So the other day I was trying to think of something relatively inexpensive and easy to make for the family… why not pizza!? Personally I’m a fan of thicker crust pies like Sicilian or deep dish, so I decided to try my hand at that style… it came out awesome. Obviously the toppings and sauce are a matter of preference, but I’ll list it the way I made it. I know some of you may be taken aback that I utilized some jarred sauce, but hey, sometimes you don’t have the time or ingredients to make your own… haha. Enjoy!
Makes 6 large square slices.
1c Warm Water (100-105F)
1tbsp Active Yeast (one envelope)
1tsp Granulated Sugar (for yeast)
1 3/4c All Purpose Flour + additional flour for kneading (about 1/4-1/3c)
1tsp Granulated Sugar (for dry mixture)
1/2c Grated Parmesan Cheese
2tbsp Olive Oil
3/4c Tomato Sauce, unseasoned
1c Plum Tomato, diced
1tsp Ground Black Pepper
1tsp Garlic Powder
1tsp Dried Oregano
1tsp Dried Basil
1/2tsp Granulated Sugar
4oz Shredded White Cheddar Cheese
4oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4c Grated Parmesan Cheese
6oz Thin Sliced Steak (I used leftover London broil that was cooked mid-rare)
1/2c White Onion, sliced
1tbsp Olive Oil
Heat your oven to 400F.
Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish with olive oil.
Combine your warm water, yeast and granulated sugar and set aside in a warm place to allow the yeast to activate. I use my stovetop which gets warm to the touch when the oven is on. Allow the yeast to form a significant bloom, approximately 10-15 minutes.
In a mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients for the dough, including the grated parmesan. Add the water & yeast mixture and mix on low speed until the dough starts to form, then increase to medium. Slowly add the olive oil. Once combined continue to mix at medium for 1-2 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until it’s elastic, approximately 5-8 minutes. Put the dough in a bowl and rub all sides with olive oil. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft free, place until the dough rises and doubles in size, approximately one hour. Just like with the yeast, I use my stovetop for the dough to rise. If you choose to do this as well I recommend placing a dish towel underneath the bowl, just in case the stove gets too warm. You don’t want to start cooking the bottom of the dough!
While the dough is rising combine all of the ingredients for the sauce and set aside at room temperature.
Once risen, turn the dough out into the greased 9″x13″ dish, and using your hands gently spread the dough to fill the bottom of the dish. Spread the sauce over the dough, leaving a 1″ border along the edges for the crust. Evenly sprinkle the grated parmesan over the sauce, and then the shredded cheddar. Place the slices of steak and onion over the cheddar, and then finally top the pizza with the shredded mozzarella. I like to “sandwich” my toppings between the cheeses as it helps keep them from drying out, especially when working with something like steak. Brush the crust with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is a golden brown. Once done, allow the pizza to rest for five minutes before slicing to give the cheese a chance to firm up a little.
As far as wine pairings go you don’t need to go too crazy… This is pizza we’re talking about. Simple fare goes best with simple wines. I always gravitate towards wines like Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Primitivo, Chianti Classico, Garnacha based wines from Spain, Portuguese field blends or California Zinfandels. Below are a few inexpensive wines that I would recommend, including the one we had with it that night.
Serè Barrica 2012, Montsant, Spain – Serè owned by Josep Vendrell, a young man (30 years old) who took over his family vineyards in his mid-twenties. He is a one man team, only bringing in his father and a family friend to help at harvest. Much of the wine he produces from his vineyards go to local cooperatives for larger production wines, but he keeps the best juice from the best vines (averaging 50-80 years in age) for himself and puts about between 1,700-2,000 cases per vintage. The wine is a blend of 80% Garnacha and 20% Samso (Carignan) that’s aged for a brief period in neutral barrels. On the palate you’ll find notes of tart red cherry and lush black fruit with hints of ground black pepper and earth, framed with subtle acidity, mild floral nuances and soft tannins. PP Score: 89 (Retail $10-14)
Shebang! by Bedrock Wine Company, Sixth Cuvee, California – See my past article for a full description… https://perfectpairingsathome.com/2014/03/17/a-wine-you-should-know-shebang-by-bedrock-wine-company/
Niepoort Twisted Tinto 2012, Douro, Portugal – The Niepoort family has been producing Port wines from their estates since 1842, but it wasn’t until the newest generation enólogo (winemaker) took over, Dirk Niepoort, in the mid-1980’s that they started to bottle dry wines. Twisted is their entry level field blend made from every red grape grown on their vineyards in Douro, upwards of 30 different varietals! The wine is predominantly aged in stainless steel to allow the fruit to shine and maintain a higher degree of minerality. In the glass you’ll find a medium to full bodied wine that is redolent with notes of dark cherry, underripe raspberry and reduced balsamic vinegar, accompanied by dusty earth notes and a firm tannic backbone the leads into a moderately long finish. This wine is surprisingly great for the price point! PP Score: 90 (Retail $12-16)
So there you have it, my pizza recipe and my wine pairings. I hope you enjoyed the read, and I certainly hope you’ll try the recipe and buy the wines. As always, new content will be coming soon, but in the meantime crack open a bottle of something inexpensive and fun, sit back, and relax. Life is short, enjoy it!