Quepolandia logo

Cornmeal Pizza with the Works

By Paul Rees

In the gourmet pizza world, the key to creating a great pizza is limiting yourself to 2 or 3 delicious key ingredients. In my pizza world, the key to a great pizza is small amounts of lots of ingredients so every bite is unique little explosion of different flavour combinations. In addition, this crunchy, flavourful cornmeal crust is strong enough to hold it all without dumping it in your lap.

Ingredients

Dough: (Makes 1 – 15″ round or 11″ X 16″ rectangle. Can be doubled and 1/2 kept frozen)

1 Tbs instant yeast

1/4 C water

1/8 tsp sugar

1/4 C milk

1 1/2 Tbs olive oil

1/2 Tbs sesame oil

1 C all-purpose or bread flour

1/3 C cornmeal (polenta)

1 tsp salt

spray oil

Topping:

1 Tbs or less of olive oil or the oil from a jar of sundried tomatoes

1 Tbs dried herbs (oregano, thyme, basil, marjoram, fresh pepper)

11 thin slices (approx 1″ X 4″) of mozzarella (I buy a block, slice it from end to end, and freeze the extra slices in sandwich bags. I don’t like pre-sliced processed mozzarella because it has little flavour and melts like plastic)

Natura’s Salsita Lista de Tomate (106 g vacuum pack) or another tomato sauce

4 – 6 anchovies cut into 2 – 3 pieces each

2 – 3 large cloves garlic – thinly sliced

12 black and 12 green olives – rinsed, pitted, and sliced

6 sun dried tomato halves – sliced

2 – 3 mushrooms – sliced

1 – 2 Tbs crumbled smoked cheddar or smoked provolone and/or 1 T crumbled blue cheese (These cheeses are both very strong so don’t use too much.)

3/4 C of fresh basil (can be combined with oregano) – chopped

3 slices salami – cut into quarters

2″ chorizo – fried and crumbled

1/2 C red onion – thinly sliced

1/4 lb of Parmesan – shredded

1/2 med red pepper – sliced

The topping amounts are all approximate and can be adjusted to suit availability and your taste. Use the best quality you can find and afford.

Making the dough:

1. Mix together sugar, salt, water, milk, & oil.

2. Combine flour, cornmeal, and yeast.

3. Slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture, pushing the flour around to mix together. When all the liquid is in, use your hands to combine into dough. It should be slightly tacky, but it shouldn’t stick like glue to your skin. If it’s too wet, add ¼ C flour and knead. Repeat until it you can handle the dough without it sticking to your hands. Because the humidity is so high here, sometimes you will have to add up to 1/2 C of extra flour.

5. Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes; the longer the better.

6. Wipe out the bowl and lightly oil the inside (spray oil works well). Roll the dough in the oil to cover the surface, place the bowl in a plastic bag, and let dough rise until double (approx 1 hr.).

7. When the dough has risen, sprinkle a thin layer of cornmeal and then a thin layer of flour onto the pizza tray. Flour your hands and counter top and roll or press or toss the dough into the round crust shape. I find rolling it is the easiest and works fine. Keep lightly flouring the counter and flipping the dough over so it doesn’t stick. (If you made a double recipe, put half into a freezer bag and freeze before you start rolling out the other half).

8. When the dough is the right size and shape put it on the pizza tray, and place into a plastic bag for 1 hr.

Assembling the pizza:

9. Slice and prepare the topping ingredients.

10. At least 1/2 hr before cooking pre-heat oven and a pizza stone to 500 F. If you don’t have a pizza stone, unglazed tiles will work.

11. Remove the pizza from the bag. Brush a very light layer of olive oil or sun dried tomato oil over the surface, especially the edges.

12. Sprinkle dried herbs and fresh pepper evenly over the surface.

13. Starting close to the outside edge pointing toward the center, place 6 mozzarella slices like spokes of a wheel at 12, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 o’clock. Cut 3 of the remaining mozzarella slices lengthwise and space them between the other slices, at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 o’clock. Cut the last 2 pieces in half or thirds to fill the center. Lightly press the cheese into the surface so it won’t slide around during the next step.

14. Pour the Salsita Lista in the center and lightly brush it out to the edge until the entire crust is covered. One of the keys to this pizza is putting the cheese on before the sauce, so the cheese acts as a barrier that prevents the sauce from making the crust soggy.

15. Add the other ingredients in the order listed ending with the red peppers on top of the parmesan.

16. Put the pizza in the oven and turn the oven down to 400 F. Bake 10 min.

17. Spin the pizza around to ensure even baking and bake 10 min more.

18. Now, start checking the bottom of the crust every 5 minutes until it begins turning from golden to dark brown. Be careful not to let it burn.

