred by New Yorkers, the original . . . bought by the slice and handled with a “New York fold”, true New Yorkers would never dream of eating it with knife and fork.  The slices are crisp on the bottom, slightly charred, the next thin layer is soft and chewy and topped with a spicy, cooked tomato sauce loads of shredded cow’s milk mozzarella toppings of your choice and small pools of good quality extra-virgin olive oil.  
                                                                  Prep time:             1 hour 45 minutes
                                                                  Sauce cook time:   15 minutes
                                                                  Bake time:             11 minutes
                                                                  Total time:              2 hour 11 minutes

Ingredients

 New York Style Pizza Dough:

7 ounces warm (105 ° F) water
.16 ounces active dry yeast 
.2 ounces honey
.53 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
10.6 ounces (about 2 cups) bread flour, plus additional for work surface
.16 ounces Kosher or sea salt

note: to make more than one pizza the bakers ratio is: flour=100%, water=67%, honey=2%, yeast=1.5%, salt=1.5%, and olive oil= 5%

Spicy New York Style Pizza Sauce:

8 ounces canned San Marzano tomatoes, finely hand crushed or pureed
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some to drizzle
1 heaping tablespoon dehydrated onions
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

standard topping:

5 to 8 ounces cow’s milk mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preparation

New York Style Pizza Dough:

1.  In an appropriately sized measuring cup, combine the water and honey stir to combine.  Stir in the yeast and let sit for about 10 minutes. 

2.  Meanwhile place the flour and the salt into a sifter and sift it into the medium bowl of a stand mixer.  Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the olive oil and the yeast mixture.  Turn the mixer, fitted with dough hooks, to medium (4 on a Kitchen Aid© stand mixer) and turn it on.  Continue kneading (mixing) until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball around the dough hooks (scrap the sides of the bowl to move flour into the path of the hooks as needed), the dough may still stick a little to the bottom of the bowl but that is ok.

3.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured flat surface (if the dough is really sticky sprinkle with flour until it is just a little tacky) and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky (add flour gradually as needed to reach the slightly tacky state), 3 to 5 minutes.

4.  Lightly oil a large mixing bowl with about 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil the ball on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours*. 

*note: if you are making multiple pizzas, after the dough has doubled in size divide the dough into equal sized portions for immediate use or place each portion in its own resealable bag for maturing.  

Spicy New York Style Pizza Sauce:

1.  In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, bring the olive oil to the ripple state, add  the dehydrated onions, the basil, the oregano, the crushed red pepper flakes**, and the granulated garlic  and cook, stirring constantly, until the  herbs are fragrant, about 2 minutes. 

2.  Reduce the heat to low and add the crushed tomatoes/tomato sauce, stirring constantly until the tomatoes combine with the herbs and begins to caramelizes, about 3 minutes.  Raise the heat and bring to a simmer.  Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, black pepper, and additional red pepper.

3.  Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes over low heat.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  
*note:  for more than one pizza increase ingredients proportionally
**note:  if you're not sure of how spicy you like your sauce start with 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and adjust seasoning during cooking.

Constructing and baking the pizza:

1.  Place an appropriately sized pizza stone on the top shelf of your oven and pre-heat the oven to 550° F or as high as your oven will go, to attain the highest temperature allow the oven to preheat for 1 hour.

2.  Place the risen dough ball on a flat, lightly floured work surface and flatten it into a disk, then with your fingertips and palms, press it into a thinner disk of dough approximately 14-inches round and 1/8-inch or less thick (if necessary use a rolling pin to achieve the thickness [don’t worry if the pizza isn’t perfectly round . . . that’s called “rustica” and it’s the way “real” Italian pizza looks in Italy]).  Sprinkle flour over the surface of this thin disk (this will become the bottom of the pie when you place the disk on the peel in the next instruction).

3.  Distribute some flour over the surface of a pizza peel (this will act as “ball bearings” and allow the dough round to move easily over the surface of the peel) and transfer the formed pizza base onto the peel (shake peel to insure pizza moves freely).  Evenly spread 4 to 6 ounces of the Spicy New York Style Pizza Sauce (depending how “wet” you like your pizza) over the pizza base leaving about 1-inch un-sauced margin around the edge for a crust, now evenly distribute the mozzarella cheese over the sauce* and finally sprinkle a little extra-virgin olive oil over the pizza.

