Things I do in my Havaianas

Yesterday, J, mini-sassy and I decided to make pizza from scratch in our Havaianas. After years of research, the best crust we’ve ever made is from the Chez Panisse Cookbook. Here is the recipe:

Chez Panisse Pizza
(From Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza, & Calzone, 1984.)

Make a sponge by mixing together:
1/4 cup lukewarm water (important that it is not hot or the yeast will be killed)
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup rye flour (if you live in Singapore, Cold Storage carries this)

Let it rise 20 to 30 minutes, then add:

1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Mix the dough with a wooden spoon, then knead on a floured board. It will be soft and a little sticky. Use quick light motions with your hands so the dough won’t stick. Add more flour to the board as you knead, but no more than is absolutely necessary. A soft moist dough makes a light and very crispy crust. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes to develop strength and elasticity in the dough. Put it in a bowl rubbed with olive oil, and oil the surface of the dough to prevent a crust from forming. Cover the bowl with a towel and put it in a warm place, approximately 90F to 110F. An oven heated just by its pilot light is a good spot. Let the dough rise to double its size, for about 2 hours, then punch it down. Let it rise about 40 minutes more, then shape and bake it. This recipe makes one 12-14 inch pizza, or several small ones.(* Supposedly, you can make the dough up to 2 days ahead).

Preheat the oven to 450 or 500 degrees F with a baking stone or unglazed ceramic tiles in the oven. If you don’t have a wooden paddle, use the back of a baking sheet to put the pizza into the oven. (* If you are cooking directly on a pizza pan, the stones are not necessary)

Flatten the dough on a heavily floured board. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to roughly 12 to 14 inches in diameter. ( Mini-sassy knows how to ” throw” the pizza in the air but I don’t , so I don’t bother) The dough should be 1/8-1/4 inch thick.(* Our pizzas are not perfect circles, but it makes it look more rustic) Transfer the dough to a paddle or baking sheet, also heavily floured. Have your toppings ready, at room temperature, and work quickly putting them on the pizza. After a minute or so it will begin to stick, and will be impossible to slide off the paddle. Give the paddle a few shakes back and forth to make sure the dough is loose. Slide the pizza from the paddle onto the hot stone with an abrupt jerking motion of your wrist. This takes a certain knack but comes easily after a few tries ( we just put ours directly on to a pizza pan). The pizza will be browned and cooked in 12 to 14 minutes(sometimes less, depending on your oven, so you need to visually check it every 3 minutes)

Favorite toppings:
1. Onion Confit, walnuts, mozzarella and Gorgonzola- The trick to caramelized onions(I learned this from a course I did in Cordon Bleu many years ago) is this: Slice Red onions. In a pan, put some butter and olive oil. Saute the onions in medium heat until semi-opaque. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the pan. “Crumple” the parchment paper under running water, so it gets wet (but not soaking). Put the wet crumpled parchment over the onions, make sure all the onions are completely covered and reduce heat. Cook until the onions are soft, brown and caramelized. Assemble on Pizza and drizzle with truffle oil. YUMMY!

2. To make a pizza margherita like the picture above: Tomato sauce, Buffalo Mozzarella cut in rounds and fresh Basil.

Enjoy!

XOXO,
sassy

(image: county living)

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