"The Sasquatch" Pizza

Posted by francis keyser Monday, September 7, 2009
Taste Level: TF
Cost: $20 and under
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 40-45 min.
Cook Time: 25-30 min.
Difficulty: 2

What would a "Sasquatch" eat? That is what I kept in my mind when I would work on this pizza. This particular pizza took me three months to iron out. I was all over the place with this pizza, at one point in time it even was going to have wheat berries and black berries toppings. I went for a total earthy flavor and then at the last minute decide that if I was a Sasquatch I would want some bacon on my pizza! Zo told me that this labor of love really paid off after we munched down on this pizza. Make sure to cover the pizza for half the time it bakes on the top rack to keep the chives and pine nuts from burning. Also do not forget to add the lemon juice sprinkled over the pizza at the end. It really sets off the rest of the flavors and a Sasquatch would not have it any other way!

(For instructions on how to make your own sourdough pizza skin check posting dated 7/7/09.)

Toppings
12-15 arugula leaves
12-15 baby spinach leaves
1 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp fresh chives (chop chives in half)
3 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes (sliced)
2 slices Pancetta bacon (diced)
8 oz fresh mozzarella (shredded)
1/3 smoked Gruyere (shredded)
1 tsp lemon juice (sprinkle over top)

Sauce
1 tbsp 1/4 tsp fresh basil (diced)
1/2 tsp fresh oregano (diced)
1/2 tsp fresh thyme (diced)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tbsp 1 tsp walnuts (crushed into small pieces)
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 tbsp blue cheese (crumbled)
fresh crack pepper (to taste)

Brushing sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp lime juice

Crust
1 portion of sourdough pizza dough check posting for 7/7/09 or pre-made crust

Tossing dough
What works best for me is I strongly throw the ball of dough down on a solid flat surface covered with a piece of wax paper until it is large and flat enough for me to easily balance on top of both of my fists. Then I make an X with my arms keeping my fists close together (backhand to back hand, the dough atop of them both) and I fling the dough upwards with my fingers as I simultaneously bring my arms quickly parallel (palm to palm) about 3-4 inches apart. As the dough falls I remake my fists and catch the dough atop them again in the X position and repeat until the dough has formed a 12-14 inch crust.

(Alternately you can lay dough on a solid flat surface covered with wax paper and squish flat with hands. Roll into a ball and slam the dough down onto your solid flat surface covered with a piece of wax paper. Using your fist mush the dough down repeatedly as if you were punching it softly but firmly (this helps get any air bubbles out of it.) Now using your finger tips press and stretch dough until you have formed a 12-14 inch circular pizza skin (you can also make an easier rectangle skin.)

Brushing Sauce
In a small bowl use a whisk to vigorously mix brushing sauce ingredients.

Sauce
Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl till mixed well.

Pizza
Sprinkle corn meal onto a baking sheet and lay skin on to it. Use a basting brush to coat the crust with your brushing sauce and then pour the fig marinara into the center of crust. Spread sauce evenly up to about an inch and a half away from the edge of the crust (I find using a pastry spatula works great for spreading tomato sauce.) Place arugula and spinach leaves on top of sauce. Mix together mozzarella with Gruyere and sprinkle over arugula and spinach. Spread out sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts. Sprinkle around chives and then sprinkle pancetta bacon evenly over pizza.

Place pizza on baking sheet lightly coated with corn meal. Arrange your oven racks to where they are on the upper and lower thirds of the oven. If you are using a baking stone as we do place it directly onto the floor of a preheated oven for 45 minutes (but you will be less likely to ruin your pizza stone if you place it on a rack at its lowest position.) Place baking sheet with pizza on the lower oven rack and bake for 7-10 minutes, move pizza on baking sheet to upper rack and bake for 5 minutes covered with a sheet of aluminium foil, then remove foil and cook for and additional 5 minutes (if cooking a second pizza you can put it on the lower rack now on a separate baking sheet.) Slide Pizza off of baking sheet directly onto baking stone and cook for 3-8 minutes or until crisp and bottom is browning (if you were cooking a second pizza you would move it to the top rack on its baking sheet once you slide the first pizza onto the baking stone and of course you would move it to the baking stone once you have remove the first pizza and cooked the second one 7-10 minutes on the upper rack.) Slide pizza onto a cutting board or baking sheet and sprinkle lemon juice evenly over pizza, using a pizza slicer cut pizza into 8-10 slices and serve hot with your favorite pizza sides, seasonings and sauces!

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