Final pizza from this batch

Definitely not quick weeknight pizza, this one. But very excellent and very fall-like, what with the roasted butternut squash. This one worked well with the dough we tried early so now we’ve got a batch in the freezer as well (woot). Honestly, I don’t have much to say about this one because, other than roasting the squash, this one seems like a pretty standard pizza – dough, mozzarella, and toppings. Okay, kale and roasted butternut squash probably aren’t your standard pizza toppings. Or olive oil and salt instead of a red sauce. Aaaaaand I did skip the bacon – intended to grill some chicken, slice it up and stick it on top. But… I forgot, so we just forged ahead without. Okay, not so standard I guess, but it did still feel like I learned the foundational skeleton of a pizza recipe from this. Might be that it’s the third pizza recipe I’ve tried within the last 3 1/2 months.

Adam did turn to me after one bite with a ‘We’re keeping this one!’ So that was nice.

Kale and Butternut Squash Topped Pizza

Original from TheKitchn
Makes one 8-10″ pizza (depends on how well you roll out the dough)
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 11 recipes; Pizza: None! Hurray, we’re done!

  • 1 butternut squash, small – 1.5 lb or less
  • 1 small bunch (or less) of kale of your favorite variety
  • 8 oz mozzarella (smoked if you can find it)
  • 1/2 lb pizza dough, store bought or homemade
  • olive oil & kosher salt
  1. Heat the oven to 450°F. Peel and dice the squash into small cubes, about 1/2 inch. Spread the cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil. Roast until soft, about 30 minutes.
  2. Wash the kale and pat dry. Strip the leaves from the steams and tear into 1/2 inch pieces. Slice the mozzarella into thin rounds.
  3. Heat the oven to 500°F or as high as the oven will go – if you have a baking stone, place it in the lower half of the oven as it warms.
  4. Shape the dough into a 10″ round. Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle the kosher salt over the dough. Lay the mozzarella rounds on the dough, arrange the roast squash on top, and scatter the kale over the top.
  5. Bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until kale is crispy and the dough a dark golden. Allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Probably should have been the first pizza I tried ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This here is the mother recipe of pizza – the simplest pizza to base the ratios you remember off of, the base recipe you improvise off of. Dough, sauce, meat, veggie and cheese. The baseline of pizza. The ‘oh f***, I don’t have a plan for dinner’ emergency dinner of pizza – as long as you’ve got a batch of dough in the freezer.

I mean, unless you’re like Adam and I, who for some reason don’t keep a jar of pasta sauce in the house. Probably because we’d use it in a non-emergency-food spot. Which rather defeats the purpose of emergency sauce, in my opinion.

The original calls for sausage, we used chorizo, and I am pretty darn sure it would work with chicken sausage, chicken strips/chunks (browned on the stove first please), meat substitute or whatever you want/have lying around.

So our pizza doesn’t look too … square in the pictures below – I had some issues pulling the pizza off the pan. The cheese and whatnot slide around – still tasted good 🙂 We kinda devoured the whole thing for dinner – thought there’d be half a pizza for leftovers. Nope.

Baseline Pizza

Original from TheKitchn.com
Makes 1 pizza
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 18; Pizza: 1 recipe left

  • 1 batch of pizza dough (I used the 2nd half of the thin crust we made back in July – it’d been hanging out in the freezer for a while)
  • 1 jar tomato sauce – use as much or as little as you like (the Wegmans’ store brand tomato & basil sauce worked quite well for us)
  • ~3oz sausage link, or other meat product of your desire
  • 1 pepper, color of your choice, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, yellow or red
  • ~ 4oz Monterey Jack cheese (~1 cup)
  1. If you have a baking stone, place it in the oven on a rack in the bottom third of the oven. If you do not have one, place a baking sheet on a rack in the bottom third of the oven, to heat along with the oven. Preheat the oven to 550°F or as high as it will go; heat for at least 30 minutes before baking.
  2. Lay the pizza dough in the middle of how you are keeping it from sticking in the oven, such as a large square of parchment – we used a Silpat but as mentioned, had issues getting it back off. Press and push, staring in the middle working outwards, the dough into a flat-ish round, about 10-inches wide. If the dough starts to shrink back, let it sit for about 5 minutes, then continue. Once shaped, let it sit to rise until ready to top, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. If your meat topping is not cooked through, do so now before adding it to the pizza.
  4. Spread the tomato sauce nearly to the edge, then distribute the meat, pepper, and onion evenly over the pizza. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on.
  5. Transfer the pizza on the parchment or silpat into the hot oven. If using the parchment, after 5 minutes, use a spatula to lift and slide the parchment out. Bake until the crust is golden and crispy/charred in spots, a total of 8-10 minutes.

