Monday, March 22, 2010

Peter's pizza

Am I gradually abdicating responsibility for this blog to my partner? No. He loves to cook as much as I do and from time to time I step aside and let him lead the way.

He’s been making pizzas for years and, in the last few years, has honed his method to perfection. I sat him down and had him recite the steps.

We’ve been using pizza dough from Sunflower Market here in Denver. It’s a fine product, fine enough in fact that we don’t even consider making our own.

I help out by getting the pizza onto the peel and into the oven and then adding ingredients to it toward the end of the cooking time. Our appetites are such that a 14” pizza divided into 4 quarters is good for two meals (sometimes with a little bit of salad, as was the case last night).

Peter’s pizza
large ball pizza dough
¼ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
14 oz. Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4” thick
2-3 oz. prosciutto, sliced thin
1 cup baby arugula
1 cup grated cheese (choose from among smoked mozzarella, goat mozzarella or fontina)

Preheat the oven with the pizza stone at the lowest position at 450 degrees for 60 minutes.

Put the dough ball in a large bowl which has been lubricated with cooking spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Put a 2-cup measuring cup into the microwave with 1 ½ cups of water in it. Nuke 5 ½ minutes. Quickly remove the cup of water and stick the bowl with the dough in. Leave it alone for 2-3 hours until dough has doubled in volume.

Transfer dough to floured surface and roll out to 13-14” circle. Liberally coat your pizza peel with cornmeal and transfer the dough to it. Re-roll as necessary to even out the circle. Let it sit at room temperature for an hour.

Core the tomatoes and slice them into ¼” rounds. Place them on a double thickness of paper towels and sprinkle them lightly with kosher salt. After an hour press the tops of the tomatoes with another double thickness of paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.

Stir the garlic and olive oil together in a small bowl and brush it onto the dough.

Toss the arugula with a little olive oil to keep it from burning.

Arrange tomato slices evenly over the dough. Brush them with any remaining garlic oil.
Bake for 10 ½ minutes.

Slide the pizza stone out far enough to arrange the prosciutto and cheese on the pizza. Bake for 3 ½ minutes.

Scatter the arugula over the pizza and bake for 1 minute.



Unknown said...

YUM!! Tell Peter I'm envious.. my pizza never comes out looking like that! I'm glad to know you all use pizza dough from Sunflower, there's one of those right down the street. I made pizza dough twice last summer and, well.. I need more practice at it! lol But hey, if you say it's good enough where you don't even make your own..I'm so picking some up!!

caroline duke said...

thank you so much for this! i started preparing my sunflower dough, then realized i couldn't make a bit of sense out of the directions on the package. (who would have thought punctuation—or complete lack of—could make such a difference?)

also, excited to see that the crust comes out really nice! can't wait til mine is ready.


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