Pizza and a Movie

If it’s Friday night – it’s time for pizza and a movie.  We’ve been having pizza on Fridays for a few years now and it is usually pretty traditional pizza.  Some of us have pepperoni and some of us have mushrooms and onions.  I do use Boar’s Head Turkey Pepperoni.  It has a whole lot less fat, calories and salt and still tastes pretty ingredients

Last spring I found a new pizza.  Who would have thought to put asparagus on pizza!  And prosciutto and fontina and shallots?  I’m glad someone did.  This is now my new favorite pizza.  The biggest problem is it’s seasonal.  What will I do when asparagus is no longer in season?  But that is days off.  For now I will just enjoy.

I fBalsamic Vinegaround this pizza recipe on How Sweet It Is.  Of course, I made a couple of changes.  Who has ever made a recipe exactly like it’s written?  I used an aged balsamic vinegar I bought when I was in Italy instead of the balsamic reduction the recipe calls for.  And I used white mushrooms instead of baby bellas because that’s what I had.

Now, I should have a picture of the finished product, but it was cut and plated before I could turn around.  You’ll have to see the one from the original recipe.

The pizza dough recipe I use is from Handle the Heat.  It comes out perfect every time and is quick and easy in the food processor.  The recipe makes two medium pizzas but could easily be doubled.  Of course the size of the pizza will also determine how thick the crust is.  Smaller pizza means thicker crust.  If I am making two pizzas I use my pottery pie pans and coat them well with olive oil.  If I want a thinner crust and larger shape I put the dough on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  This also helps me transfer the pizzas to my stone in the oven when its time to bake them.


Basic Pizza Dough

2 c bread flour
2 t quick-rise yeast
2 t sugar
2 t salt
¾ c warm water (110˚)
2 T olive oil

In a food processor, combine flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Pulse to mix together.

With the motor running, add the water and olive oil in a steady stream, and then pulse until the dough comes together in a rough mass, about 12 seconds. If the dough does not form into a ball, sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons of water and pulse again until a ball forms. Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes.

Process again for 25-30 seconds, steadying the top of the food processor with one hand. The dough should be tacky to the touch but not sticky.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form into a smooth ball with your hands. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, and cover with plastic wrap.

Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and spongy, about 1 ½ hours.

Once dough is risen, turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down, and shape into a smooth cylinder. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, dusting with flour only if the dough becomes sticky. Cover both balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

If not using dough immediately, place dough in a zip-top bag and refrigerate for up to 24 hours or freeze for up to 2 months.  When ready to use, let refrigerated dough sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes; thaw the frozen dough overnight in the fridge or for 2-3 hours at room temperature.

Recipe from Handle the Heat.

Mushroom, Asparagus, Prosciutto Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

Yield: makes 1 pizza, serves about 4

1 batch pizza dough
2 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. fontina cheese, freshly grated
1 shallot, diced
2 c sliced baby bella mushrooms
8 asparagus spears, in thirds
4 oz. prosciutto, torn
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
¼ c finely grated Romano cheese
balsamic glaze for drizzling

Prepare dough 1-2 hours ahead of time. Preheat oven to 400˚.

Place dough on a baking sheet or in pan and form into desired shape. Brush with olive oil then cover in minced garlic.

Top with half of the fontina cheese, then evenly place shallots, mushrooms, asparagus, and prosciutto on the pizza. Top with the fresh mozzarella and remaining fontina.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove and cover with Romano cheese, then take a spoon and drizzle balsamic glaze on top.

Recipe from How Sweet It Is.

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