THE PLEASURE OF PIZZA

Wine: Salento - Red Italian from Puglia (The heel of Italy)

Serves 4 to 6

First, you must make the pizza dough. Then, heat the oven to 450° F. When the oven is hot put the stone in the oven for 15 minutes to get hot. When the pizza dough is ready, slide the dough on to the stone. If you do not have a stone you can use a baking sheet and baking paper, which is a reasonably good alternative. I'll tell you a secret of great pizza making: you must cook the dough without any garnish for about 5 minutes to allow the crust to get crisp, then take it out of the oven, put on the garnish and return to the oven for about five more minutes. Also, remember that the proper result in making pizza with MOZZARELLA cheese is to be sure that it does not brown! - Otherwise the pizza will become oily.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE DOUGH
1 package (2 1/4 Tsp.) dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Vegetable Shortening
1/4 cup Mashed Potato - fresh mashed or instant. If using instant then reduce the flour by 1/4 cup.
5 cups (dry measure) all purpose flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
pinch of salt

FOR THE GARNISH
8 oz. plum tomato sauce PLUM TOMATOES HAVE NO ACID
20 thin slices of pepperoni
1/4 pound grated mozzarella
3 pan-fried mushrooms
1 blanched green pepper
2 roasted artichokes cut in to four pieces
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil for the garnish-if you like it
1 Tbsp. coarse cornmeal for the peel
1 Tbsp. flour for the peel

METHOD
Heat the oven to 450 F then place the stone in the oven to heat for 15 minutes Dissolve the yeast in the water and sugar put the flour in bowl, make a hole (well) put in the yeast mixture, salt, shortening and potato. Use a fork to work in the ingredients together. When the dough is too big to mix with the fork, use your hands to knead it until it is smooth and almost all of the flour is incorporated into the dough. Lightly grease a clean bowl with shortening. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a towel, leave to rise in a warm draft free place for at least 1 hour or until double in size.

Meanwhile:
Heat the sauce Split, seed, and slice the green peppers and blanch for 3 or 4 minutes in boiling water and refresh (put in cold water) when cool pour off the water Wash and slice the mushrooms Put a pan on medium high heat, add a tablespoon of oil When the pan and oil are hot place the mushrooms on the pan - DO NOT SAUTE OTHERWISE THE MUSHROOMS WILL BE WATERY Turn the mushrooms only once, when nicely browned set aside Dust lightly a board with flour Place the dough on the board and roll to the shape and size and thickness that you prefer Put a small amount of flour and corn flour on the peel and spread it around evenly. Put the dough on the peel, use a for k to poke some holes in it and slide it onto the stone in the oven Cook the dough for 4 minutes, pull out the rack, on top of the pizza: If there are bubbles poke the bubbles and press flat.
#1 tomato sauce
#2 mozzarella
#3 pepperoni
#4 mushrooms
#5 green peppers
#6 roasted artichokes preserved in oil

Return to the oven for 5 to 7 more minutes remove from the oven and enjoy You can place the pizza on a clean board or use the stone but do not put the stone near anything that will melt or near children as it is very hot. If using scissors, use a long pair so as to avoid burning your hands.
Copyright 2014 Gwai Lo Inc. all rights reserved

CALZONE

FOR THE GARNISH/FILLING
3 finely sliced sun dried tomatoes
4 pitted and chopped gaeta olives
1/4 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary
2 oz. fresh goat's cheese
coarse cornmeal for the peel
flour for the peel

METHOD
Heat the oven to 450 F then place the stone in to heat for at least 15 minutes
PREPARE THE GARNISH Use the dough above On a floured board, roll out the dough to the size shape and thickness that you prefer Place some cornmeal and flour on the peel and distribute evenly put the dough on the peel and add the garnish, fold in half slide it on to the stone in the oven or baking pan with baking paper on top. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes
Copyright 2014 Gwai Lo Inc. all rights reserved

PANZEROTTO

Prepare the Panzerotto

Garnish with the same ingredients as for the pizza except the artichokes, using cold water, fold, seal well and deep fry for seven minutes. You can make small ones as party snacks. BE CAREFULL THEY'RE HOT.
Copyright 2014 Gwai Lo Inc. all rights reserved

Tip 1
Mozzarella is originally made with the milk from Water Buffalos. It is called Mozzarella di Buffala. It is brilliantly white and is much softer and sweeter than the commercial cow's milk mozzarella so many of us are forced to eat. Try this simple Italian salad of alternating slices of tomato and Mozzarella di Buffala. Sprinkle with a little Sea Salt, crushed black pepper, olive oil - extra virgin of course - and chopped rosemary. You can also serve it on pizza. Be careful no to overcook it.

Tip 2
When Italians make tomato sauce they use plum tomatoes. These are long, narrow tomatoes. They have no acid, which is why Italian sauces are so pleasant. Blanch the tomato in boiling water until the skin loosens. Drop it in cold water and peel it. Some Italians pass the tomato through a food mill to take the seeds out, some do not. Then cook the tomatoes into a smooth thick sauce on a low heat. Some Italians add tomato paste, others do not. You can add saute'd onions, garlic and herbs to make a basic multi-use tomato sauce.


Copyright © GWAI LO INC. 2014