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By Luisa Ormonde of www.luisascatering.com
Pizza Dough Recipe: (or you can use a store bought dough/crust)
- 1 1/4 teaspoon active dry or fresh yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 cup warm water (105º F to 115º F)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 Italian or Japanese eggplants, cut the long way ½ inch thick, seasoned with salt & pepper, brushed with olive oil and grilled
- 1 roasted red bell pepper, pealed and cut into strips
- 6 baby artichokes, trimmed and steamed, tossed in olive oil, garlic and red wine vinegar, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced and rinsed
- Fresh oregano leaves
- 8 oz grated mozzarella
- 4 oz crumbled feta
- ¼ cup double concentrated tomato paste
- Dried Italian seasoning, to taste
- Pinch of sugar
- Water, to thin a little for spreading
For homemade DOUGH: Dump all ingredients in bread machine and set on dough cycle.
— OR —
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup of the warm water.
In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 minutes. (The pizza dough can also be made in a food processor. Dissolve the yeast as above. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse once or twice, add the remaining ingredients, and process until the dough begins to form a ball.)
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot for about 30 minutes. (When ready, the dough will stretch as it is lightly pulled.)
Work the dough ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the dough can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 450º F.
To prepare the PIZZA, dip the ball of dough into flour, shake off the excess flour, place the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface, and start to stretch the dough. Press down on the center, spreading the dough into an 8-inch circle, with outer border a little thicker than the inner circle. If you find this difficult to do, use a small rolling pin to roll out the dough.
Transfer the dough to a pizza pan (I use one that has holes in it for an extra crispy crust). Prepare the sauce by mixing all ingredients together well in a medium bowl. Using the back of a spoon or a spatula, spread the sauce all over and top with the mozzarella cheese, feta and remaining toppings.
Bake in oven until the pizza crust is nicely browned, 8-10 minutes. Transfer the pizza to a firm surface and cut into slices with a pizza cutter or very sharp knife.