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Author Notes: I had intended to sit out the pizza theme this week, because well it is bathing suit season here in Texas and I need to be thinking more salad less cheese if you know what I mean. BUT, my brain has a mind of it's own, so I was taking a nap and while my defenses were down this pizza crept in and would not leave until I gave it the attention it demanded. So here it is!! —aargersi
Serves 3 pizzas if you make all of the dough, but you can freeze some if you only want one - i am putting the topping amount for a single pizza
Pizza Crust (makes 3 12" crusts)
- 1 package of yeast (dry active)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon salt (I use kosher)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup corn flour (Bob's Red Mill is good and easy to find - make sure to get corn FLOUR not MEAL)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus some for the bowl
Toppings - this is for one pizza, so double or triple according to how many you make
- 1 cup sliced shallots
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 5 thin round slices of smoked provolone cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled Muenster cheese
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- a healthy pinch of Aleppo pepper (or crushed red pepper)
- a drizzle of very good olive oil
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- cornmeal for dusting
- Make the crust: Mix the water and sugar in a large bowl, then stir in the yeast. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes until it starts to foam. Add the salt and 2 tbs olive oil. Stir the corn flour and herbs together and add to the yeast, then begin adding the flour. Mix and add until you have a nice non-sticky dough - I start with a spoon the switch to using my hands, that way you can feel the dough for the right consistency, plus it's fun. If it seems too sticky add a bit more flour.
- Turn the dough out onto a board and knead it a few times. Form it into a smooth ball. Wash out the bowl (unless you want to dirty up another one) and drizzle a bit of olive oil in there. Return the dough to the bowl and flip it around so it's coated. Put a towel over it or loosely cover it with plastic wrap and stick it somewhere warm for an hour or so until it doubles in size.
- While the dough rises make your shallots - melt the butter in the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, brandy, sugar and a pinch of salt, and cook until they are very soft and dark golden brown and fabulous. Turn off the heat and wait for the dough to be ready.
- Preheat your oven to 500 - start this early if you have a pizza stone so it can warm all the way up. Punch the dough down and use 1/3 to make a 12" pie (freeze the rest or triple the toppings or make 3 flavors!) - roll it out on a cornmeal coated board, or press it into an oiled and cornmeal dusted baking sheet depending on your equipment (We actually use one of those plastic bendy chopping mat thingies dusted with cornmeal to transfer the pizza into the oven) and poke it a few times with a fork.
- Spread the shallots over the crust, then lay the provolone slices and crumble the muenster over. Sprinkle the pine nuts on top. Bake the pizza until the cheese is bubbling and browning and the crust is crisp, 12 - 15 minutes should do it.
- Remove the pizza from the oven, sprinkle with cranberries and Aleppo pepper, and the a drizzle of the best olive oil you have. Slice, serve, enjoy!!!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Pizza