Diane Rossen Worthington
Any Season is Pizza Time
The origins of pizza may be Italian, but most Americans would consider it about as American a dish as apple pie.
Pizza is so accessible in pizzerias across the country that you might think it's not worth making at home. In fact, you'll find it is a thrifty, tasty and easy dish to make right in your own kitchen.
You can make your own dough or pick up fresh dough if you don't have the time. You can usually find fresh dough for sale at stores
There is nothing quite like a fresh homemade pizza.
This classic deep-dish style pizza represents the four seasons with these toppings: artichokes for spring, olives for summer, mushrooms for fall and prosciutto for winter. If you have a large 14- by 16-inch rimless baking sheet, you can put both pizzas on the sheet; otherwise use 2 sheets.
A crispy green salad is all you need to pull together a lunch or Sunday supper.
Four Seasons Pizza
Makes two 9-inch pizzas.
1-pound store-bought pizza dough
Or homemade pizza dough:
2 (1/4 ounce) envelopes dry yeast or 2 (3/5 ounce) cakes of fresh yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups favorite basil-tomato sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
6 artichoke hearts, canned and drained, quartered
12 Kalamata olives, pitted and cut in half
6 small white mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
2 thin slices prosciutto, shredded
1. To make the pizza dough. Sprinkle dry yeast or crumble fresh yeast and sugar over 1/4 cup of the lukewarm water in a glass measuring cup and leave it for 10 minutes. Stir to dissolve the yeast.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, corn meal and salt, and mix them together. Add the remaining lukewarm water and oil to the yeast mixture. Gradually pour in the yeast-liquid mixture while stirring until the dough begins to gather into a ball. If the dough is too dry to come together, add 1 more tablespoon of water. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times until the dough feels smooth. Form it into a ball.
3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in volume. Punch the dough down and knead it again briefly on a floured surface until smooth.
4. Form either this dough or the store-bought dough into two balls and press each out with your fingertips or roll with a rolling pin into two 9-inch rounds forming a slight rim on the edges. Place on a large (14- by16-inch) oiled rimless baking sheet or 2 baking sheets. Cover the dough with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let it rise for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 475 F. Using a fork, pierce the dough in even intervals to allow steam to escape during cooking. Spread the tomato sauce evenly over each pizza to cover. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the sauce on each pizza. Arrange the artichokes, olives, mushrooms and prosciutto over the cheese.
6. Place the pizza in the center of the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 425 F. Bake until the dough is cooked and the cheese is melted, about 25-30 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven and let rest a couple of minutes. Transfer to a serving tray. Slice into wedges and serve immediately.
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Four Seasons Pizza Recipe: Any Season is Pizza Time - Diane Rossen Worthington Recipes
(c) 2010 Diane Rossen Worthington Recipes
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