Friday, September 24, 2010

Aggy's Oven-Fried Pizza

Ingredients for lamb sausage pizza:

Ingredients for basic pizza dough:
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus additional for rolling dough
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 scant tablespoon honey
1 T extra virgin olive oil, plus some additional for coating the bowl/greasing the trays

8 T olive oil

Ingredients for lamb sausage and caramelized onions topping:
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
12 ounces spicy lamb sausage, casings removed
2 small red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 cup mozzarella cheese, cubed
1/2 cup basil leaves, stemmed, washed and dried

Preparing the pizza dough:
In a large bowl, combine the yeast and warm water. Stir to dissolve the yeast and allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes.

Using a sieve or strainer, "sift" about half of the flour over the yeast mixture and blend until smooth with your hands. Add the salt, pepper and honey and mix to blend. Sift in the remaining flour and mix to blend.

Lightly flour a cutting board or flat surface. Turn the pizza dough onto the floured area and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. The flour should feel smooth and the ingredients fully integrated. Place the dough inside a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place, about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in volume.

Press gently on the dough and turn it onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, rolling each quarter into a loose ball. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest for an additional 15 minutes. Flatten each ball, 1at a time, and roll into a 6-inch round. Place each round in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Brush the top of the rolled out dough with olive oil before topping with lamb sausage and caramelized onions to create a barrier that will help to prevent the topping from making the crust soggy.

Makes 4 6-inch pizzas

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Preparing the lamb sausage and caramelized onions sauce:
In a medium skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil and cook the sausage, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks, until golden brown and crispy.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage from the pan onto a paper-towel lined plate. Drop the onions into the pan and cook over medium heat until caramelized, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the honey.

Add the caramelized onions to the pizza fried pizza dough and top with mozzarella, sausage, basil, and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.

Makes sauce for 4 6-inch pizzas

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Preparing the pizza:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a cast iron skillet large enough to hold 1 of the pizza rounds, heat about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, turn heat off and add 1 of the pizza rounds. Use a spatula to press gently on the top of the round to keep it relatively flat as it cooks. When you see it is slightly brown on the underside, season the top lightly with salt and pepper and flip the round on its second side. Season it with salt and pepper and top with the onion sausage-onion mixture and place the skillet in the center of the oven until the pizza has finished cooking, 5 to 8 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough and topping.


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