4.  Gently shake the peel to insure the pizza moves freely (if it doesn’t gently lift the edges of the pizza that are sticking and distribute additional flour until it does).  Using the peel slide the pizza onto the stone and bake the pizza until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the bottom crust is well browned (a little charring is good!), about 9 minutes depending on how hot your oven is.  After the pie has baked for 9 minutes turn the broiler to high and broil for 1 or 2 minutes until the crust begins to brown around the edges but don’t allow the cheese to char.  Remove from the oven, slice into 8 wedge shaped slices and serve. 

5.  Return the oven to bake at 550° F and repeat, if you are making more than pie, with the remaining dough, pizza sauce, and cheese.

*other toppings can be added at this time


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lemon Pepper Scampi


Lemon Pepper Scampi
Lemon Pepper Scampi is an interesting twist on classic Shrimp Scampi.  With tails removed and with extra garlic butter/oil sauce they make an excellent topping for pasta especially Linguine.
serves 4
(America)
                                                                                 Prep time     3 minutes
                                                                                 Cook time    4 to 5 minutes
                                                                                 Total time      8 minutes


Ingredients

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning

white or yellow rice for 4, cooked according to package directions
1 tablespoon chopped  fresh Italian parsley, for garnish

Preparation
sauté the shrimp:

1.   In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and melt butter.   Add the garlic; sauté, stirring, for 30 seconds or until fragrant. (Do not allow the garlic to brown it should just be translucent; when you can smell the garlic it is sautéed just right.)

2.  Add the shrimp and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon lemon pepper.  Sauté the shrimp on one side for 1 to 2 minutes or until the shrimp begins to turn pink and begins to curl.   Turn the shrimp over and sprinkle the remaining lemon pepper over it.  Sauté without disturbing for 1 or 2 minutes more until the shrimp are thoroughly cooked and slightly browned on the underside.

3.  Remove shrimp, browned side up, to a serving platter.  Strain the cooking oil/butter into a small bowl to remove the garlic then distribute the oil/butter over the shrimp and garnish with parsley.   

service:

Serve accompanied by yellow or white rice.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Basic Neapolitan Style Pizza


Basic Neapolitan Style Pizza 
makes 1  14-inch pizza
(Italy)
Brandi di Vincenzo Pagnani in Naples, Italy is the birthplace of the modern pizza and in my view still the home of the best pizza in the world.  The secret to their pizza is a simple, very lean dough made of the fewest ingredients possible, a very simple uncooked “sauce” consisting of only five ingredients, and fresh creamy mozzarella (buffalo is best but hard to get in America) baked at very high heat (their ovens run in excess of 900° F.).  While in our home ovens we won’t be able to match those temperatures, if you follow the instructions here you’ll be able to produce a “pie” that comes close to their world famous product.
                                                                                 Prep time:  1 hour 45 minutes
                                                                                 Bake time:  11 minutes
                                                                                 Total time:  1 hour 56 minutes

 Ingredients:

4 to 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into large chunks

Basic Neapolitan Style Pizza Dough:

8.76 ounces bread flour, plus additional for the work surface                
6 ounces warm water (105° F)
.13 ounces yeast
.17 ounces salt                                   
 *to make more than one pizza the bakers ratio is: flour=100%, water=70%, yeast=1.5%, salt=2%

Neapolitan Style Pizza Sauce:

8 ounces whole San Marzano canned tomatoes, roughly crushed tomatoes 
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large clove of fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Preparation:
Neapolitan style pizza sauce:

In an appropriately sized mixing bowl combine the crushed tomatoes, the olive oil and the chopped garlic. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, black pepper.  Set aside for about 20 minutes so the flavours can blend.

basic Neapolitan style pizza dough:

 1.  In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the flour, yeast and salt and whisk these ingredients until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.  Add the warm water and turn on the mixer, fitted with dough hooks, to low.  Continue mixing (kneading) until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and there isn’t any dry flour visible (scrap the sides of the bowl to move flour into the path of the hooks as needed).  If the dough doesn’t come together, add additional water (1 tablespoon at a time) until it does.

