Friday Night Pizza
Last week was filled with outdoor skating and a trip to the Tampere area and a visit to Mummo and Pappa’s house. It is always a highlight for the kids to visit their grandparents. While the older kids went skating at Mummo and Pappa’s house, little Isabella and I took a little kicksled outing down a curvy little road that had just the perfect amount of hills to get a tickle belly.
All the exercise and outdoor air made for great appetites. Pizza was on the menu last week and it disappeared without complaint. I usually make a large amount and freeze the left overs. Then when we’re in a pinch, we have “frozen pizzas” ready in a minute. The recipe for the crust is large enough to make two pizzas and one small loaf of bread. I love having fresh bread the next morning ready to go and it really is no extra work. As much as I like to cook and bake, I usually try to multi-task in the kitchen so that I have more time to do other things (such as going on little outings with kids).
The crust has some rye flour, wheat germ and bran and a bit of brown sugar in it, which gives a great flavor to the pizza. And the sauce is where I hide all the vitamins and the kids don’t even realize it. Occassionally I will sprinkle extra toppings on top, as in the recipe below.
6 dl/2.5 c warm water
1 package (11 g) of dry yeast or a block of fresh yeast (50 g)
1 heaping tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 dl/ 0.2 c wheat germ
1/2 dl/0.2 c wheat bran
3 dl/1.3 c rye flour
about 8 dl flour
1/3 dl/3 tbsp olive oil
Disolve the yeast into the warm water. Add the brown sugar and salt. Next mix in the rye flour, wheat bran and germ. Allow to sit for about ten minutes so that the water is able to absorb into the grains. The less all-purpose flour used will result in a softer dough and crust. Add two thirds of the flour and knead well. This amount works great in the Kitchen Aid and I usually let it knead for me. Add the rest of the flour as needed. This pizza crust will be a bit stickier than the traditional crust due to the rye flour which has less gluten than white flour. While the dough rises prepare the sauce. If you know that your day will be busy the sauce can be easily be prepared the day before and refrigerated.
1 package ( 170 g/6 oz bacon) cut into small pieces
2-3 stalks of celery
1 small zucchini
1 dl/0.4 c sliced mushrooms (dried and rehydrated mushrooms work as well)
2 cans of diced/ground tomatoes
20 g/0.7 oz tomato paste
10 fennel seeds
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Brown the bacon with the onions and celery. Add the zucchini and mushrooms. Sautée for a few minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients and allow to simmer at low heat. Check taste and add additional herbs, pepper and salt as needed.
Divide the pizza dough into three sections. Roll out two parts and place on two baking sheets lined with baking paper. Spread sauce on the pizza and sprinkle with cheese of your choice. If preferred sprinkle with cherry tomato halves, thin rings of red onion and a little oregano. Shape the remaining third part of dough and place into a greased bread pan or a lined baking sheet. Allow to rise while the pizzas bake. Bake the loaf at 200 C/390 F for about 20 minutes or until it has a nice color on the bottom and sounds hollow.
Bake at 200 C/ 390 F until the cheese and the bottom of the crust have gotten a little color. Serve with fresh tossed salad.