What is better than homemade pizza with fresh ingredients? Add some Italian wine to the mix and you have yourself a great night. And while I must admit I was apprehensive at first to make my own dough, after getting to know the process and how simple it really is, I am always whipping some up. I much prefer it to the store bought stuff- they have started freezing it before they sell it, and it makes the crust too chewy for my liking. So here is my recipe for Pizza Dough, along with some topping ideas and of course, some wine recommendations-because pizza isn’t complete without a glass of vino!
For the Pizza Dough
**makes 2 large pizzas** Ingredients:
1 pkg of Yeast
3 tsp of sugar
3 tsp of salt
3 cups of warm water
¼ cup of olive oil
6 cups of flour
1. Begin by heating the water, but do not let it boil, it should be warm, but not too hot (if it is too hot, the yeast will die).
2. Combine the warm water and sugar and stir, add the packet of yeast and stir. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. The yeast should start to bubble/foam in the bowl (if it doesn't something went wrong, start again).
3. In your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, add the flour and salt and mix until combined.
4. Add the yeast mixture gradually to the flour with the mixer on low, then add the olive oil.
5. Turn up the mixer to medium until a ball of dough forms. Remove it and knead it with your hands a few times.
6. In a bowl, greased with olive oil, place the dough, and cover with a damp tea towel. This should be set-aside in a warm place to rise.
7. Use your fingers to press/punch the dough down again, and let it rise a second time (this should take 1-2 hours).
8. When ready to assemble your pizzas, knead the dough with your hands and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a desired shape.
9. Cook assembled pizza for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the edges are golden.
**If you want thin crust: Make sure as soon as you dress your pizza, you place it in a hot oven (425 degrees C). **
**If you want a bread like crust: dress your pizza and let it sit out on the counter for 15-20 minutes before you cook it- this will allow the dough to rise again. Then place it in your oven (425 degrees C).**
Fig, Brie and Prosciutto:
Caramelize one onion on low heat; add 1 jar of fig jam and let cool. Spread it on the pizza dough, add thinly sliced prosciutto and brie cheese, and bake. When the pizza is 2-3 minutes from ready, sprinkle arugula and balsamic glaze and bake for 2-3 more minutes.
Fresh Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella:
Cut up 10-12 heirloom tomatoes and season in a bowl with a generous about of olive oil, salt and pepper and 7-8 leaves of basil, spread over the pizza dough and add thinly sliced mozzarella.
Pizza calls for Italian wine. I know what you are thinking; someone with the name “Nonna” in her name would insist Italian wine. But if you have kept up to date on my blog, you know I love wine from everywhere and anywhere. But this classic pairing just can’t be beat. Here are some great options:
Chianti is a classic pizza pairing. This one is ripe red fruit with a hint of spice that goes excellently with a slightly spicy pizza topping, try a spicy salami or sausage pizza.
Dolcetto is a a favourite for me. It is a lighter red wine with the herbal character of an Italian wine, combined with the brightness of red and black fruit. Easy drinking and pairs well with anything that has tomato sauce!
This is a specific type of wine that isn’t easily found here at the LCBO, but it is a great full-bodied, herbal, spicy wine with notes of plums, cherries and leather with hints of chocolate, perhaps some would view it to be too rich for pizza, but I love the combination.
Want to learn more about wine? Why not host a wine event with your friends, co-workers or family? For more information about wine, food and the good life, follow me on Instagram @NewAgeNonna or subscribe to my Blog.