Sunday, 13 September 2009

Herbed Cheese Pizza: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes

Today in the bread-baking blog, we're continuing our pizza making series. We're making a delicious Herbed Cheese Pizza using the olive oil dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes.

There is a picture of a delicious herbed pizza on the front cover of the September issue of Cooking Light. I've been wanting to make this pizza for a few weeks. I decided to make it using the olive oil dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes rather than making the dough from the recipe. I also made homemade pizza sauce using one of my favorite recipes and incorporated some of the additional ingredients from the herbed pizza recipe. I really like the combination. Hopefully, you will too.

Here are some helpful tips and resources for making homemade pizza:

Herbed Cheese Pizza using Olive Oil Dough
Make the pizza dough according to the instructions in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes.  Then place the dough in the refrigerator overnight.  You can also use your favorite pizza dough for this recipe.


Preparing the Pizza Sauce and Toppings

I combined a couple of different pizza sauce recipes to make this sauce. It makes a big batch so I froze the rest for another day. I made the sauce Sunday afternoon so we could have pizza for dinner Sunday night.

Pizza Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine (I used some white wine that my friend made)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained. I used fresh tomatoes that another friend of mine gave me. Just peeled them and chopped them up. I had about 32 ounces. Yummy!
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (I have fresh basil but used dried instead)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (I used a little more because I like the flavor.)

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in wine; cook 30 seconds. Add tomato paste, oregano, black pepper, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, bay leaf and tomatoes and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until thick. Then stir in basil and vinegar and cool. It took about 30 minutes for my sauce to thicken. It also cooked down a good bit.

This makes a chunky sauce so if you prefer a smooth sauce, you can puree it in the blender. I like it either way but my taste tester preferred the sauce smooth so I pureed it and it tasted great.

Herb Topping
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

To prepare the topping, combine oregano, cumin, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl. Set this aside.

Now it's time to make the pizza...

Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven with a baking stone at 450 degrees F.

Get the dough out of the refrigerator. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound piece.

Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball. My dough was really wet so I shaped it on the counter (rather than in my hands) incorporating more flour as I went along.

Flatten the dough with your hands (or a rolling pin if you prefer) to a 1/8-thick round. You may need to use a dough scraper to unstick the dough and keep from adding too much flour. You may also need to let the partially rolled dough sit for a few minutes to "relax" to allow further shaping.

Place the dough on a piece of parchment or you can use a cornmeal-covered pizza peel. I find that the dough sticks to the peel too much with just cornmeal so I like to use parchment paper on top of the peel.

Slide the pizza (on the parchment paper) onto the stone and parbake for a few minutes. This keeps the toppings from making the pizza soggy.  Then top the pizza with some sauce; and the herb mixture;

Finish with slices of your choice of cheese. The recipe suggested kasseri cheese but I couldn't find it so I just used sliced mozzarella.

Slide the pizza onto the baking stone and bake it for 8 to 10 minutes, then check for doneness.  Rotate the pizza if it is browning too much on one side. Then bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

Remove the pizza from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before serving. This will give the cheese time to set. I slid mine onto a bread board to let it cool for a few minutes.

Now it's time to enjoy this delicious pizza! It has a wonderful spicy and herb flavor. I think this combination would taste really good with pepperoni but my taste tester is vegetarian so I didn't use any meat. Evenso, it was yummy!


You might enjoy some of these other Homemade Pizza Recipes

Happy Baking!

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