Home! After a whirlwind of a finale in Mexico, I find myself now scrubbed to an impressive clean and pampered by the comforts of home in Wisconsin. A bittersweet departure from work at the hostel in Guanajuato pointed my feet down towards Oaxaca for Day of the Dead and a month and a half working at the beautiful and charming Casa Colonial. Access to a kitchen was limited and I was practically subsisting on corn tortillas exclusively due to a near empty pocket. But I wouldn’t have changed a thing. A 48 hour bus ride and a quick visit to my dear friend Madeline in Guatemala followed my work at the Casa and then to explore Mexico City and more of Oaxaca with the motherlode and her partner Paul wrapped up a most beautiful Mexican experience for this Yankee.
Here are a few pictures…
Now, back in the frozen country tundra, I’m reacquainting myself with my favorite recipes and I want to share the best pizza dough (according to moi) with a few tweaks. Grazie to Mario Batali since I lifted this adapted recipe from his recipe repertoire a few years ago. Top this sucker with some garlic, roasted veggies, and vegan cream cheese and you have a crispy delight that leaves you content and ever-so-desirous of more.
2 Cups All Purpose Flour (plus extra for kneading and rolling)
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup Ground Flaxseed
3/4 Cup Warm Water
1/4 Cup White Wine
1 Tablespoon plus 1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey or agave
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Packet of Fast Acting Yeast
First things first: the dough’s gotta get made. This recipe calls for partial whole wheat flour and ground flax, but if that flavor’s not for you, use all white flour (3.5 Cups) and omit the flax.
- Proof the yeast in ¼ C warm water for 5 minutes or until it’s nice and frothy
- Mix in all other liquid ingredients and salt
- Gradually stir in flours with wooden spoon until well incorporated dough ball is achieved
- Turn out onto well floured surface and knead for a full ten minutes to a smooth, elastic ball of dough
- Admire your strong swollen forearms
- Place dough in clean bowl oiled with remaining olive oil from recipe
- Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled (about 30- 45 minutes)
- Roll out onto a well floured surface
The Garlic Sauce
Ever since we discovered this divine garlic butter sauce to prep our pizzas at our family café in Milwaukee, I’ve been coating my pizza crusts with a nice garlic oil. This is nothing more than a few cloves of garlic smashed with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and a pinch of salt, but I think it makes pizza magic. The ratio that works for me is 2 cloves of garlic per 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a hearty pinch of kosher salt per pizza crust.
Assembling the Pie
First things first: if you have a pizza stone, use it. Heat the stone up with your oven to 400 degrees. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, a large overturned ceramic tile works great!) I made the first time error of not heating up my stone before putting the dough on it and it made a huge sticky mess. So always, always heat your stone up hot before assembling the dough on top. Prick the dough with a fork so it doesn’t bubble on you, and spread on the garlic sauce. Bake in 400 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes or until it looks like its just starting to brown. This first step will ensure a really crispy crust.
Take the dough out of the oven and assemble your other ingredients on top. I used two big handfuls of spinach, mushrooms, roasted veggies, and topped it with dollops of vegan cream cheese that I mixed with a tablespoon of truffle oil. Divine. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper and place back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until as dark and crispy as you like. Eat and Enjoy. Cheers!