Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Birthday K!

Today is K's actual birthday, but we had an early celebration for him on Saturday.  I made / bought his favorite food, including homemade pizza, Din Tai Fung xiao long bao and cupcakes.  Random combination I know, but it's his birthday! The pizza turned out really well; better than it's been the last couple of times, as I've been tweaking the dough technique as well as cooking technique.  I made a spinach pizza and margarita pizza.

Pizza dough recipe:
  • Mix one packet of yeast with just over 1 cup over water at 110-115 degrees in the bowl of a Kitchenaid standmixer.  Let the yeast bubble away for at least five minutes, stirring to incorporate the yeast if necessary
  • While the yeast is bubbling, in a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cup of 00 pizza flour, 1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour, 2-3 tsp of salt and mix all together
  • Attach the dough hook to the Kitchenaid mixer, turn it on slow and gradually add the dry ingredients to the bowl.  Scrape down the bowl if necessary and turn the mixer to low-medium speed for a couple of minutes (don't overknead)
  • Oil a bowl with olive oil and put the dough ball in the bowl, turning it around to cover it with olive oil.  Cover loosely with saran wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 24 hours (I put it in my oven, which I heat up just a little, then turn the heat off before putting the bowl in)
  • Punch down the dough, divide in two, and put the two balls in two separate baggies in the fridge for about an hour or so until the dough is ready to use
Spinach pizza recipe:
  • Heat oven with pizza stone in it to 525 degrees.  Try to avoid opening the door of the oven, my oven cools down really quickly if the door is opened
  • Grate 1 cup of comte, 1/2 - 1 cup of aged pecorino, 1/4 cup of parmesan and slice a couple of pieces of smoked mozzarella
  • Thinly slice about 4 garlic cloves
  • Wash 1/2 lb of spinach and toss with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and chili flakes
  • Stretch out the dough and brush lightly with olive oil, particularly along the crust
  • Sprinkle the cheese liberally and then top with sliced garlic
  • Pop it in the oven for 8 minutes, until the crust is starting to turn golden brown
  • Pull out the rack and top the pie with spinach.  It will seem like a lot of spinach, but it quickly shrinks down.  Cook for another 4 minutes
  • Remove the pizza, sprinkle with a little parmesan, olive oil and chili flakes, and serve
Margarita pizza recipe:
  • Combine 1 oz can of organic tomato sauce / puree with 3-4 cloves of chopped garlic, 1/2 tsp of fresh thyme, 1/2 tsp of dried oregano, salt, pepper and chili flakes and let sit for at least an hour to let the flavors combine.  This makes sauce for more than 1 pizza so you can save the leftover sauce for other uses
  • Slice 1/3-1/2 lb of smoked mozzarella
  • Stretch out the dough, brush the crusts with olive oil and spoon and spread the tomato sauce.  Lay out the slices of fresh mozzarella
  • Bake at 525 degrees for 8-10 minutes
  • Remove the pizza, sprinkle with freshly torn basil leaves, olive oil and some parmesan

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