Saturday, September 25, 2010

Asian Pizza

It's no secret the Lawrence family loves pizza. We are disciples of Joseph's in Atlantic Beach & Mellow Mushroom in Jax Beach. But, these days, we are in love with homemade pizza! We've played around with a lot of different topping and crust combinations.

Well, I think we've got it this time! We had originally planned on having Asian Lettuce Cups for dinner, but we made a game day decision to have pizza. I wasn't really prepared for pizza, but I put on my Iron Chef smock and looked in the fridge to pull together a pizza.

I decided to go for broke. I would make an Asian pizza. I had the topping (lettuce cup filling), but I got stuck on sauce. I had the Schezuan Sauce in mind, but I didn't want it to be as complex since the topping was already well-seasoned. Mixing the basic components (peanut butter, olive oil and soy sauce) gave a good "glue" for the pizza.

I also made one other change. I really like Smitten Kitchen's pizza dough recipe. But, I've put my own spin on that one, too. Deb's recipe makes a thin-crust pizza, but we like a thicker crust. So, I made a 1.5x batch and it was just right! I also substituted 1/2 cup of the total flour for whole wheat flour. I figure: yeah, it's carbs, but at least it's a little healthier that way!..Hey, it works for me!

The result was absolutely fabulous! It was a big hit! And, surprisingly filling. California Pizza Kitchen, here we come! Here's the final recipe:

Asian Pizza

Pizza Dough
1 1/3 cups white flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/3 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2/3 cup lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil

See Pioneer Woman's Asian Lettuce Wrap recipe. Prepare to topping ahead of time to be able to throw together the pizza quickly!

1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

1/4 cup peanut butter
1-2 tablespoon live oil
1 splash soy sauce
1 splash vinegar

For the dough, stir dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil, stirring mixture into as close to a ball as you can. Dump all clumps and floury bits onto a lightly floured surface and knead everything into a homogeneous ball.

Knead it for just a minute or two. Lightly oil the bowl (a spritz of cooking spray perfectly does the trick) where you had mixed it, dump the dough in, turn it over so all sides are coated, cover it in plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two, until it has doubled in size.

Dump it back on the floured counter, and gently press the air out of the dough with the palm of your hands. Fold the piece into an approximate ball shape, and let it sit under that plastic wrap for 20 more minutes.

Sprinkle a pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal and preheat your oven to its top temperature. Roll out the pizza, spread the sauce on the dough, then the topping, cheese and finish with cilantro.

Bake it for about 10 minutes until it’s lightly blistered.

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