Rolling in the Dough!
The Cooking School staff has had fun testing pizza recipes for the Sub Shop located inside Jungle Jim's International Market. As a result of our experiments, we discovered that Jungle Jim's frozen pizza dough is easy to roll out and work with and tastes really good. If you enjoy pizza as much as we do, this dough is great to have on hand when the mood for pizza strikes. One 20 ounce ball of dough will make 2 very thin-crust 13-inch pizzas or 1 thicker-crust 13-inch pizza. Now there's no excuse not to indulge in a serious pizza craving!
You'll find the frozen pizza dough in the Bakery department along side very tempting-looking frozen desserts. Don't let them distract you from your mission of getting the pizza dough - unless it's a tradition to serve dessert with pizza at your house!
The best way to thaw the frozen dough is to put it in the refrigerator the night before. Use the thawed dough within 2 days.
Lightly flour the work surface. Have your rolling pin and pizza peel ready. Your pizza stone should preheat in a 500 degree oven for 1 hour prior to baking. A pizza stone will give you a crispy crust that is hard to duplicate with a metal pan.
A pizza peel makes the job of sliding the crust onto the stone so much easier. If you don't have a peel, you can slide the dough onto a pizza pan and then slide the dough from there onto the stone. Gather the toppings to dress your pizza while the crust parbakes. If you are at a loss for unusual topping ideas, just walk up and down the aisles at Jungle Jim's - it's inspirational!
Parbake the crust for about 3 minutes. Parbaking helps the crust set up, makes it easier to handle and dress and most importantly, produces a crispier crust. We used our home-made pizza sauce that you'll find the recipe for at the end of the post.
Many people are tempted to overload the pizza with too many toppings - resist the urge! The crust will be crispier if it isn't loaded down with heavy toppings. We used a whole-milk mozzarella that we shredded here in our kitchen. This 13-inch pizza has 2 cups of shredded mozzarella on top. Use any variety of cheese you like, but you'll notice the rich flavor and gooey-ness of a whole milk mozzarella.
If you are a fan of pepperoni, try using the "sandwich" pepperoni found in the Deli at Jungle Jim's. You can put these spicy, large pepperoni slices right on top of the cheese. They look impressively delicious. Put your dressed pizza back on the hot stone and bake for 5 - 7 minutes or until the top is slightly brown and bubbly on top.
Slice and eat. The aroma of freshly baked pizza is like the Pied Piper drawing folks into the kitchen! Everyone who tasted this pie liked the crunch of the crust, the great flavor of the toppings and the overall visual appeal of a homemade pizza. Give it a try! Just to let you know how good this pizza is - "Jungle" Jim stopped by and ate 4 slices!
Beer Alert! We asked Dave Schmerr, the manager of the Wine and Beer department what beer he would select if "forced" to choose to drink with a slice of fresh, hot pizza. He said all the beers are good! But, he would pick the Winter Solstice from Anderson Brewing Co. that you can get ice cold from the Growler bar in Fairfield.
1 13-inch crust ready to be "dressed"
Pizza sauce (recipe follows)
2 cups of shredded cheese *
Toppings of your choice (we used sandwich-sized pepperoni from the Deli)
Preheat the pizza stone for 1 hour in a 500 degree oven. Roll out the dough and parbake for 3 minutes. Dress the pizza with toppings of your choice. Slide back onto the hot stone and bake for 5 - 7 minutes or until the top is slightly brown and bubbly.
* we used Grande whole-milk mozzarella found in the Charcuterie case.
Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
Whisk all ingredients together. This is enough sauce to top 2 13-inch pizzas.