2.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured, flat work surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky (add flour gradually as needed to reach the slightly tacky state), about 5 to 10 minutes.

3.  Lightly oil a large mixing bowl with about 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil the ball on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours* (for a more flavourful dough remove the dough from the bowl and place it in a large, resealable plastic bag.  Seal the bag and place it in your refrigerator overnight or up to 4 days.  At least 2 hours before you are going to make the pizza(s), take the dough out of the refrigerator shape into a ball(s) and allow the dough to rest at room temperature).

*note:if you are making multiple pizzas, after the dough has doubled in size divide the dough into equal sized portions for immediate use or place each portion in its own resealable bag for maturing.  

construction and baking the pie:

1.  Place an appropriately sized pizza stone on the top shelf of your oven and pre-heat the oven to 550° F or as high as your oven will go, to attain the highest temperature allow the oven to preheat for 1 hour.

2.  On work surface, place the dough ball (or one of the dough balls) on a flat, floured work surface and flatten into a disk then with your fingertips and palms, press it into a thinner disk of dough approximately 14-inches round and about 1/8-inch or less thick (if necessary use a rolling pin to achieve the 1/8-inch thickness), don’t worry if the pizza isn’t perfectly round . . . that’s called “rustica” and it’s the way “real” Italian pizza looks in Italy.  Sprinkle flour over the surface of this thin disk (this will become the bottom of the pie when you place the disk on the peel in the next instruction and will produce the slightly charred bottom crust Neapolitan pies are noted for).

3.  Distribute some flour over the surface of a pizza peel (this will act as “ball bearings” and allow the dough round pie base to move easily over the surface of the peel) and transfer the formed pizza base onto the peel, the floured side down.  Shake the peel to insure pizza moves freely.  Lightly spread about 4 to 5 ounces of the pizza “sauce” on top of the base (depending how "wet" you like your pie) leaving about 1-inch of uncoated dough around the edge to form the crust. 

4.  Distribute 4 to 5-ounces of the mozzarella haphazardly over the sauce and finally drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil over the surface.

5.  Gently shake the peel to insure the pizza moves freely (if it doesn’t gently lift the edge that is sticking distribute additional flour until it does).  Using the peel slide the pizza onto the stone and bake the pizza until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the bottom crust is well browned (a little charring is good!), about 9 minutes depending on how hot your oven is.  After the pie has baked for 9 minutes turn the broiler to high and broil for about 2 minutes until the crust begins to brown around the edges.  Remove from the oven, slice into 8 wedge shaped slices and serve.*

6.  Return the oven to bake at 550° F and repeat, if you are making more than pie, with the remaining dough, pizza sauce, and cheese.


*note: with a little experimentation you’ll be able to identify the point when the edges brown (char) without drying out the mozzarella. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread


Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
(America)
makes 1 9x13-inch pan
                                                                              Prep time:      30 minutes
                                                                              Bake time:     35 minutes
                                                                              Total time:      1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 pound unsalted, sweet creamery butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
12 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
4 or 5 seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers

Preparation

prepare the batter:

1.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  
2.  Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl or a 4 cup measuring cup.
3.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until most of the lumps are dissolved, do not over mix.
4.  Add 8 ounces of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos and mix to thoroughly distribute; allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
5.  Meanwhile, place your oven rack in the center of your oven and preheat your oven to 350° F.  Lightly grease a 9x13x2-inch glass baking pan.

bake the corn bread:

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining 4 ounces of grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

service:

Allow the cornbread to cool and cut into large squares. Can be served warmed or at room temperature accompanied by honey or honey butter.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Baklava


Baklava
(Greece)
makes about 36 pieces
I think the Greeks have a word for a cake that is perfection in taste and that word is Baklava, magnificent flaky little Phyllo cakes layered in chopped walnuts and drenched in a sublime honey/vanilla syrup. 
                                                                               Prep time:  30 minutes
                                                                               Bake time:  45 minutes
                                                                               Total time:   1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

1 package Phyllo dough
4 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1-½ stick butter, melted
2 cups honey
½ cups water
½ cups Sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

garnish:

¼ cup finely chopped shelled pistachio nuts

Preparation

prepare the chopped walnut filling:

Place the whole, unshelled nuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are reduced to a fine chop.  Place the chopped nuts and the cinnamon in a large, resealable plastic bag and toss together until the cinnamon is evenly distributed. Set aside.

prepare the baking pan:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. If refrigerated, remove the phyllo dough package and allow the unopened phyllo to come to room temperature before attempting to use it, about 1 hour.  Most boxes of phyllo contain 2 wax paper packages of phyllo sheets; this recipe will only use 1 of these, so you may return the other to the box and to the refrigerator for later use. 

