Ammama's Favorite Pizza

By Brinda Ayer
May 14, 2018
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Author Notes: My grandmother, known as Ammama to family and loved ones, has always been my culinary spirit guide. Among other things, Ammama taught me to cook, and the love and care she pours into the meals she makes has inspired me to do the same. This pizza is a recipe I made when visiting her in Singapore last year, largely born from improvisation: I used my favorite on-the-fly pizza dough recipe, Bobby Flay's from foodnetwork.com, whatever vegetables she had in her crisper, and store-bought tomato sauce and cheese that I brought with me from the US. Feel free to use any pre-cooked vegetables or protein you have kicking around—this is the ultimate "leftovers" kind of recipe. Brinda Ayer

Food52 Review: This recipe is part of our narrative storytelling series, My Family Recipe. Read the full story here.The Editors

Makes: 2 14-inch pizzas
Prep time: 1 hrs 30 min
Cook time: 40 min

Pizza Crust

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 packet instant dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water, 110° F
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons

Toppings

  • 1 (14-oz) bottle of your favorite pizza sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 eggplant, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly into rounds
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into ¼-inch strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 4 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced (if fresh aren't available, feel free to use a 4-ounce can of sliced button mushrooms)
  • 2 cups part-skim low-moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ½ cups basil and cilantro leaves, chopped
  1. Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.
  2. Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour.
  3. While the dough is rising, mince the garlic, and slice the red onions, eggplant,and green bell pepper. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat and add the onions, sautéing until transluscent. Add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, eggplant rounds, and continue to cook until the eggplant is soft, about 10 minutes. Add in the green bell pepper slices about 5 minutes after adding the eggplant, cooking until tender but still a little crunchy.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, punch it down slightly, and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.
  5. While the dough is resting, heat the oven to 400°F (205°C) and prepare a sheet pan or pizza stone with a little flour or cornmeal, to prevent the dough from sticking.
  6. After the dough has rested, flour a work surface, and stretch out the dough with a rolling pin and your hands into two round pizza shapes, about 14 inches in diameter.
  7. Spread the dough with a thin layer of pizza sauce, and top with the cooked topping mixture, sliced mushrooms, and shredded cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before topping with chopped herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, and serving.

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