Monday, June 18, 2012

Pizza - Salami, Artichoke Hearts and Chunky Tomatoes

I could probably do a couple of pizza posts a week.  Once you get into a pattern, it is about the easiest thing to make from scratch.  This one was easier than most.

When I make pizza dough, I make 4 balls worth at a time.  So I usually have a baggie of dough sitting in the fridge.  There are many different pizza dough recipes out there.  Lately I have been exclusively using a cold proof recipe, meaning there is very little bother with rising, punching down, kneading, etc.  This recipe makes a crisp thin classic crust that works great.  Even when using ingredients that have lots of moisture in them (potentially causing a soggy mushy crust).

Pizza Dough...
4 1/2 cups chilled Flour
1 3/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp instant Yeast
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 3/4 cups COLD Water (40 degrees)
Makes 4 pizzas

OK, did you read the 2 cold ingredients. Takes an extra hour or two of planning, I measure the water and the flour and pop them in the fridge for a couple hours to get cold. The small amount of yeast, relative to the amount of flour and the cold will make for a flat bread, almost no fermentation (rise). Just enough to soften the taste, but not make a big rise.

In my pre Kitchenaid days, I mixed and kneaded this recipe in a gallon size ziplock bag. Worked great, largely I believe because of the oil in the recipe. Without that, the dough would be too sticky to mix in a bag. But this sure made clean up easy.

Here's what I did...

  • Mix the dry ingredients first
  • add the water and oil about a fourth of each at a time
  • mix well until all the flour is hydrated and you form a large dough ball in your bag 
  • continue kneading for about 10 minutes, or if you use your kitchenaid, use the dough hook attachment, and allow the machine to knead for 7 minutes
  • And now, time to divide... Generously sprinkle a work surface with flour. Also, prepare 4 ziplock sandwich size bags (bigger works fine as well) by spraying the insides of them with spray canola oil.
  • Plop the dough ball into the flour and coat well. Divide into 4 equal parts (or fewer if you know you are making larger pizzas). Put each dough ball into a prepared ziplock bag and refrigerate at least 6 hours, and preferably overnight.

OK... Once you have your dough, for this particular pizza, rolled a ball out flat and round... like a pizza!  To help insure the dough stands up and forms a crispy crust that you can hold, I brushed on some Olive Oil all over the dough.  Salt and pepper a bit before adding the toppings.

Then I just tossed some pantry ingredients...

I opened a can of chunk tomatoes, drained the liquid and spread those around.  Now usually I will make a sauce, but tonight was all about lazy and fast food... and I wanted a chunky tomato pizza.  Why not???

Next I saw a small jar of Harry and David marinated artichoke hearts.  I think Harry and David stuff grows at night.  I can not remember the last time I got a Harry and David food gift basket, but there was and has been a (seemingly) growing pile of tiny jars of stuff with the H&D logo... Like this jar of marinated artichoke hearts.

It did take some effort to get them drained and potentially dry enough to not make that dreaded mushy crust.  Cut up into chunks and used a salad spinner, but it worked and I spread those chunks of heart over the chunks of tomatoes.

As to the salami, I had a hunk left over from an Italian antipasto dish.  Just use like pepperoni, sliced thin and spread around the pizza.  This worked GREAT, as the fat from the salami oozed and rendered out and flavored the pizza!

And add some fresh grated mozzarella cheese.  Bake in a preheated oven on a preheated pizza stone (450 degrees) for 12 minutes

It was incredible!  the salami had some heat to it.  The artichoke was sweet, the tomatoes had a terrific full flavor... Crunchy crust, sweet, heat and FAST FOOD... Total cooking and work time about a half an hour.

I love pizza!


  1. It has been far too long since I've made pizza and even farther too long since I've cooked with artichoke hearts. Time to kill two birds with one pizza pie!

  2. Yeah for pizza! This looks fantastic Dave. Had to stop by and see it and drool.

  3. Artichokes on a pizza, heck yeah! They have a silky, savory taste that just dances on your taste buds.

  4. Mmmmm, It looks so delicious.

    Love it!!