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Food & Beverages May, 17 2012

Recipe | A Powerful Pizza Party

Pizza is power. Think of every shitty burden that has ever been laid on you in a work environment. If your employer was smart, there was pizza flowing when the bomb dropped and people took it better. In an infinitely more pleasant household setting, pizza turns an average dinner gathering into an interactive romp—a pizza party, if you will.

We have been honing our dough recipe for a few months and finally had it to the place where we were comfortable opening our doors to some buddies. One of them brought some foraged oyster mushrooms and a jar of black truffles. We pickled some dulse (a sea vegetable harvested off the coast of Maine) and some red onions and roasted some beets. Off-the-charts deliciousness ensued.

Photography by Ryan Olsen

Read about our dough recipe and topping assortment after the jump…

The inspiration for our dough recipe comes—as many of our recipes do—from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. It is super easy.

Ingredients:
3 c all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for kneading
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
3/4oz packet of Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast
1 c water

Put the flour, salt and yeast into a food processor and mix on the dough setting. Pour in two tablespoons of the olive oil followed by the water. Pour the water in fairly slowly and continue mixing until a dough ball forms that starts rolling around the inside of the processor. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface knead it for a minute or so. Pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into a bowl. Form the dough into a ball and put in the bowl, rolling it in the oil to coat it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

We make our dough with breakfast and let it rise in the refrigerator for about eight hours. It will rise faster (3-4 hours) at room temperature. (We also usually double the recipe as any unused dough can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.) When it is almost pizza time, preheat the oven to 500-degrees (or higher, if your oven will go there), and take the dough out of the bowl. Cut it into two pieces and roll them into balls on a lightly floured surface. dust the tops with more flour and cover the balls with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes while you gather your toppings. When you are a couple minutes away from being ready to roll out the dough, lift up the towel and push the two rounds down flat and replace the cover.

Anything that sounds good on a homemade pizza is probably going to taste good on one. After oiling a baking sheet and rolling the dough out as thinly as possible, we spooned on some sauce (ours was homemade, but any good, imported pizza sauce in a can from Italy should be good). We paired our roasted beets with some smoked Gruyère and shredded mozzarella. When it was just about done cooking (8 minutes in that 500-degree oven) we threw some fresh arugula on half. What came out was quickly devoured.

The picked red onions and pickled dulse did very well on a pie together, but we decided that when using freshly pickled goods, it is best to pat them dry before throwing them on-board to avoid a soggy crust in the middle. The killer of the evening, however, was topped with sautéed oyster mushrooms.

These delicious mushrooms, foraged by another friend who has yet to tell a single soul (other than his seven-year-old son) where he found them, were absolutely incredible.

Chewy, earthy and a little sweet, they shared space with some fresh mozzarella balls that melted into pools of cheesy perfection. Four pizzas in total were enjoyed with some Dixie beer and Upslope’s Belgian-Style Pale Ale for a night of beatific consumption that left us all spoiled for the many unlucky dinners that followed.

That is the power of pizza.

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