Thursday, July 9, 2009
Roasted Garlic Pizza Dough
You know, I don't always bake; sometimes I cook as well. Actually, I like to think I'm a pretty good cook, thankYOUverymuch! I haven't posted too much lately on the blog, because we just wrapped up 2.5 WEEKS of rain and clouds. It's been muggy as all hell, and that does not make for either good pictures or the desire to cook.
But I broke down the other day and made some homemade pizza. I wanted to jazz up the dough a bit, so I thought to myself "Self, how about roasted garlic in the dough?" And thus a lovely supper was born!
I used Mark Bittman's recipe for pizza dough, which I've posted below. It uses the food processor, so there is NO KNEADING at all and is unbelievably easy to put together. Through in the dry ingredients, add the water, add the garlic, blend for 30 seconds. DONE. On its own, it takes about 5 minutes from start to finish, not including rise time. That's it. The garlic takes about 30 minutes to roast, but it's not like you have to sit there and croon to it or something.
Never roasted garlic before? It's easy. Take a whole head of garlic, remove as much of the papery skin as possible, cut about 1/2 off the top to expose the cloves, drizzle it with olive oil, and then wrap it up in tinfoil. Pop it in a 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes. You'll know it's done when the house starts to smell like garlic, mmmmmm. Let it cool so you can handle it, and then just squeeze the whole head of garlic; the roasted cloves will squeeze right out like toothpaste. Easy peasy!
There's the uncooked product. I like my pizza toppings simple, and I really wanted to taste the dough more than anything here. I saw a chef say once that real Italians never put cooked tomatoes on a pizza; they just chop up raw tomatoes, so that's what I did here. I whizzed a whole tomato in my mini-chopper, and then added enough to cover the dough. After that, kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste, fresh grated parmesan, and then a drizzle of balsamic for good measure.
And wow, it was good. The garlic flavour was really present, but gentle; roasting garlic really mellows it out. I through in some parmesan with the dough, but I don't think it added to it; I couldn't really taste it.
I can still taste that damn pizza, though. As you can see from my picture, I took a taste or two (or three) before I remembered to take a pic for the blog. Heh...whoops. ;) And I LOVED the fresh tomatoes in place of sauce; I will keep that up for sure.
Roasted Garlic Pizza Dough
This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.
1 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
3 cups flour
2 tsp kosher salt
1 - 1 1/4 cups water (I used lukewarm)
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
and my additions...
1 head of roasted garlic
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1. Combine the yeast, flour, and 2 tsp salt in the food processor container. Pulse to combine. Turn the machine on and slowly add 1 cup of water and 2 tbsps of oil through the feed tube.
2. Just as dough is starting to combine, add the cloves of roasted garlic and parmasan, if using.
3. Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water , a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is dry, add another tbsp of water and process for another 10 seconds. (In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour, a tbsp at a time.)
4. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Grease a bowl with the remaining olive oil, and place the dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. You can cut this rising time short if you are in a hurry, or you can let the dough rise more slowly, in the fridge, for up to 6 or 8 hours.
5. Add desired toppings and bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.
I tend not to use all the dough at once, so I freeze it in small portions. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer, and allow it to defrost at room temp before using. Set the oven to the lowest temp it can go, and turn it off when it reaches that temp. Place the thawed dough in the oven for about 15 minutes or so or until it rises a bit. I find letting it have that second rise stops it from forming giant crust bubbles as it bakes.