Monday, April 16, 2012
Deep Dish Whole Wheat Pizza
After taking last week off from the food matters project we were excited to continue the adventure with some delicious pizza. Over the past year pizza has become a staple in our weekly dinners and we are always looking for new topping ideas or combinations. In the spirit of the project we decided to try a whole new method of cooking and topping (more like filling) the pizza - deep dish in our new cast iron skillet!
To make the crust, we combined our classic pizza crust with Mark Bittman's version. Ours is 100% whole wheat and involves some kneading (Bittman's is mostly whole wheat and doesn't require kneading). By creating a preferment (or poolish for those who know their bread terms) the dough gains a deep and well-rounded bread flavor as well as increased gluten (for extra chewiness). We also put dried herbs into the crust for even more fresh flavor.
As for the filling, we were inspired to make fresh ricotta (we had some soon-to-be expired milk) and saw some great looking local spinach when grocery shopping. We combined these two with roasted potatoes, homemade marinara sauce that we canned earlier this year, smoked mozzarella, and roasted garlic.
The cast iron skillet yielded a crispy crust and is a good alternative to a pizza stone. It's high sides are also perfect for deep dish pizza (like ours) or traditional pizza.
We greatly enjoyed trying a new twist on pizza and are looking forward to trying all new pizza combinations thought up by other food matters participants.
For Bittman's original recipe check out salt & pepper by Niki and see our variation below.
Deep Dish Pizza
Adapted from Whole Grain Baking
15 oz (3 3/4 cup) white whole wheat flour
12 oz (1 1/2 cup) cool water
1/8 tsp yeast
1 tbs honey
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp dried herbs (oregano, basil, cayenne pepper, herbs de provence, etc.)
1 bunch spinach
1 cup marinara sauce, homemade if possible
2 small potatoes, sliced in rounds and roasted until crisp
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 head of garlic, peeled and roasted
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Combine 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water, and yeast in a small bowl. Mix together thoroughly, cover tightly, and let sit overnight at room temperature.
4-5 hours prior to baking pizza, combine preferment (the mixture made above), remaining flour, remaining yeast, honey, olive oil, salt, and herbs in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes, then on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. The finished dough should be sticky and smooth and formed into a tight ball. Cover bowl and leave at room temperature for 4-5 hours.
Preheat oven and cast iron skillet to 450*F. Remove dough from work bowl and cut into two pieces (one can be covered in plastic wrap and frozen at this point). Roll one ball into a loose ball and let it relax for 20 minutes.
Roll dough into a circle big enough to fit into bottom and sides of skillet. Remove skillet from oven dust with cornmeal. Spread dough into bottom of skillet and at least 3/4 inch up sides. Fill with toppings and bake for 20-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is crispy.
Spinach, potato, and cheese filling
Saute spinach and marinara sauce over medium heat until spinach is wilted and sauce is thickened. Meanwhile, wrap garlic cloves, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper with aluminum foil and roast in preheating oven until sweet and tender, about 25 minutes.
To fill pizza, spread half of the mozarella cheese on the bottom of the crust. Place a layer of roasted potatoes on top, then spinach and marinara sauce mixture. Spread garlic into spinach and sauce. Top with ricotta cheese and remaining mozarella. Bake as directed above.