The Inside Sprinkle (Not Scoop).

17 January, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m not quite sure why but, in the capricious fashion with which most good muses often operate, I was seized with a desire earlier this evening (around the 7 o’clock hour, to be precise) to make a good old-fashioned pizza. Not to be limited by my lack of recipe nor by my inability to access the Internet, I went to town in the most Italian sense of the location.

Piece of What?
An Insider’s Look at Pizza Making, Thanks to a True Recipe for Success

Ingredients for the Crust (partial recipe credit due to an emergency “phone-a-friend” call to Katherine)

–          a typical amount of flour

–          a teaspoon or so of active yeast

–          a pinch of salt

–          a healthy dose of olive oil

–          a goodly amount of 110-degree water, ie, hot but not hot enough to kill the yeast

Heat water in rickety black teapot on top of range until faint whistling sound is heard – – pre-pre-boiling temperatures are a must. Measure appropriate amount of water into receptacle; cool slightly, then add healthy dispensation of yeast.  Stir mixture gently and then let sit until series of bubbles pepper the surface. In the meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients (flour, salt and olive oil) and add yeast water once several moments of anticipation have come and gone. Without further ado, plunge hands into doughy mixture and lightly knead until a desirable consistency has formed. Cover with cloth towel and let rise in warm place.

Ingredients for the Sauce (partial courtesy to one Mama A with tips on optimal tomato simmer-time)

–          Large amount of crushed tomatoes

–          Healthy but not overwhelming sprinkle of salt

–          Hearty dose of oregano

–          Repeat for thyme

–          Repeat for basil

–          Repeat for fresh cracked pepper, ground

–          Repeat times three for garlic

–          Roughly a third of a large purple onion, diced

–          A smidgen of sugar (optional)

–          A chunk of ground venison, browned (or other available ground meat; also optional)

Combine tomato, salt, spices and garlic in small bowl. Allow to sit and marinate in own juices while chopping onion and wiping away tears of joy – – OK, simple lachrymal gland production as provoked by pungent odors, but still; joy is much more poetic. Semantic quibbling aside, add onion to tomato mixture once diced and put entire dish in appropriately sized saucepan. Simmer over low heat until satisfactory taste and texture is discovered. Note of preference: additional spices may be added to the browned meat as desired; particular preference is often given to those in the Italian genre such as garlic and marjoram. Once meat is cooked and drained, add to tomato sauce and stir until entire kitchen is overflowing with delicious scents.

While meat and sauce are simmering, blending their taste together in a veritable cornucopia of gastrointestinal delight,  lightly festoon a round pizza tin with a small amount of olive oil.  Coat surface of tin with oil, relying upon already floured fingertips. Whether a method of rolling, pinching or throwing is preferred, create circular shape on tin with the (hopefully) risen dough. Note of preference: adding a touch of garlic and oregano to the top of the unbaked crust is not a horrible idea.

Following the readiance of the crust, remove sauce from heat and, using same utensil with which one cut the onion as well as stirred the tomato mixture, now spread the red tomato delight on the waiting doughy surface. Note of preference: liberality is key. Once the first two layers are complete, add the crowning touch with a mixture of sharp cheddar (thank you, Cuba dairy farms) and freshly grated parmesan cheese and – – of course – – a final touch of one’s favorite herbs.

Slide into preheated oven and bake at a temperature somewhere between 350 and 400 degrees. Typically 15 minutes will about do it but depending on the thickness of the crust and the viscosity of the sauce, an extra three and a half minutes may be necessary.

Once one’s internal timer has sounded, carefully extricate pizza with mitted grasp from the bottom shelf of the oven; place on counter; stand back and whistle in appreciation of one’s culinary efforts; transfer steaming slice to plate and – –  go crazy! (Seriously, if directions on how to lift a piece to one’s mouth, the proper mastication techniques or other simple eating protocol rules are truly needed, then perhaps you oughtn’t be eating pizza in the first place. Just sayin’).

Photo de Jour: 16 January 2010

Afore-mentioned pizza in all of its unbaked glory
= yummo in the tummo.

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