A Post-Holiday Pizza

by A.J. Coltrane

The holidays are past, and that means one thing:  It’s now time to empty out the refrigerator before stuff turns.

A very fast weeknight pizza:

160111 pizza

The dough:  400 grams bread flour, 120 grams water, 120 grams beer (the beer was a holiday gift — for reference, the water and beer combine to create a very normal ~60% hydration in total, if you don’t count the beer solids), 1 tablespoon dry oregano, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon “garlic infused olive oil” (another holiday gift), 8 grams kosher salt, 1 tsp instant yeast. Mix on low speed for 10 minutes, lightly coat the bowl and dough with oil, cover, and let rise for up to two hours. I only let it go an hour since we were hungry.

The Topping Ingredients:  Garlic olive oil (that same gift as above), TJ’s “Bruschetta” sauce (mostly tomatoes and garlic), SeaStack cheese, herbed goat cheese (both cheeses left over from entertaining guests), diced Boar’s Head salami (another gift), crumbled cooked bacon (we bought too much bacon for guests). The outer crust got Penzy’s “Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle” (another gift — finely grated dried romano cheese with dried garlic, dried basil, and green peppercorns.)

The Process:  

  1.  Preheat a pizza stone to 500F
  2.  Lightly oil a pizza pan. Form the dough on the pan, leaving a lip around the perimeter.
  3.  Lightly oil the entire top of the pizza, including the rim. Spread ~1 cup of the “Bruschetta sauce” on the dough.  Top with diced salami. Dust the “Cheese Sprinkle” around the crust.
  4.  Combine the cheeses and bacon, set aside in a bowl.
  5.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  6.  Top with the cheese and bacon.
  7.  Bake 4 minutes.

There are a few good “weeknight cheats” this time. Substituting beer for the water creates flavor when there’s not enough time for flavor to happen naturally. The addition of sugar adds flavor, somewhat helps the dough rise, and promotes browning. The flavored oil can be thrown around liberally, and that helps too.

The ingredients were excellent. The Penzy’s Sprinkle and flavored oil both added interest to the crust. I’m sure the Penzy’s thing is overpriced, but it’s really good. Romano cheese on the crust may be my new not-so-secret weapon.

Finally… bacon.

Everything exuded some liquid, so the pizza wasn’t crisp. Still, it was very tasty, and made for a good way to Use Things Up.

I’d be ok with eating like that all the time.

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