Fun summer pizza ideas
Kysha Harris | 6/7/2012, 4:07 p.m.
I love a good thin-crust pizza with everything and anything on it. And yes, our fair city can provide such a delicacy. However, what happens when you find some delicious, fresh summer vegetable or your new favorite cheese or you want to combine toppings never combined before? Fuhgettaboutit! You make your own.
You can make the dough ahead of time so you are ready when the inspiration strikes...or you can buy prepared dough from your local pizzeria or grocery store...who said that?! Either way, it is a fun, easy and delicious way to make and have a summer meal with family and friends.
- Generous pinch of sugar
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- (about 110 degrees)
- One 1/4-oz active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil,
- plus more for drizzling
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 to 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat
- wholemeal or white whole-wheat
- wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- Cornmeal or semolina flour
- 4 to 6 oz cheese, such as shredded
- or fresh mozzarella, burrata
- or fresh ricotta
- 2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
- 2 to 4 handfuls fresh veggies such
- as sliced tomatoes, arugula,
- shaved zucchini, kale, Swiss
- chard, corn, spinach or mus
- rooms, shallots
- Handful of fresh herbs,
- such as basil
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
To make the dough, whisk a pinch of sugar--the yeast's food--into the warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top.
Stir 3 cups of flour and the salt together in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer to combine. Reserve 1/4 cup flour for later. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Stir with a fork or the mixer's dough hook. If making the dough by hand, stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to work the gluten for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Then turn onto a lightly floured countertop and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding small sprinkles of flour as needed just to keep it from sticking. If you're using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, beat on high speed until the dough comes together and slaps the side of the bowl, about 5 minutes, adding up to 1/4 cup more flour as needed to create a cohesive ball.
Divide the dough in half, for large pizzas, or quarters, for small pizzas, and form into balls. Place each ball of dough in a lightly oiled plastic bag, seal and refrigerate overnight or for up to three days. It can also be frozen for up to a week.
Remove the dough from the fridge 2 hours before you plan to cook. Oil one bowl for each pizza you are making. Turn each dough ball in the bowl to coat in oil; cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Draw a circle around the top to mark where the dough is now, so you can watch it expand. Set aside in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.
Position a pizza stone on the bottom rack of your oven. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees at least 45 minutes before you plan to bake the pizzas.