3. Open one of the packages and lay out the phyllo sheets flat on the work surface in front of you, remember phyllo dries out and soon becomes unusable so when working with the phyllo sheets, only remove those sheets you immediately need and keep the other sheets covered by wax paper and a damp cloth
.
4. Spray a 9x13x2-inch rectangular glass or metal baking pan with butter flavoured cooking spray or thoroughly butter it. Commercial sheets of phyllo will generally fit this size pan, if the sheets are significantly bigger trim them to fit with a sharp knife.

build the baklava:

1.  Lay 2 sheets of phyllo flat in the baking pan and thoroughly brush with some of the melted butter, press lightly into the pan. Repeat this process twice more to form the bottom layer of the baklava, in the end you’ll have six sheets of phyllo in the pan, three of the sheets buttered.

2.  Sprinkle enough of the chopped walnuts to thoroughly cover the phyllo.  Place two more sheets of phyllo on top of the walnuts and thoroughly brush with some more of the melted butter, pressing this layer lightly into the pan. Repeat this process until you are out of walnuts or until you have only 4 sheets of phyllo left.

3. Top the last nut covered layer with 4 more sheets of phyllo, buttering each sheet as you lay it on and pressing each layer lightly into the pan; ending with a buttered top. 

4.  Cut a diagonal diamond pattern in the baklava using a very sharp knife.

bake the baklava:

Bake the baklava in the middle of your preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until the baklava is very golden brown.

prepare the baklava syrup:

Meanwhile, while the baklava is baking, combine the butter, honey, water, sugar, and vanilla in a medium sized saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to low to keep it warm.

combine the baklava with the syrup:

When the baklava has finished baking and is golden brown remove it from the oven and drizzle half the syrup evenly all over the top. Allow this portion of the syrup to be absorbed for a minute or two then drizzle on a little more until you think it’s thoroughly moistened. Allow the baklava to cool, uncovered, for several hours. 

service:

Once the baklava has cooled thoroughly retrace the diagonal cuts to insure the diamonds of baklava are separated.  Once you've done that carefully remove the individual diamonds of baklava from the pan garnished with the finely chopped pistachio nuts and serve.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Green Pepper, Onion, Mushroom and Ham Pizza



Green pepper, onion, mushroom and ham pizza
This recipe starts with a New York style pizza dough which produces a very thin, New York style, pizza base which has a slightly charred, crispy bottom yet is tender enough to fold a slice as New Yorkers do.  The recipe includes a note with the "baker's ratio" which allows one to easily increase the number of pizzas one can make, of course the sauce and toppings will need to be increased proportionally.

Makes 1 – 10 to 12-inch pizzas
(Italy)
                                                                               Prep time: 1 hour 30 minutes
                                                                               Sauce cook time: 20 minutes
                                                                               Pizza cook time: 8 minutes

Ingredients

authentic New York pizza dough*: 

8 ounces warm (105 ° F) water 
.18 ounces active dry yeast  
.24 ounces honey
12 ounces bread flour, plus additional for work surface 
.6 ounces extra-virgin olive oil 
.18 ounces Kosher or sea salt

note: to make more than one pizza the bakers ratio is: flour=100%, water=67%, honey=2%, yeast=1.5%, salt=1.5%, and olive oil= 5%

Spicy pizza sauce:

14.5 ounces crushed tomatoes or 14.5 ounces commercial tomato sauce
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil\
2 heaping tablespoons dehydrated onions
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper

note: any leftover sauce can be placed in a seal-able container and frozen for your next pizza.

toppings:

1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and ¼-inch diced
5 small cremini mushrooms, cleaned and caps (stems still attached) sliced into ¼-inch slices
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 slices of ham, roughly torn
1/2 large green bell pepper, seeded and 1/4 –inch diced
8 (3 ¼-inch diameter round) slices of provolone cheese
½ cup grated Parmigiana-Reggiano

note: a cup of shredded mozzarella or a combination of shredded or torn mozzarella and provolone can be substituted for the sliced provolone and the other topping amounts can be adjusted to your preferences.

