09 April 2011

Fairy Pizza

"Faeries like pizza?" I asked.
"Oh, Harry," Toot said breathlessly. "Haven't you ever had pizza before?"
"Of course I have," I said.
Toot looked wounded. "And you didn't share?"

From Storm Front by Jim Butcher

I looooove this book.  I love it so much I've read it three times.  I love it so much I want excerpts read at my funeral.  I want to rip pages from the book and line the walls of my bedroom with them like one of those creepy television villains.  Okay, maybe not that much, it sounds like a lot of work and would put too many little holes in the walls.  Anyway, you know where I'm going with this.

A wizard for hire, a nasty string of dead people with exploded hearts and fairies.  What's not to like? 

Anyway if you like your gumshoe mystery with a supernatural slant, you must try this series.

Oh, also, it has pizza.

I like pizza.  I like it so much that I make it a couple of times a month.  But the big sticking point is the dough.  I've tried  almost a dozen pizza crust recipes, none of them are perfect but this one is the closest yet.

It has a weird ingredient, I like weird ingredients.

Okay, so before you start this I should let you know a few things.  First, I don't have a stand mixer.  Lots of bread recipes list this useful appliance in their directions.  I really hate that.  It smacks of bread elitism (yep, chip on shoulder the size of a challah).

Soooo, if you have a stand mixer, good for you, use it.  This recipe is adapted for making dough the old fashioned pre-industrial revolution way.

Pizza Dough with Wine and Honey
From Simply Great Breads by Daniel Leader and Lauren Chattman

3 cups flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (this is a slight change from the recipe, but it still turned out pretty tasty)
2 Tablespoons instant yeast (I know it sounds like a lot, but trust me, it works)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 cup water, very warm
1/3 white wine (Isn't that crazy weird?!  I slipped and probably tipped in an extra tablespoon, oops)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey


1.  In a small bowl mix the very warm water with the honey, sprinkle the yeast on top and set a timer for five minutes.

2.  In a bigger bowl mix the flours and salt.  Once the timer dings, dump the water-yeast-honey mixture into the bowl.  Add the wine and the olive oil and mix the dough until it looks like this.

Looks kinda raggy, right?
3.  Dump the raggedy mess onto a floured surface and knead the heck out of it.  I can't give you an exact time, I kneaded it through the last few minutes of an episode of Camelot, so like seven minutes?

4.  When the dough looks more like dough.

Like this.

Plop it into an oiled bowl, not metal, and cover it with cling wrap or a cloth and place this into a warm spot for two hours (I put mine into the microwave after heating a cup of coffee).

5.  Take the dough out, punch it down and slip it into a ziploc bag and toss it in the refrigerator until tomorrow.

6.  When you are ready to make pizza with it, remove it from the refrigerator about an hour before you add toppings.

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