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Pastry dough pizza

January 25, 2010

Cooks Illustrated January-February 2010 issue has an inspiring recipe for Chicago deep dish pizza.  Growing up next to New Haven, CT where thin crusted stars like Pepe’s filled my plate, I’ve had an instinctual disdain (as mentioned in the article) for deep dish pizzas.  And is it any wonder?  Deep dish pizza in New England tends to be sad shadows of the Chicago glory!  But listen to me . . . I’m extolling the virtues of a dish I still haven’t tasted.

And why not?  I didn’t have the time to rise a pizza dough for dinner.  Instead, on a whim, pastry dough served as the base to a crispy, garlicky pizza.

pepper pastry pizza

gooey cheese and crispy crust

Crust

  • ½ Cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ⅓ Cup (about 5 ½ Tbs) butter at room temperature, cut into cubes
  • drizzle of olive oil (about 1 Tbs)
  • 2 ½ Tbs vinegar (apple cider or white)
  • ¼-½ Cup cold water, as needed

Mix flours, sugar, salt & baking powder.  Cut in butter with pastry knife or two knives until it forms small crumbs.  Drizzle & cut in olive oil.  Using a fork, work in vinegar & cold water, adding a little at a time.  Dough will be crumbly and reluctant to form a ball without shedding delicious pieces of itself.  Chill in refrigerator while preparing sauce & toppings.  Equivalent of 1 pie crust.

Sauce

  • 1 (one) 8 oz. can tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried oregano (or substitute 1 Tbs fresh oregano)
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • ½ Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Mix ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.  Adjust to taste.  Set aside.

Toppings

  • ½ red bell pepper cut into strips
  • ½ yellow bell pepper cut into strips
  • ½ onion cut into rings
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly or shredded

Heat the olive oil over medium heat; add onion when hot.  Fry until you see the beginnings of browning.  Add peppers; fry until slightly softened.

Assemblage

Roll out ½ the pastry dough into a rough circle about ¼ inch thick.  Spread pizza sauce over dough.  Top with half of the peppers & onions and finish with half the cheese.  Repeat.

pastry dough pizza

rolled & topped

Bake at 400°F until the crust is browned and the mozzarella is bubbling.  Use a pizza stone if you have one for extra crispness.

pizza pie

slice & serve

Next time I’ll plan ahead and see if Cook’s Illustrated‘s promise of flaky-crust deep dish pizza holds up to its enticing description.

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