Home made ‘Za – topped with nice deli pepperoni, sliced black olives, fresh mozz, a sprinkling of shaved parm, and a bit of fresh basil from teh garden. We had thought to grill this particular ‘Za, but it has been wicked hot around about these parts, and our deck faces squarely Southwest; so late afternoon is NOT a fun time to be working the Weber. Still, this made for a MORE than tasty bit of ‘Za – the dough with a dash of rye flour and spices; and then, the sauce…
•1-1/2 cup warm water (110º)
•2 tsp yeast
•1 tsp honey
•3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•1/2 cup rye flour
•1 tsp seasoned salt
•1 tsp sea salt
•1/2 tsp Tellicherry pepper
•2 tbsp olive oil
•1 (24 oz) jar pasta sauce
•1/2 jar water
•1/2 tsp dried basil
•1/2 tsp dried oregano
•1/2 tsp dried parsley
•1 bay leaf
•1/2 tsp seasoned salt
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tbsp sugar
•Dash 21 Seasoning Salute
•1/2 tsp Earl’s (or other hot sauce)
•Black olives, sliced
OR – whatever YOU like on a ‘Za.
First, the garlic:
Slice the top off a head of garlic and place in the middle of a square of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with sea salt and good pepper, then drizzle with olive oil, fold the foil over to seal and pop into a 425º oven for about 35 minutes. Remove, let cool, and pop the garlic out of its skin.
Second, the dough:
Stir the yeast and the honey into the bowl of your stand mixer along with the warm water and allow to stand for 15 minutes – it should look bubbly and foamy like this.
Using the dough hook, mix on a low setting (my mixer called for setting 2 out of 12) for about 2 minutes.
With the mixer still running, add the remaining flour mixture – one tablespoon at a time – until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and starts to cling to the dough hook. If you need to, add an extra half cup of all-purpose flour.
Increase the mixer speed to 3 and knead the dough for 4 minutes or so, until it is smooth and elastic.
Shape the dough into a ball and pop into a bowl coated with olive oil. Rotate the dough so that all sides are coated with oil, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 to 4 hours (or so) – this dough is wicked flexible.
Third, while the dough is rising is a good time to make the sauce!
Stir together the jarred pasta sauce with the water and seasonings in a large pan and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until the sauce is nicely reduced.
Finally, we can make the ‘Za! By the way, this dough recipe makes enough for two nice ‘Zas. If you don’t have a household that will accommodate that amount of ‘Za-ness, might I suggest using half of the dough or so to make a flat bread?
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured board and arrange on your ‘Za pan/stone/brick of choice – mine happens to be a killer cast iron pan that works a treat.
Remove the pan from the oven and lightly brush the dough with a bit of olive oil – mopping up any puddles that might form.
Spread the dough with a bit of the tomato sauce, then scatter the sliced pepperoni, black olives, and bits of the roasted garlic over all.
Top with the cheeses and the basil leaves and pop back into the oven until the crust is nicely browned and the toppings all bubbly – another 15 or 20 minutes.
The only thing we might do different next time is to mebbe add the basil leaves just before the ‘Za is done. Still, one fine ‘Za.