better than takeout.

i know that i’m good in the kitchen when my ten year-old niece says “this (insert food here) is better than the take-out version”.

she’s kind of the poster child for happy meals, not that she particularly cares for them. but, she has a strong aversion to vegetables and refuses to touch much in the way of meat and non-white breads. she eats more cheese than i do. and you’re all aware that i’m a cheese fiend.

but, once and again, she surprises both of us when i mince spinach into pasta sauce or make calzone shells with whole wheat dough and she doesn’t wince. on the other hand, i’ve used jarred tomato sauce before and she’s picked out every single tomato seed and dehydrated onion that had been reconstituted in the sauce.

a finicky one, if you will. yet, i adore her dearly.

friday, she came to our place for dinner, with the intention of going swimming, which was fulfilled due to my quick thinking about getting her a bathing suit on the way home from work. (her mother was out of town and somewhere along the way didn’t think to give us an extra set of keys. i suspect that the gecko became rather dehydrated).

i made her a bet, i don’t remember what exactly, about a month ago. the winner got to pick the next dinner. of course, it was going to be pizza. the recipe for the dough is far less finicky than she. and it’s so well worth your while.

Escargot Pizza

this pizza (above) has escargot. i like escargot. you may not. have no fear: this recipe is still for you!

pizza dough
makes enough to serve 6-8 people with a medium amount of hunger
adapted from jamie’s italy

3 1/4 cups bread flour (i have used both white and whole wheat with great success)
3/4 cup fine ground semolina flour (this helps, but if you can’t find any, another 3/4 cup bread flour works)
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 sachet (2 teaspoons) of dried active yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons olive oil

sieve the flours and salt into a mixing bowl (or, if you’re adventurous, onto a clean workspace). in a measuring cup or mixing bowl, mix together the year, sugar, water and olive oil. form a well in the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the wet ingredients while mixing (use a fork if mixing on a workspace). the dough should come together.

cover it in flour and place it in a bowl, with a tea towel over top, for about two hours, to rise.

from here, it’s a bit up to you. usually, we split the dough in two and roll it out, very thinly. this gives us two giant pizzas, that get split into four servings. when it’s the two of us, we split the dough in two and freeze half of it. for individual pizzas or calzones, separate the dough into the number of servings. i told you, it’s pizza dough. it’s not rocket science.

top with your choice of favourites. bake at 425F for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.

(some of our favourites, if you’re wondering: [1] pizza sauce from bottega), proscuitto, basil, garlic, mozzarella [2] olive oil, garlic, mushrooms, bacon, onion, raclette cheese [3] fresh tomatoes, oregano, sundried tomatoes, fruliano cheese [4] pizza sauce, chorizo, manchego cheese)


4 thoughts on “better than takeout.

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