Friday, February 4, 2011

Gourmet Pizza

We've been getting Zachary's Pizza quite a bit lately - its delicious, Chicago-style deep dish with copious amounts of cheese on the bottom and all the toppings on top. But maybe we've done that a few too many times lately, and even though I came home from work tonight exhausted and not wanting to do anything, when Chris said he wanted pizza for dinner and I thought about what I had in my fridge to use, I was ready to get cooking.

I used my standard pizza dough recipe, substituting a cup of buckwheat flour for one of the cups of AP flour, and topped it with Bechamel sauce, fresh mozzarella, roasted butternut squash, Merlot-caramelized red onions, some frozen chopped spinach, and a little Parmesan. And it was quite tasty!

We've got an escapee
For the Pizza Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 cup buckwheat flour
2 tsp. instant yeast
2 tsp. coarse kosher or sea salt
2 Tbsp. garlic olive oil

Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons of the oil through the feed tube.

Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a tablespoon or so at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch (I haven't had to add any extra water). If its dry, add another tablespoon or two of water (but no more than a total of 1/4 cup in this step) and process for another 10 seconds. (In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.)

Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Put the remaining olive oil in a bowl, turn the dough ball in it, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap; let rise until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours.
Knead the dough, and let it rest for five or ten minutes. Then roll it out, place it on a cookie sheet and bake in an very hot  (475°F or higher) oven until golden brown and cooked underneath.

For the Bechamel Sauce:
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the milk until very warm but not boiling. In another pan melt the butter on medium heat; do not let it brown. Whisk in the flour and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until golden. Gradually add the hot milk and continue whisking until the sauce thickens. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.

For the Merlot-Caramelized Onions:
1 large red onion, sliced very thin
1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup Merlot
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until starting to turn color. Add the Merlot and brown sugar, cover and reduce heat, and cook until caramelized, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper when they are as caramelized as you want, and serve.

Related recipes:
Waffle Pizzas
Cheater's Risotto
Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash and Garlic
Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Vegetables