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
- 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.
- Add yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 500°F and place cast iron skillet in oven (pizza stone or baking sheet).
- Roll out dough and add desired toppings.
- 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
Mozzarella cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 500°F and place cast iron skillet in oven.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.