HOW TO MAKE PIZZA - NYT COOKING - RECIPES AND COOKIN…
You can make pizza at home that will rival some of the best on the planet. Sam Sifton shows you how.
Provided by Sam Sifton
- Plan ahead. Make the dough at least a day before you intend to make pizza, to give it enough time to rise.Buy a food scale on which to weigh the ingredients for dough and toppings. It’s a smart investment: In baking, weight is a more accurate measurement than volume.You will need a cooking surface. This could be a pizza stone or steel, or four to six unglazed quarry tiles measuring 6 inches by 6 inches from a building supply store. Whichever you use, heat in a very hot oven for at least an hour before cooking.
- Our best recipe for pizza dough is adapted from the one used at Roberta’s, the pizza utopia in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It provides a delicate, extraordinarily flavorful dough that will last — and improve — in the refrigerator for up to a week. As ever with breads, rise time will depend on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen and refrigerator. But we generally allow it to go at least overnight. Those seeking gratification more quickly can turn to Mark Bittman’s recipe for basic pizza dough, which rises in just a couple of hours.
- Allow for a minimum of three to four hours for your dough to rise. But planning further ahead pays dividends: You can store that dough in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook, which means any weeknight can be pizza night.We put our pizza dough in the refrigerator to rise, placing the balls of dough on a floured baking pan covered loosely with a clean, damp kitchen towel. The chill leads to a slow rise, so we generally allow it to go overnight, or for at least six to eight hours. For a faster rise, leave the dough out on a countertop, similarly covered. It should be ready — that is, roughly doubled in size — in three or four hours.Time imparts a marvelous tanginess to pizza dough, but it extracts a price as well. What you want to avoid is a skin developing on the dough. When the dough has risen, if you are not going to use it right away, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, or place it in a quart-size plastic bag. Pizza dough so wrapped will last in the refrigerator for three days or so. Another option is to freeze the dough using this incredibly easy freezer dough recipe. Make it, put it in the freezer in a freezer-safe plastic bag, and then move it to the refrigerator on the morning of the evening you want to cook.If you end up making pizza at least once a week, consider investing in a few pizza dough pans, available in restaurant supply stores.
- Shaping a pizza takes practice. The goal is to make a thin circle of dough, with a raised edge around circumference of the pie. Don’t worry if that doesn’t happen the first few times. Pizzas shaped like trapezoids or kites taste just as delicious.Working on a floured surface, with floured hands, softly pat down the risen ball of dough into a circle, rotating it as you do.Using the tips of your fingers, push down gently around the perimeter of the pie, rotating it as you do, to create the edge.Pick up the dough and lightly pass it back and forth between your palms, trying to rotate it each time you do, using gravity to help the dough stretch. At approximately 12 inches in diameter, the pizza is ready to go.Return the pizza to the floured surface, making sure that the side that you first pressed down upon remains facing upward, and gently slide the pie back and forth a few times to make sure that it does not stick. Add a little more flour to the surface beneath the pie if it does.Gently slide a lightly floured pizza peel beneath the pie, or place it carefully on a floured cutting board or the back of a baking pan. Make sure again that the dough can slide back and forth. If it does, the pie is certified for topping.
- The act of topping a pizza is a gentle one. Use a light touch. Above all, try not to overload the pie, particularly its center, which will lead to an undercooked crust. Two to three tablespoons of sauce are all you need, and perhaps a small drizzle of olive oil, accompanied by a couple of other toppings.Pizza sauce does not need to be cooked ahead of time, and is so simply prepared that there is no reason to use the store-bought variety. Instead, use a food processor to combine a can of whole, drained tomatoes with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.Spread the sauce out on the dough using the back of a spoon, stopping approximately 1/2 inch from the dough’s edges. Do not use too much; two or three tablespoons is enough. Keep leftover sauce refrigerated.Mozzarella is the traditional pizza cheese, but depending on the sort of pie you are creating, really any good melting cheese will do: fontina, Cheddar, Colby, blue, provolone and smoked Gouda, among others, make for delicious pizzas.Meat on a pizza is an option for some. Sausage and meatballs are both traditional toppings and should be cooked beforehand. Pepperoni, ham and other cured meats do not need to be, though delicate sheets of air-dried beef or pork should perhaps go onto the pie midway through or at the end of the cooking process, lest they dry out in the heat.Anchovies are a marvelous addition to pizzas, and so are clams and mussels, even sheets of smoked salmon, particularly when paired with crème fraîche and capers.Making a fried egg breakfast pizza is not for freshman-class pizza makers. Sliding a pizza topped with a raw egg into a hot oven takes patience and practice. In the meantime, while your pizza is cooking, gently fry an egg in olive oil in a small skillet on the stove, and when the pizza is done, slide it gently on top of the pie.You can put anything on a pizza. The question is where, and when. Herbs can go below cheese to protect them from the heat of the oven, or onto the top of the pie when it’s done. Pineapple can take heat like a fireman and can go on from the start, raw. Grapes can, too (a nice pairing for sausage). Mushrooms, though, should be cooked on the stovetop before you use them as a topping for pizza. Likewise peppers both red and green. (Thinly-sliced jalapeno pepper is an exception.) Potatoes can go on a pizza raw only if you’re cooking in a very, very hot oven and you’ve sliced them very, very thinly – otherwise, parboil them before slicing and adding them to the top of a pie. Grilled asparagus is an excellent addition to a “white,” or tomato-free pizza. We like thinly sliced Brussels sprouts, sometimes, on similar pies (pair with pancetta!), and leeks melted slowly over butter as well. As a rough guide: Precook anything that won’t cook fast, or cut it so thinly that it will. Anything delicate, like a pile of arugula dressed simply in lemon juice and oil, can go on the pie when it’s done, to cook gently in the pizza’s residual heat.
