the off season: pizza


This post is coming a little late, but better late than never.  Just like a pizza I can eat it fresh from the oven or a day old from the fridge; I’m not picky.  During the Off Season, 1 of the sports that Mike fully commits to is college basketball.  March Madness!  Not wanting to eat out and miss a game, though he had EVERY game PVR’d, we stayed in and made pizza; a Final 4 pizza night.  As 1 [Florida] and 2 [Wisconsin] lost to 7 [Connecticut] and 8 [Kentucky],  we stacked our bench with some heavy hitters: fresh greens + mushrooms + my fave yellow tomatoes + ripe figs + cured meats + cheese.  I’m glad the Huskies won, but I was a little more concerned with which cheese to pair with the figs….and cooked figs or raw??? – crucial game changing decisions.

Our ingredients were so amazing that for this post, I figured I’d let them do most of the talking.

parsleyparts_07parts_08parts_01parts_04parts_10parts_12Berkshire Jowls [aka Guanciale]

parts_02Coppa from northern Italy

parts_11cured + dry aged Manitoba berkshire prosciutto

parts_05parts_09comte  [un pasteurized cow’s milk cheese from French Jura Mountains]

Pizza Dough
-from Jamie Oliver’s cook book Jamie’s Italy [an oldie but a goodie]
[makes 6-8 med thin pizza bases]

1 3/4 lb. white flour
1 1/2 cups fine ground semolina flour
1 level tbsp fine sea salt
1/4 oz. active dried yeast
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
just over 2 cups lukewarm water

pile flour + salt onto clean surface and make a 7″ well in the centre
add yeast + sugar to lukewarm water | mix w/ a fork and leave for a few minutes | pour into well
with fork + circular movement slowly bring in flour fr inner edge of well + mix into water | continue to mix until all flour is  brought in
when dough forms, flour your hands and begin to pat it into a ball
knead dough – roll it backward + foreword [left hand stretches dough toward you while right hand pushes away]
repeat 10x until smooth + soft + springy

flour the top of the dough + cover w/ plastic wrap + let rest for @ least 15 minutes @ room temp
divide dough into as many balls as you want pizzas
**timing: roll dough out 15-30 mins before you start to cook
flour surface + roll dough into a circle that’s about 1/4″ thick
place on pizza stone or aluminum foil rubbed with olive oil and dusted with flour.

preheat oven to 500°F -place oven rack closer to the bottom
add toppings
If you’re not using a pizza stone, you can use a baking sheet or you can place the foil directly onto your wire oven rack
cook 1 pizza at a time
cook for 7-10 minutes or until pizzas are golden + crispy



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