Homemade pizza is one of my favorite dinner party picks. I usually make the dough, provide the sauce and cheese, and ask each guest to bring their favorite toppings. When I was on the Frisbee team at Hopkins, essentially all of our team dinners involved pizza. I recently had a reunion with four of my favorite Frisbee girls, and to keep up with tradition, we made homemade pizza.
I’ve historically lived in cold apartments-not exactly ideal conditions to work with yeast. To get around this, I usually let my dough rise in the oven with the light on, and cover my dough with plastic wrap. When my friends arrived, I began to preheat the oven. Fifteen minutes later, I realized that I had left the dough in the oven. I quickly took out the bowl and saw that the dough had baked itself into a solid semi-circle. The top was covered with a glossy melted layer of plastic wrap. Not wanting to waste the dough, we peeled off the plastic and ate it anyway. At this moment, plastic bread was born (something I’m regularly reminded of by my friends). After this appetizer, I ran to Whole Foods to get their pre-made multi grain pizza dough. If you’re not up for making dough on your own, this is an awesome alternative. The pizza turned out great, and hopefully now I’ll never forget to take the dough out of the oven.
As much as I like tomato sauce, white pizzas are my favorite. I usually brush a thin layer of olive oil on top of the crust before adding the rest of the toppings. There’s something about white pizza that really lets the toppings shine-this is certainly the case with this brussels sprouts, prosciutto, and fried shallot pizza. Note: the prosciutto can be omitted for a vegetarian pizza. Some of my other favorite white pizzas that I routinely make are roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, and ricotta as well as pulled pork mango. Both of these are inspired by my favorite home town pizza joint, Otto Pizza.
The Bite: Today is a big day for you. This is the first day of your 6-week crash course on tooth anatomy. There are five major components of your tooth: enamel, dentin, pulp, cementum, and periodontium. For the next five posts, I will talk about each component and its specific function. Feel free to use the following picture as a reference throughout your course. As
depicted, you can see that the the tooth is a complex structure made up of blood vessels, connective tissue, nerves, and inorganic material. The tooth can additionally be divided into two portions: the crown and root. The crown is the part of your tooth that you can see. The root, on the other hand, is not visible, and is embedded embedded in the underlying bone and gum. It holds about 2/3 of your tooth in place. Now that we’ve had a general overview, stay tuned for next week’s anatomy lecture on enamel!
Brussels Sprouts Prosciutto and Fried Shallot Pizza
Yield: 1 large pizza
3/4 cup water, room temperature
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 cup thinly sliced brussels sprouts
1-2 ounces prosciutto
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup asiago cheese
ground crushed red pepper flakes
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (including yeast). Add the water. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together and looks shaggy. Dump the bowl’s contents onto a floured surface and knead for 5- 10 minutes-it should be smooth and elastic. If it’s too sticky add more flour; if it’s too dry, add water a tablespoon at a time. Grease a clean bowl with either cooking spray or oil. Place the dough in the bowl and toss (you want to coat all surfaces in oil). Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place (I place the dough in the oven with the light on) for 1 1/2-2 hours or until the dough has almost doubled in size.
Heat one tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the thinly sliced shallots and saute for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Tear the prosciutto into thin strips and set aside.
When the dough has sufficiently risen, punch down the dough. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large circle. Spread 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the pizza crust. Top the pizza with mozzarella cheese. Add the brussels sprouts, prosciutto, and fried shallots. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of asiago cheese and top with ground crushed red pepper flakes. Bake for about 15 minutes at 500˚F or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
Source: dough adapted from Bon Appetit
Image Source: NIH