Friday, October 26, 2007

Meatless, Tomatoless, Pizza (Sort Of)

I'm not really sure I ought to call this pizza, though it isn't exactly a flat bread either. The dough makes a very light, crusty base due to 1/4 cup of olive oil. You could omit it for a heavier, chewy crust.

Having been sick for a week, I worked with what I had on hand, which ended up being frozen spinach and red potatoes. I briefly considered adding frozen cauliflower but then thought better of it.

The cheese was an assortment of left-over ends and dried out bits that I grated fine and tossed together with some semi-soft French cheese that was rather unimpressive (I wouldn't buy it again).

I deliberately omitted onions and garlic, but since this isn't exactly a "recipe" you may find that they add depth to the dish. I'm really only listing the toppings because the combination was unusual-not because I think it was the best combination I've ever devised.

I roasted the potatoes and cooked the spinach early in the day to facilitate getting dinner on the table in a timely manner.

Overall, it was a nice change from my usual tomato-based pizzas with chewy crusts. It certainly was simple enough to make.

For The Dough:

1 cup warm water

2 1/4 teaspoons dry granulated yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup olive oil

2-3 cups bread flour

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/2 tablespoon dried basil

Proof the yeast in the warm water with the sugar and salt for 15 minutes. Add olive oil and spices-stir well. Add 2 cups of the flour, then turn out on a board and add as much flour as needed whilst kneading until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, turn once to coat and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 1 hour in a warm spot.

Punch down dough, divide in two and let rest 15 minutes. Roll out and brush lightly with olive oil. Top as desired. Let rise another 15-20 minutes before baking in a 450 degree oven. Begin on the lowest shelf in the oven for ten minutes, then move to a middle shelf and bake another 4-5 minutes or until golden.

How I Topped My Pizza:

2 blocks of frozen spinach, cooked and squeezed of water in a towel

5 large red potatoes, roasted with olive oil and rosemary in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes (stirring every ten minutes).

3 cups shredded hard cheeses(Romano, Parmesan with peppercorns, Doux de Montagne)

1/4 cup chopped olives (Kalamata and green Sicilian)

Generous amount of black pepper

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