I'm super tired right now, typing while my family is asleep and the banal local news blathers on. But we had something delicious for dinner, so here I am. Compulsive kitchen reporting.
Yancey cooked. He says I've gotten more territorial about cooking since the advent of this blog. I think he's right, but I was thrilled to cede to him tonight. It's been an exhausting couple weeks, and I'm actually a little kitchen-ed out. I love to watch Yancey in the kitchen. He cleans as he goes, doesn't want any feedback from me, and highly discourages any sampling or hovering. He's Mr. System. (And by now you know that I'm Ms. Whirlwind.) So I went to the gym, picked up the kids, and came home to an orderly kitchen and delicious aromas.
We've been using this dough for several years. I still like it and I'm sure it will make some more appearances, but its popularity is definitely in peril. Tonight's dough was in November's Gourmet in their review of Jim Lahey's book My Bread. I'm not likely to buy a bread cookbook anytime soon (Ms. Whirlwind doesn't have the patience) but I'm always pursuing perfect pizza dough. This doesn't require any kneading or punching down--just mix it up and let it rise for two hours. Then you press it onto a baking sheet. No pizza peel, no pizza stone. And I love square pizza. It reminds me of Rome, walking down the street with a hot slice tucked into a piece of parchment paper. Of course, it's not just the shape I'm praising. It's chewy, flavorful, just crispy enough, and EASY as H-E-double-hockey-sticks.
My friend Xiao Yu grew some beautiful Anaheim peppers in her garden and gave me as many as I could carry. Yancey roasted them under the broiler, and they were infinitely more flavorful than what I've gotten at the store. The chile linguiça combo was addictive. I always pronounce, "This is one of your best pizzas." But it's true--it was! So sue me for being an appreciative person.
I had to run off to a meeting after dinner, leaving Loretta in the bathtub and Wyatt doing his homework. Some nights, pulling myself away from this familiar scene is hardly bearable. But I guess I wouldn't have it any other way.
No-Knead Pizza Dough
This makes two crusts. You can halve it, of course. We always make two pizzas as long as we're making one. Leftovers don't last long around here.
3 3/4 c. bread flour (I used all purpose flour--I'm anxious to try it with bread flour)
2 1/2 Tb. fast-acting yeast
3/4 ts. salt
1 ts. sugar
1 1/3 c. room temperature (about 72 degrees) water
olive oil for the pans
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until blended, at least 30 seconds. The dough might be a bit stiffer than other pizza doughs you've made. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
Oil two 13x18 baking sheets. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape half the dough onto an oiled pan in one piece. Starting at one end, gently pull and stretch dough across the surface of the pan, and use your hands to press it evenly out to the edges. If the dough sticks to your fingers, lightly dust it with flour or coat your hands with oil. Pinch any holes together. Repeat with the second piece.
Roasted Chile and Linguiça Pizza
Linguiça is a smoked Portuguese sausage that's a bit spicy. I just got this coil at Safeway, believe it or not. Chorizo or another smoky sausage would be delicious as well.
6 Anaheim chiles
1/2 lb. linguiça sausage, cut diagonally into 1" slices
2 c. shredded whole milk mozzarella
1/2 c. crumbled feta
1/2 c. thinly sliced sweet onions
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan
Preheat oven to 500 with a rack in the middle.
To roast chiles, put them on the top rack under the broiler, broiling and rotating until they are black, about 2 minutes/side. Remove from broiler and place into a paper bag. Fold it over and let them steam until cool, about 10 minutes. Remove from bag and peel, seed, and coarsely chop them.
Saute linguica slices on high heat in a skillet for a few minutes until they are crispy in places.
To assemble pizza, lightly brush crust with olive oil. Spread mozzarella, Parmesan, and feta over crust. Top with chiles, linguiça, and onions, and sprinkle a bit more Parmesan over the whole thing.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until topping is bubbling and crust is crispy on bottom. Cut into squares and pull out hyperbolic language.