"Cheshire" Pizza

Posted by francis keyser Monday, May 28, 2012
Taste Level: VGR
Cost: $20 and under
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 40-45 min.
Cook Time: 25-30 min.
Difficulty: 2

We were having company and I needed a tasty pizza idea. Unfortunately I did not have idea one in my head...  or rather I had not picked up any of the ingredients that I needed to make any of the ideas I had previously had.  I started going through the fridge, grabbing out items that I thought would taste good together, threw them all on the counter and just stared... Blankly...  I put some items back that I thought just did not fit, then took some back out and finally said to myself, "You know what, I like the flavor of pork, blue cheese and pear.  Lets try a slice of Coppa, wrapped around a slice of pear, with a little blue cheese on it."  I tossed my creation in my mouth and thought to myself once more, "Now I think that could make a pretty tasty pizza!"  As we all munched down on the delicious outcome I thought this pizza was just a mess that came together!  The thought of the Cheshire cats pieces (mainly his head) bouncing about and coming together inspired me to call this pizza the Cheshire!  Enjoy!

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

Ingredients:
Toppings
1/2 cup caramelized leak (sliced)
10 deli Coppa slices
8 oz fresh Mozzarella (shredded)
1/4 cup Fontina (shredded)

Sauce
3 tbsp blue cheese (crumbled)
1/4 of Bartlett pear (diced)
2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes in oil (diced)
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/4 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1/4 tsp ground parsley
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp key lime juice

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

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

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.)

Sauce
Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and then mash well together with potato masher.


Leak
Caramelize leak by heating 4 tsp butter and 4 tsp olive oil over medium high heat.  Add leak and cook for 10-12 minutes or until caramelized.

Pizza
Sprinkle corn meal onto a baking sheet and lay skin on to it. Pour the sauce into the center of crust and 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.) Evenly sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the sauce. Evenly spread out Coppa, then sprinkle with caramelized leak. Now sprinkle Fontina cheese.

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 7-10 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 3-7 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 then use a pizza slicer to cut into 8-10 slices and serve hot with your favorite pizza sides, seasonings and sauces!

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