I’m sorry, I’ve been rude. I should have introduced you last week. Meet my new favorite thing ever, my Nikon D5100 (you can call him Big D for short). I’m a little bit in love with it, and it is now the mastermind behind all my (hopefully much improved) pictures.
|Me, playing with my new toy the second I got it|
Why do I have this awesomeness in my life right now? It’s my big, beautiful birthday present. Mom, Dad, have I mentioned how much I love you?
Growing up, my parents understood that in addition to fancy toys, there are two things that make children happy; pizza and ice cream. So every birthday in our family came with some homemade pizza (there were no kosher pizza places near us until I was in middle school) and an ice cream cake. Even as an adult, I decided that this was such a great tradition, there’s no reason to give it up. So I’m sticking to my roots and making myself a birthday pizza loaded with all my favorite toppings.
Actually, I’m making two pizzas. One for dinner, and one for dessert! The good news is, one batch of dough makes two pies. I broke this down into three separate recipes; dough, savory pizza, and dessert pizza. The savory pizza has all of my personal favorite things on it (garlic, tomatoes, caramelized onions, mushrooms, and spinach). The dessert pizza uses a chocolate ganache as the “sauce” and tons of fresh fruit. Both are delicious, (mostly) nutritious, and full of all the things I want to eat.
Basic Pizza Dough
Makes 2 pies
4 cups flour (I used whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
1 package dry yeast
1 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons oil
Preheat oven to 425 F
1. Mix flour and salt in large bowl.
2. Make a well in the center and sprinkle the yeast into the well, along with 2 - 3 tbs warm water. Mix the yeast and water until the yeast dissolves and let it sit for a few minutes.
3. Pour in the remaining water and oil. Starting from the inside circle, work flour into the liquid with your fingers. Gather dough into a ball and knead until smooth and elastic. You may need extra water or flour, depending if the dough is too sticky or too dry, but this is totally normal and you should just add a little bit of either at a time.
4. Wet you palm with a little bit of oil and spread it all over the ball of dough. Cover with a clean towel, set it aside, and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size.
5. Sprinkle the pan or stone you’re using with either flour or cornmeal to keep your pizza from sticking. When the dough has risen, divide it in half and gently stretch it out to fit the size and shape of your pan. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes before moving on to either of the following recipes.
A Few Of My Favorite Things…Pizza
Makes 1 pie
1 yellow onion, sliced thinly and caramelized (for instructions on how to caramelize onions, click here)
8 oz. button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1. Heat a small pan on medium low and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes, until they just start to let out their juices. Then add the vinegar and continue sautéing until all the excess liquid is gone (this should take a few minutes on high heat).
2. Spread the roasted garlic and tomato spread evenly onto the dough. I prefer to have less crust, so I spread it pretty close to the edges of the pizza.
3. Lay the spinach leafs down on the pizza, creating an even layer of spinach. Sprinkle both the onions and the mushrooms evenly on top of the spinach.
4. Bake the pizza at 425F for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Let the pizza cool enough to handle, then serve it hot.
Makes 1 pie
4 teaspoons agave, divided
1 tablespoon water
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
2/3 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon brewed coffee
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1 banana, sliced on the diagonal
1 package of raspberries
1. Mix two teaspoons of agave with one tablespoon of water. Brush the mixture evenly over the pizza dough, then bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
2. While the crust is baking, bring the almond milk to a boil in a small saucepan, then lower to a simmer. Add in the chocolate, coffee, and the remaining agave. Stir for about a minute, then turn off the heat and continue stirring until combined and smooth. Ta da! You have your ganache sauce now.
3. Pour the ganache over the baked pizza dough and spread around like a sauce. Arrange the fruit on top of the chocolate in whatever pattern you want. Slice and serve at room temperature.