My first taste of Pizza in Italy
Who doesn’t love pizza? I personally have not met a pizza I haven’t liked. So believe me when I say, I was so exited when I found the perfect pizza dough recipe! Now I can bring all my favorite pizza recipes to life! Oh the toppings that I will one day put on this whole wheat pizza dough recipe…the thought just makes my mouth water!
The Typical Roman experience!
So I was transported back in time to Italy. My husband being Italian, could not wait to take me to Rome to visit his family. Well, being the lucky girl that I am, I got to eat amazing home cooked Italian food in Zia Pia’s kitchen. I was fortunate enough to learn hands on, how to make authentic pasta from scratch. I also was treated to delivery pizza the true Italian way! When I say the true Italian way I’m talking about two large pizzas, with different toppings…oh, and the pizzas were oval-shaped with a rectangle shaped long box!
My first try at making pasta
Oval shaped Pizza
This all being said, with everything I ate in Italy, one particular memory was etched into my mind! My husband took me to a small pizza cafe, right around the corner from the college he attended a couple of years back. This used to be one of his favorite go to food joints. I was about to experience it first hand! But I just couldn’t decide on what kind of pizza I wanted to eat. So finally, he just ordered for me. It was a potato and sausage pizza! Before I tell you how amazing it was, let me just say they serve pizza slices in squares in Rome and fold it over like a sandwich. Then they rap the bottom in parchment paper like you would a sandwich (as shown in the first picture of this blog)…genius! Now back to how amazing the pizza was, it was the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life so far! I am yet to re-create this perfect crusty dough with gooey, hearty goodness!
So now that I have this amazing dough recipe I will finally, after three years, make an attempt at re-creating it. Here are my step by step instructions and I have a link posted to the dough recipe that I found. You will need to start out by making a fragranced olive oil before cooking your pizza dough so it has time to cool before you use it. I will post my recipe for this after the pizza dough recipe.
The Recipe (my version of the above recipe)
2 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1 cup all purpose flour
* Whisk together honey and warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over and set aside to activate in a warm place. It will be foamy on top when ready. (about 10 minutes if your house is cool like mine)
* Mix in the oil and salt. When well mixed add whole wheat flour, flaxseed meal and half the all purpose flour. The dough should come together. Tip the dough out onto your work surface and add the remainder of the flour and knead. You are done when all the flour is absorbed and the dough is smooth.
* Place the dough into a oiled bowl and roll it around to coat it. Cover loosely with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for one hour.
* When the dough has doubled in size, tip it out onto your floured work surface. If you like a thin crust like me you can divide it into two of for a thicker crust leave it as is. Form the dough into a tight ball and then cover with a towel and let it rise for another 45 minutes.
Dough ready to be rolled out.
* Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. If you are using a pizza stone make sure its in there while you heat on the middle rack. Otherwise use a well greased pizza sheet.
* Roll out the dough to almost your desired diameter and then life with two fists and rotate at the edges to stretch it the last inch or so.
Rolled out but not stretched.
* When the oven is heated, remove the stone and sprinkle with corn meal, then lay your dough on it. Bake in the over for about 3 minutes. It should puff up a bit at this point. Remove from the oven and brush with fragranced olive oil .
* Layer the toppings, starting with some mozzarella cheese, then potatoes, sausage mixture, tomatoes and more mozzarella cheese and parmigiano-reggiano.
* Bake in the pizza for 12-14 minutes.
This picture is missing the two cheeses I used. Unfortunately I can’t get some of the ingredients back to take it again.
Recipe (This is my own so I have no measurements)
Thyme (fresh or dried)
Sausage (Italian is preferred, however I had herbed lamb on hand)
sliced mozzarella (you can use shredded if you must)
* Slice 3-4 cloves of garlic. Add 1/4 cup olive oil to a small sauce pan and add garlic and Thyme. Let it come to a boil on medium heat then remove from heat and allow to cool. It should be nice and fragrant.
* Pre-heat the oven to 450. Slice about 3 small yukon gold potatoes with skin on. Add to a foil covered baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Use your hands to toss and coat each potato. Make sure they are laying flat for even baking. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
* While your potatoes bake, drizzle some olive oil into a pan on medium heat. Remove the casing off two sausage links. Add them to the heated pan.
* Break up the sausages to your desired size. I like it a little chunky. If you want more of a ground meat texture use a potato masher to break it up.
* Once meat is broken up, add your sliced onions, I used half an onion.
* Sautee until the sausage is cooke through and the onions and are nicely browned. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
When your oil and other ingredients are cooled you are now ready to assemble you pizza. I like to prepare the toppings when my dough is on its last leg of rising.
After eating this I can safely say I came pretty close to that yummy pizza in Rome. The only thing that would have made it perfect, was if I would have used bufala mozzarella cheese, sadly you can’t find it easily here.
I served this pizza up with a fantastic spinach salad that I always enjoyed in Korea with my lovely friends! Here is Kelsey’s recipe, minus the chicken!
Hope you can re-create my dream pizza too. But most of all, I hope you get the enjoyment out of each bite, the way I did!