Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cabin Fever

I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't leave the house yesterday due to a snow storm.  For that reason I decided to use my imagination and ingredients on hand to make a stellar pizza.  Sometimes a little cabin fever is productive!

Homemade "Buffalo" Sausage Pizza with Cheddar, Red Onion, & Red Pepper...topped with buffalo sauce

The Dough:
1 package active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
1 cup warm water (105° to 115°, no more)
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little for coating

How to make pizza dough from scratch:
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Set aside and follow the instructions below for the method you choose. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the olive oil and yeast mixture into it. Stir until it begins to form a ball, then turn it out onto a clean, floured surface and knead for about 4 or 5 minutes. Your pizza dough should be a smooth, elastic ball. Lightly oil the ball and the inside of a large glass bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.

For better crust, punch down the dough, reshape into a ball and let it rise again. You can refrigerate or freeze the dough at this point. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, about 6 ounces each. Roll each portion into a ball, then, working on a lightly floured surface, stretch the dough and work it with your fingers or a rolling pin to form an 8-inch circle. The outer edge of the circle should be a little thicker than the body, forming a rim.

Add toppings. Transfer to a pizza pan or pizza stone. Bake in a 500° pre-heated oven until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted, 10 to 13 minutes, or perhaps a little longer if your oven does not reach 500°.

The toppings:
2 links of Buffalo Chicken Sausage (sliced diagonally)
1/2 Red Pepper (chopped)
1/4 Red Onion (sliced into 1" strips)
Prepare the sausage as packaged (I saute mine for 7 minutes-flipping once). Put aside.  Do the same for the peppers and onions (I add a dash of salt/pepper to the veggies and sauteed them for about 3-5 minutes), and place aside as well.

Prepare the dough and fold over the edge to form a crust.  Cover with low fat cheddar cheese and bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove the pizza and add the cooked ingredients.  Place in the oven for another 3-5 minutes (to the doneness you prefer).

The Sauce:
1/2 cup of sour cream
2-3 Tbsp Buffalo sauce or hot sauce

I found that mixing sour cream and buffalo sauce (or hot sauce) is the perfect ending to this pizza... Mix the sour cream and the hot sauce and drizzle over the finished pizza. Slice and enjoy!

Dough recipe:

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