Preparation

authentic New York pizza dough:


1.  In a 2 cup measuring cup, combine the water and honey stir to combine and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.  If the yeast doesn't "proof" (get "foamy") pour it out and start again it is important to have a live yeast mixture.

2.  Meanwhile place the flour and the salt into a sifter and sift it into the medium bowl of a stand mixer.  Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the olive oil and the "proofed" yeast mixture.  Turn the mixer, fitted with dough hooks, to low and turn it on.  Continue kneading (mixing) until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball around the dough hooks (scrap the sides of the bowl to move flour into the path of the hooks as needed).

3.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (if the dough is really sticky sprinkle with flour until it is just a little tacky) and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky (add flour gradually as needed to reach the slightly tacky state), 3 to 5 minutes. 

4.  Lightly oil a large mixing bowl with about 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil the ball on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap cloth and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  

note: At this point the dough can either be used immediately or it can be placed in a large resealable plastic bag and refrigerated for 24 hours or more to allow the dough to develop more flavour.  Just allow the dough to come to room temperature (about 1 hour) after taking it out the frig.

Spicy pizza sauce:

1.  While the dough is raising, in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, bring the olive oil to the ripple state, add  the dehydrated onions, the basil, the oregano, the crushed red pepper flakes*, and the granulated garlic  and cook, stirring constantly, until the  herbs are fragrant, about 2 minutes.

2.  Reduce the heat to low and add the crushed tomatoes/tomato sauce, stirring constantly until the tomatoes combine with the herbs and begins to caramelizes, about 3 minutes.  Raise the heat and bring to a simmer.  Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, black pepper, and additional red pepper.

3.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes over low heat.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  

note:  if you're not sure of how spicy you like your sauce start with ¼  teaspoon of red pepper flakes and adjust seasoning during cooking.

Constructing and baking the pizzas:

1.  Place an appropriately sized pizza stone on the middle shelf of your oven and preheat the oven to 550° F.

2.  Place the dough ball on a lightly floured work surface and flatten it into a thick disk then,  with your fingertips and palms and  working from the center of the disk out to the edges, press it into a thin disk of dough approximately 10 to 12-inch round and about 1/8 inch thick (if necessary use a rolling pin to achieve the 1/8-inch thickness [don’t worry if the pizza isn’t perfectly round . . . that’s called “rustica” and it’s the way “real” Italian pizza looks in Italy]).  If you're really brave you can try the spin and toss method of forming the pie (this dough is perfect for it) just remember to use your knuckles when spinning and tossing . . . fingertips can cause holes).  Sprinkle flour over the surface of this thin disk (this will become the bottom of the pie when you place the pizza base on the peel in the next instruction).

3.  Distribute some four over the surface of a pizza peel (this will act as “ball bearings”, allowing the pizza to move easily over the surface of the peel and will produce just the right amount of char on the bottom) and transfer the formed pizza base onto the peel insuring that the lightly floured side is on the bottom.  Evenly spread 4 to 6 ounces of the spicy pizza sauce over the pizza base leaving an about ½-inch un-sauced margin around the edge for a crust, now sprinkle ¼-cup of the grated  Parmigiana cheese over the sauce, then evenly arrange the provolone slices around the pie, distribute the sliced mushrooms over the pie, next evenly distribute the diced green bell peppers, followed by the diced onion,  the torn ham and finally sprinkle a little extra-virgin olive oil over the pizza.

4.  Gently shake the peel to insure the pizza moves freely (if it doesn’t gently lift the edges of the pizza and distribute additional flourl until it does), using the peel slide the pizza onto the stone and bake the pizza for about 4 or 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly, then turn the oven to broil and bake the pizza for another minute or two (watch the pizza closely) until the crust chars slightly.  

5.  Remove the pizza from the oven, slice into 8 wedge shaped slices and serve.

6.  If making more than one pizzas, repeat with the remaining dough and  toppings and cheeses. 

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