More 2 for 1 Pizza Madness

2or1pizzabanner
I think I have mentioned it before but I am in love, simply in love with pizza. From the time I first tasted pizza as a tiny child it has been one of my all time favorite foods. I have eaten all sorts of pizza and this week I thought I would do my take on two gourmet restaurant favorites. Barbeque chicken pizza and a ham and fig pizza.

Before we get started, I just want to give a word of encouragement for anyone who has come to today’s post interested in pizza but intimidated by making a sourdough pizza crust. Although I think this is hands down the best pizza crust, you don’t have to go there if you don’t want to. If you bake bread and have a good recipe for a white or whole grain loaf, you can flatten that into pizza crust. Before I dabbled in sourdough, I used to make a whole grain dough in my bread machine and use it for pizza. Very simple! You don’t bake bread? If you have a Trader Joes, they sell a fabulous fresh pizza dough for pennies. Most well stocked groceries have frozen pizza dough. Better yet, there are precooked crusts such as Boboli. Pita breads, lavash breads, naan or even flour tortillas (just be frugal on toppings) can all be toasted lightly and then baked as pizza crust. But if you are with me on making the best crust, read on…

After looking back at my previous blog posts (Chicken Basil Sausage Pizza and the last 2 for 1 post about Salmon and Beet Greens Pizza and Canadian Bacon and Pineapple Pizza), I realized that my crust has slightly changed. Here is the current instructions for the crust which I am now rolling on the edges. A slight roll gives the crust a bready edge. If you just roll the crust flat, it will be more cracker-like which is also quite tasty.

Multi grain pizza crust for two pizzas:

1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)

3/4 cup sourdough starter

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 cups unbleached white flour

1 cup stone ground whole wheat flour

1/3 cup rye flour

2 teaspoons salt

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Cornmeal for dusting peel

Mix first 3 crust ingredients in bowl of heavy-duty mixer. Add 2 cups unbleached white flour; stir to blend. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel. Let the sponge ferment in a warm draft-free area for about 1 1/2 hours.

Using a dough hook, mix in the stone ground whole-wheat flour, rye flour and salt at lowest setting. Increase speed slightly; knead dough 5 minutes, adding more whole wheat flour by the tablespoonfuls if the dough sticks to sides of bowl. Let dough rest 15 minutes. Knead on low 5 minutes. Scrape dough from the hook into the bowl. Remove bowl from stand. Coat a rubber spatula with nonstick spray. Slide spatula under and around dough, coating dough lightly. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Let dough rise until doubled in volume, about 1-2 hours.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Flatten the dough into a rectangle and then fold it like you are folding a letter (be careful not to press too hard and deflate the dough). Divide in half. Roll each half of the dough into a ¼” thick round and transfer each round to a pizza peel or baking sheet coated in cornmeal. Roll the edges over once to create a crust. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for at least a half hour.

An hour before making pizza, place a baking stone in your oven and preheat to 450°F.

Top the crusts with the toppings of your choice.

Bake pizza one at a time for 13 minutes each. Cool for a couple of minutes before cutting into slices.

And now for the ingredients we used this week. The lists below are in order of how they should be added to the pies:

Barbeque chicken pizza

BBQChickenPizza

This pizza is the best use for the small amount of leftovers from a homemade roasted chicken or a store bought rotisserie chicken. I removed the meat from a leftover leg and the carcass of our leftover chicken. I got around a cup or slightly more of meat which I chopped and then marinated in barbeque sauce. Both pizzas were delicious but we loved this one the best with it’s south of the border flavors. Top the pizza in this order:

Muir Glen cabernet marinara or your favorite pasta sauce (approx. 4 tbsp or more)

Chopped cilantro

4 oz mozzarella

2 oz Quattro Fromaggio four cheese blend (Italian 4 shredded cheese blend)

2 oz grated sharp white cheddar

Chopped fresh garlic (about a tablespoon)

