Monday, January 16, 2012

Light Winter Snack [Honey Wheat Pizza Dough]

A new year with new goals. After my trip from Hong Kong and Taiwan this past December, I am suddenly motivated to learn to read Chinese. My other goal is to engage in a healthier lifestyle, which includes more water intake, exercise, and a better diet.

On a different note, it's been cold in San Francisco. (Yes, it's not freezing temperatures, but us Franciscans have a low tolerance for "cold".) The best way to deal with it is to cook a dish that will keep me warm and warm up the kitchen as well. The idea: homemade pizza.

For my pizza, I made a honey wheat pizza dough. I used mozzarella cheese, fennel, fuyu persimmon, and Italian sausages for toppings. The lovely light licorice flavor flavor mingled with sweet ripen persimmon with spicy sausages was the perfect combination.

If a pizza stone isn't available, use a cast iron skillet to bake a pizza for the perfect crispy crust.

Note: The secret to a crispy crust without a pizza stone is to use a cast iron skillet. It handles the heat extremely well and is nonstick once seasoned so it's perfect for pizza making!

Honey Wheat Pizza Dough
Serves 1 for a meal or a snack for 2

1/4 cup water
1/2 heaping tsp active dry yeast
1/4 tsp honey
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

  1. Add honey into the water and microwave for 40 seconds. Dip a finger in and if it feels like a hot shower then it's at the correct temperature or 110°F if you're OCD about precision.
  2. Add yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, add flour, olive oil, and salt. Make a hole in the middle and pour water in. Use a spoon and mix everything together.
  4. Knead by hand for 7 to 10 minutes until smooth. Grease a bowl, place dough in bowl, and cover with saran wrap. Let it rise for 1  to 1 1/2 hours until it doubles in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 500°F and place cast iron skillet in oven (pizza stone or baking sheet).
  6. Roll out dough and add desired toppings.
  7. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbling.

Light Winter Pizza

4-5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 persimmon, diced
half a fennel, sliced thinly
1 hot Italian sausage, cooked and sliced
olive oil
sea salt
Mozzarella cheese, grated

semolina flour

  1. Preheat oven to 500°F and place cast iron skillet in oven.
  2. Divide into 4 pieces, which will make 3.5 inch pizzas. Sprinkle semolina flour on counter to prevent dough sticking to the surface. Roll out dough.
  3. Brush with olive oil and a couple shakes of sea salt. Sprinkle on garlic, persimmon, fennel, and sausage evenly on pizza. (Remember: less is more. Too many toppings and the pizza will get soggy). Last step, sprinkle a thin layer of cheese.
  4. Transfer to cookie sheet with semolina flour to prevent sticking. Go to oven and tilt the cookie sheet so the pizza slides onto the heated cast iron skillet. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until crust is browned.  Use a metal spatula to retrieve the hot pizza. Slice and enjoy.

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