19. Remove and let sit to cool for 10 minutes…if you can.”100″ />By Paul Rees

In the gourmet pizza world, the key to creating a great pizza is limiting yourself to 2 or 3 delicious key ingredients. In my pizza world, the key to a great pizza is small amounts of lots of ingredients so every bite is unique little explosion of different flavour combinations. In addition, this crunchy, flavourful cornmeal crust is strong enough to hold it all without dumping it in your lap.

Ingredients

Dough: (Makes 1 – 15″ round or 11″ X 16″ rectangle. Can be doubled and 1/2 kept frozen)

1 T instant yeast

1/4 C water

1/8 t sugar

1/4 C milk

1 1/2 T olive oil

1/2 T sesame oil

1 C all-purpose or bread flour

1/3 C cornmeal (polenta)

1 t salt

spray oil

Topping:

1 T or less of olive oil or the oil from a jar of sundried tomatoes

1 T dried herbs (oregano, thyme, basil, marjoram, fresh pepper)

11 thin slices (approx 1″ X 4″)  of mozzarella (I buy a block, slice it from end to end, and freeze the extra slices in sandwich bags. I don’t like pre-sliced processed mozzarella because it has little flavour and melts like plastic)

Natura’s Salsita Lista de Tomate (106 g vacuum pack) or another tomato sauce

4 – 6 anchovies cut into 2 – 3 pieces each

2 – 3 large cloves garlic – thinly sliced

12 black and 12 green olives – rinsed, pitted, and sliced

6 sun dried tomato halves – sliced

2 – 3 mushrooms – sliced

1 – 2 T crumbled smoked cheddar or smoked provolone and/or 1 T crumbled blue cheese (These cheeses are both very strong so don’t use too much.)

3/4 C of fresh basil (can be combined with oregano) – chopped

3 slices salami – cut into quarters

2″ chorizo – fried and crumbled

1/2 C red onion – thinly sliced

-1/4 lb of Parmesan – shredded

-1/2 med red pepper – sliced

The topping amounts are all approximate and can be adjusted to suit availability and your taste. Use the best quality you can find and afford.

Making the dough:

1. Mix together sugar, salt, water, milk, & oil.

2. Combine flour, cornmeal, and yeast.

3. Slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture, pushing the flour around to mix together. When all the liquid is in, use your hands to combine into dough. It should be slightly tacky, but it shouldn’t stick like glue to your skin. If it’s too wet, add ¼ C flour and knead. Repeat until it you can handle the dough without it sticking to your hands. Because the humidity is so high here, sometimes you will have to add up to 1/2 C of extra flour.

5. Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes; the longer the better.

6. Wipe out the bowl and lightly oil the inside (spray oil works well). Roll the dough in the oil to cover the surface, place the bowl in a plastic bag, and let dough rise until double (approx 1 hr.).

7. When the dough has risen, sprinkle a thin layer of cornmeal and then a thin layer of flour onto the pizza tray. Flour your hands and counter top and roll or press or toss the dough into the round crust shape. I find rolling it is the easiest and works fine. Keep lightly flouring the counter and flipping the dough over so it doesn’t stick. (If you made a double recipe, put half into a freezer bag and freeze before you start rolling out the other half).

8. When the dough is the right size and shape put it on the pizza tray, and place into a plastic bag for 1 hr.

Assembling the pizza:

9. Slice and prepare the topping ingredients.

10. At least 1/2 hr before cooking pre-heat oven and a pizza stone to 500 F. If you don’t have a pizza stone, unglazed tiles will work (available at Epa).

11. Remove the pizza from the bag. Brush a very light layer of olive oil or sun dried tomato oil over the surface, especially the edges.

12. Sprinkle dried herbs and fresh pepper evenly over the surface.

13. Starting close to the outside edge pointing toward the center, place 6 mozzarella slices like spokes of a wheel at 12, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 o’clock. Cut 3 of the remaining mozzarella slices lengthwise and space them between the other slices, at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 o’clock. Cut the last 2 pieces in half or thirds to fill the center. Lightly press the cheese into the surface so it won’t slide around during the next step.

14. Pour the Salsita Lista in the center and lightly brush it out to the edge until the entire crust is covered. One of the keys to this pizza is putting the cheese on before the sauce, so the cheese acts as a barrier that prevents the sauce from making the crust soggy.

15. Add the other ingredients in the order listed ending with the red peppers on top of the parmesan.

16. Put the pizza in the oven and turn the oven down to 400 F. Bake 10 min.

17. Spin the pizza around to ensure even baking and bake 10 min more.

18. Now, start checking the bottom of the crust every 5 minutes until it begins turning from golden to dark brown. Be careful not to let it burn.

19. Remove and let sit to cool for 10 minutes…if you can.


Comments are closed.