- We cook most of our pizzas in the oven, on top of a stone or a steel. But you can bake pizza in a sheet pan as well, or grill it outdoors. You can even cook a pizza on a stovetop.To bake a pizza in an oven, you’ll need either to do it on a stone or metal surface, or in a sheet pan. Either way, you should set the oven to its highest temperature and let it heat it for a full hour before you intend to cook.If you are using a pizza stone, steel or a set of tiles, begin by placing it on the middle rack of the oven before you turn it on, allowing it to preheat for a hour. When you’re ready to cook, carefully place your shaped dough on a lightly floured pizza peel or cutting board, or on the back of a baking pan. Gently shake the peel, board or pan back and forth a few times to make sure the dough can move, then add your toppings.Pick up your pizza peel with the topped pie on top of it, and gently slide the pie onto the stone or tiles, starting at the back of the oven and working your way toward its front. Bake for about four to eight minutes, until the edges are a beautiful golden brown, and the sauce and cheese are bubbling nicely. Slide the peel back under the baked pizza to remove it from the oven, and then slide the pizza onto a cutting board, where it can be cut into slices.If you are using a sheet pan, lightly oil the pan, then stretch the risen dough into the shape of the pan, then top and place in the oven until golden brown and bubbling.Cooking a pizza on top of the stove is a simple way to get started in the pizza-making game, and a single ball of dough will yield two pan pizzas. Simply heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, then film it with olive oil. Take one half of a ball of risen pizza dough and press it out into a circle just smaller than the pan.When the oil shimmers, put the dough in the pan and adjust the heat so it browns evenly without burning. Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork. Cook this round in the pan for a minute or so, then turn it over with the bottom is browned and cover with toppings. Either top the pan with a lid to melt the cheese or run it under a broiler to achieve the same result.Grilling pizza really means grilling one side of a flatbread over fire, then turning it over and topping it. And while you can certainly use our essential pizza dough recipe to do that, a sturdier dough recipe that is less prone to ripping will yield a better result.To cook a pizza on a grill requires some planning. You need to cook one side of the pizza before turning it over and topping it, and cooking the other side. So take time to assemble all the ingredients you’ll need to make the pizzas beforehand.Prepare a hot fire; if your grill grate is clean, you shouldn’t need to oil it. Slide the pizza dough from the peel onto the rack. After a few minutes, use tongs to lift the dough and check whether it’s browning on the bottom. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn. When it’s nicely browned, use the tongs to flip the dough over, then brush it with olive oil and cover it with toppings. Place the lid on the grill for a few minutes more until the cheese is melted.
CHEESECAKE COOKIE CUPS RECIPE - PILLSBURY.COM
Chocolate chip cookie cups hold a rich cheesecake filling. Impressive, yet ridiculously easy!
Provided by PILLSBURY.COM
Total Time 1 hours 10 minutes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Number Of Ingredients 6
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 24 miniature muffin cups with shortening; lightly flour. Place 1 cookie dough round in each muffin cup.
- Bake 16 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and immediately press end of wooden spoon handle into center of each cookie cup to make 1-inch-wide indentation. Cool completely in pan, about 30 minutes.
- In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating after each addition and scraping sides of bowl occasionally, until smooth.
- With knife or metal spatula, carefully loosen edges of cookie cups, and remove from pan. Pipe or spoon about 1 tablespoon filling into center of each cup. Top with chocolate chips. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Nutrition Facts : Calories 160 , CarbohydrateContent 20 g, CholesterolContent 15 mg, FatContent 1 1/2 , FiberContent 0 g, ProteinContent 1 g, SaturatedFatContent 4 1/2 g, ServingSize 1 Cookie Cup, SodiumContent 100 mg, SugarContent 16 g, TransFatContent 0 g
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- Coat 1 ball of dough generously with flour and place on well floured countertop. Using fingers gently flatten into 8" disk, leaving 1" of outer edge slightly thicker than center. Using hands, gently stretch dough disk into 12" round, working along edges and giving disk quarter turns as you stretch. Transfer dough to a well floured peel and stretch into 13" round. Using back of spoon or ladle, spread 1/2 c tomato sauce in a thin layer over the surface of dough, leaving 1/4" border around edge. Sprinkle 1/4 c Parmesan evenly over sauce, followed by 1 c mozzarella. Slide pizza carefully onto stone and bake until crust is well browned and cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, 10-12 minutes, rotating pizza halfway through. Remove pizza and place on wire rack for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Repeat this with second ball of dough.
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