Monday, November 26, 2012

Pizza with Asparagus and Artichokes

Last week we saw art in the desert at the Desert Botanical Gardens. We then finished the day off with homemade pizzas. I love thin pizza crust and after reading the Pizzeria Cook book by Evan Kleiman this classic Neapolitan Pizza Dough fit the bill.

Pizza Dough


1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup cold water
1 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus flour for kneading
3/4 teaspoon salt

To prepare:

In a large mixing bowl, stir the yeast into the lukewarm water. let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the olive oil and the cold water, then whisk in 1/2 cup of the flour and the salt, stirring until smooth. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough comes together in a rather rough mess.

On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough until smooth and velvety, 8-10 minutes. It will be soft. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes.

Divide into 2 equal portions, knead briefly, then roll each portion into a smooth tight ball. To use the dough immediately, sprinkle a little flour on the work surface and set the balls on it. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour, then stretch and top the dough.

If not using immediately: store dough in refrigerator up to two days in a small baking pan lined with a kitchen towel and cover top with a second towel. To use remove from refrigerator, let stand at room temperature 10-15 minutes before forming the pizza. For longer storage, dust dough with flour, slip into a plastic freezer bag, seal tightly and freeze up to 1 month. Before use, place the frozen dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let thaw overnight in the refrigerator or for about 2 hours at room temperature. Thawed dough should be puffy and soft to the touch.

Ingredients for topping:

3 baby artichokes (used frozen)(thaw)
10 asparagus tips (blanch 6-8 seconds)
4-6 caramelized garlic cloves
Pizza dough (above)
Plain flour for dusting
5 fresh basil leaves (torn)
3 ounces fontina cheese (grated)
2 tablespoons fresh Parmesan cheese (grated)
1 tablespoon fresh leaf parsley (chopped)

To prepare:

Preheat oven and pizza stone at 500°. Place dough on lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle on a little more flour and press evenly into the disk. Use floured rolling pin and roll out turning disk around and around until rolled out to desired thickness.

Arrange the asparagus, artichoke and garlic evenly atop the dough, then scatter the basil. Top with grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Gently pick up and slide unto the heated stone, careful not to touch. Bake until the edges are golden and crisp, 8-9 minutes. Remove the pizza with a large metal spatula and slide onto a dinner plate. Sprinkle the Parmesan and parsley evenly over the pizza and serve at once. Enjoy!

Note to self: Crust had a very nice flavor, rolled out very nicely. Pre-heat pizza stone in oven about 30 minutes to have a more crusty texture.
Cheri Savory Spoon
Cheri Savory Spoon

Mysavoryspoon was first started in 2010 as a way to journal recipes that I had collected from cookbooks, magazines, family and friends. Most everything was savory, using legumes and whole grains. Along the way I discovered a love for baking. Now a couple times a month you might see some type of sweet pie or treat.

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