Pretentious Pizza

Also known as ‘Grown-up Pizza’. Yep, I understand how utterly snobbish the title and first line sound. But serious, what else am I going to call pizza involving figs and brie? Oh, and caramelized onions.

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Pizza is one of those things around here: we own a pizza stone (and leave it in the stove all the time to even out heat in the oven) but don’t make it very often. Which probably explains why the finished product was square tonight. Ledo’s, I am not and would like to make round pizzas…. You’d think if I can for pie, I’d be able to with pizza. But no-O-o. 🙂

The pizza was utterly delicious by the way.

Tonight was actually testing two new recipes: the thin crust and the topping combination. The crust came out pretty good – rolled it out a bit too thin so folded it over on itself which created some air pockets when parbaking. Wasn’t a problem per se, but definitely something I’ll keep in mind next time. Tasted a bit like sourdough bread, except, you know, thin and almost crispy (not burnt crispy, approaching cracker crispy).

The topping combination worked out really well – as Adam said when we sat down to dinner, this was a bit outside his comfort zone. After the first bite, his comfort zone had expanded. 🙂 Fresh (green) figs with brie and a caramelized red onion, with a drizzle of honey reminded both of us of an appetizer I’ve made occasionally: dried figs split in half with a smear of goat cheese and a drizzle of honey. The tartness from goat cheese was brought in here by the onion (although not a great deal – red onions == sweeter than yellow onions). And I really like slightly goo-y brie melted just a bit into onion.

Good crust, good toppings, just not quite right with each other though. We’ll be keeping both recipes, just not using them together.

Next time though? DEFINITELY caramelizing the onions in a slow cooker ahead of time. I swear every recipe I’ve ever seen lies about how long caramelizing onions takes.

Thin Pizza Crust

Original from TheKitchn.com
Makes two 10-inch crusts
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 35; Pizza: 2 recipes left

  • 6 fluid oz of lukewarm water (~3/4 cup water for them without digital scales [get a digital scale. I’m making the transition from measurements to weights right now and it’s pretty awesome])
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 10 oz (~2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  1. Combine the water and yeast; stir to dissolve. Let sit for 5 minutes to proof. Combine with the flour and salt in a bowl and mix until the dough comes together, kinda shaggy.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (along with any loose dough from the bowl). Knead until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic. It should still be moist and slightly tacky. Knead in 1 tbsp of flour at a time if too wet.
  3. Set in a warm place and allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 1.5 hours.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 portions. The 2nd portion can be used or frozen (at least I hope so – the 2nd one from tonight is in our freezer right now). Gently press, stretch and roll the dough out until 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Top and bake as directed in your pizza recipe

Caramelized Onion, Brie and Fig Pizza

Original from Heather Crhisto
Makes 1 pizza
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 35; Pizza: 2 recipes left

  • 1x pizza crust
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced and separated
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 8 oz brie
  • 5-6 fresh figs
  • Honey, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and prepare a baking sheet/pan.
  2. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Then add the sliced onion and sprinkle with kosher salt; sweat for 5-7 minutes. Add the water, stir, and continue cooking until the onions are soft and the water has evaporated. Add the red wine vinegar and cook, stirring, until the vinegar has cooked off. Transfer the onions to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Roll the pizza crust out, brush with the olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes (this parbakes the crust).
  4. Meanwhile, slice the brie and figs into slices the size of your choosing. Thin brie slices will be more melty (and wonderful).
  5. Spread the onions over the crust, then top with the brie, then layer on the figs. If desired, drizzle honey over the pizza.
  6. Bake until onions are hot and brie is melted, 5-7 minutes. Slice and enjoy.