Sliced zucchini

Red onions, sliced

Thinly sliced heirloom or beefsteak tomato

1-2 fresh jalapenos, dry roasted in a cast iron pan, peeled and diced

Sliced black olives

1 cup or more diced cooked chicken marinated in a couple of tablespoons of barbeque sauce (I used Annie’s smoky maple barbeque sauce)

Black Forest Ham and Fig Pizza

HamFigPizza

 Sautéed greens, earthy mushrooms, black forest ham and figs. It’s like a grown up version of Canadian bacon and pineapple but oh so very much more subtle and delicious!  Top the pizza in this order:

Muir Glen cabernet marinara or your favorite pasta sauce (approx. 4 tbsp or more)

Half a bunch of chard, triple washed, chopped and sautéed with garlic and olive oil

4 oz mozzarella

2 oz Quattro Fromaggio four cheese blend (Italian 4 shredded cheese blend)

Chopped fresh garlic (about a tablespoon)

Sliced red onion

½ cup sliced cremini mushrooms

½ red pepper, diced

Sliced black olives

8-10 fresh mission figs, sliced in half

9-10 deli slices of black forest ham cut in thirds

There you have it. Sophisticated pizzas that are so much better than takeout and cost so much less than takeout pizza. This makes two large pizzas so that you can eat to your heart’s content the night you make them when they are fresh and delicious and you’ll still have leftovers for breakfast (I know I’m not the only one guilty of pizza for breakfast!)

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7 Comments

  1. drfugawe said,

    August 28, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Fantastic! Another great way to use up a fig bounty!

    Great looking pizza, Mimi.

    Looks like you too have a fig tree nearby – Yes?

    • Mimi said,

      August 28, 2009 at 2:58 pm

      I wish I had a fig tree! It is definately fig season here in California. They are available at our Farmer’s markets and many of our stores. The season for these is almost as fleeting as cherries for us. I try to use them as much as possible for the few weeks they are available!

  2. Natashya said,

    August 28, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Mm, I am hungry for pizza now! Yours looks fabulous, great flavour combos.

  3. FSK said,

    August 28, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Ham and Fig pizza!!! that’s such an interesting idea.. I am going to try it next time.. Btw, have you tried it with dry figs?? I don’t get too much fresh figs near me…

    • Mimi said,

      August 28, 2009 at 11:29 pm

      I’ve never tried it with dried figs. I think if I were to try it out, I would probably try to soften them up with something. Maybe soak them in Port or cook them a bit in some stock. If you try that, make sure they are not full of your cooking liquid as it could make the pizza soggy. But… that is a very, very interesting idea and something I might keep in mind for later in the year when the fresh figs are no longer available.

  4. Madam Chow said,

    September 1, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for – a sourdough pizza crust! I’ve been messing around a lot with my starter, and I can’t stand throwing all that toss off down the drain. Plus the fact that I love pizza, too!

    • Mimi said,

      September 1, 2009 at 4:44 pm

      I deal with my starter backwards. I couldn’t stand the idea of tossing any of it either so I leave it refrigerated to lot of the time to save me from having to feed it so often. When I do bring it out, I immediately feed it a quarter cup flour and a quarter cup water so that it can “eat” as it warms back up. I do this in preparation for baking so what would normally be toss off is “fed” and then used in baking. Nothing goes to waste.

      If I leave the starter out and feed it daily without using it, I usually try to find a couple of baking projects to do or I make something with a huge amount of starter like the focaccia I made a few weeks ago to get the starter down to a manageable amount.

      I think this is different than how a lot of people maintain their starters but I figure that the starter is mostly yeast and it is renewable. One thing I am finding out is that the starter stays healthier if it is a smaller amount of starter being fed at a 1:1 ratio (quarter cup) flour to water at a time. Maybe that is why some people do the toss of method? To keep the starter at a certain hydration level? So far it’s been working for me, but it has been pretty experimentall the whole time that I’ve been baking.

      Madam, I enjoy talking to you about baking. If you want to keep comparing notes, my email address can be found in the about link on my blog.

      Take care,
      Mimi


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