Cold pizza brings me back to college. You wake up from a night of heavy socializing and eat a remaining slice of pizza that may have been stuffed (with box) into the fridge, or maybe was just left out all night. The breakfast of university coeds.
Now I am older and much more mature. Instead of eating leftover frozen or delivery pizza, I eat leftover homemade pizza. The process of making pizza appeals to both the adult and child within – you get to play with dough and decorate it and have the satisfaction of knowing that you made everything with your own two hands.
Last night, Jesse and I had a little DIY pizza night. I made the dough the night before (recipe below) and then we rolled it out for pies.
Mine was margherita style: topped with olive oil, garlic, Parmesan, fresh diced tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella. I also sprinkled it with cracked pepper and sea salt (and red pepper flakes). It was yummy and salty and scratched my itch for some fresh basil.
Jesse really hit a homerun with his. First of all, he shaped his into a perfect sphere, whereas mine was a sort of random shape, which is totally what I was going for. Secondly, the boy made his own marinara sauce! I told him I could buy him some, or he could just make it himself:
Saute a chopped yellow onion in olive oil, add 2 cloves chopped garlic, stir, then add one can of diced tomatoes, simmer, season with S&P and dried oregano. Puree in a blender to make smooth.
I didn’t expect him to actually do it, but something lit a fire under him and I am still amazed by how good it turned out! I’m not a big marinara fan myself, but I tell you it looked and tasted at least as quality as the stuff you can buy.
Next, he topped his with a ton of Boar’s Head pepperoni and shredded mozarella cheese.
His took a little longer to cook because of the mounds of meat on top, but it was so, so good. Hot, or cold. Jesse declared that he is “never going to buy pizza again!”
We now have dinner for two nights and the leftover ingredients to make pesto-tomato-mozarella panini tomorrow night. All I have to do is make the focaccia…
Recipe for pizza dough, adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Baking book
(If you don’t have a KitchenAid, use a wooden spoon)
2 packages dry yeast
2 1/4 c. warm water
2 tsp sugar
1/4 c. olive oil
5 c. flour, plus more for kneading
1 T sea salt
Semolina flour, for shaping (or corn meal)
Note: this is best made a day in advance.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, dissolve yeast and sugar in water and let stand until foamy, 5-10 min. Add oil, flour and salt. Using a dough hook, stir on slow until smooth and elastic, 8-10 min. Turn out on a floured work space and knead another 5 min., adding flour as needed. Form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1-2 hours in a warm place, until it doubles in size. Punch it down, cover again and place in the fridge. Let it come to room temp. before shaping.
Preheat oven to 500. Turn dough out on floured surface and cut in half. Shape each half into a ball and let rest for 10 min. Lightly dust each ball with flour and roll or stretch into your crust shape. Transfer to a pan sprinkled with semolina flour and shape it as needed. Brush away extra semolina, as it will burn.
Top with your desired toppings and bake until everything is melted and the crust is browned and cooked all the way to the middle.
Serve hot, and enjoy, friends! xoxo