Parfait! Big Cheeseburger ‘Za!

07bBakedToppedbfLOY’know, you don’t really need to go out to have your dose of ‘two all beef patties, special sauce…” – you can enjoy this treat, hot from the oven, in your own home – and in ‘Za! form! We even have you covered for the special sauce!

The beauty thing is, you can make this ‘za! as simply as buying some dough from your market and opening a bottle of French dressing, or go so far as to make your own ‘sup! for to make the French dressing that goes into the special sauce. It’s all good.

•1-1/2 cup warm water (110º)
•2 tsp yeast
•1 tsp honey
•4 to 4-1/2 cups flour
•1 tsp sea salt
01dCatalinabfLO•1 tsp seasoned salt
•1/2 tsp Tellicherry pepper
•2 tbsp olive oil – plus more for later
•Corn meal

French Dressing (it’s worth making):
•1/4 cup sugar
•1/4 tsp seasoned salt
•1/4 tsp hot smoked Spanish paprika
•1/4 tsp celery salt
•1/4 tsp Colman’s mustard
•1/4 tsp Caribbean Calypso Seasoning
– or a little lemon zest and some Cayenne
•1/4 to 1/2 onion
02dSpecialSaucebfLO•1/3 cup ketchup (I like my ‘sup!)
•1/4 cup red wine vinegar
•1/2 cup canola oil

Special Sauce:
•1 cup mayonnaise
•1 tbsp salad vinegar
•1/3 cup sweet pickle relish
•1/3 cup French dressing
•1 tbsp white sugar
•1/4 tsp black pepper
•2 tsp dried onion flakes

•1 lb ground beef
•1 onion, chopped
•1/2 tsp seasoned salt
•Black pepper
•1 cup special sauce
•1 (12 inch) pizza round
•1 cup shredded American cheese
•2 cups shredded Iceberg lettuce
•1 tomato, chopped
•Dill pickle slices

03aYeast15MinutesbfLOFirst, the dough. I let mine rise twice, first overnight, and then again for a few hours after punching it down. I think it gives the dough a bit more flavor and texture, but you do not have to do this. Feel free to pick up a Boboli and skip this entire step if you like.

If you are planning on making the dough, stir the yeast, honey, and warm water together in mixing bowl and let rest for ten to fifteen minutes until the mixture looks thick and foamy – like this:

04aDoughKneadbfLOIn another bowl, whisk 3-1/2 cups of the flour (I usually do 3 cups all-purpose and 1/2 cup whole wheat or rye flour) together with the sea salt, seasoned salt, and pepper.

Once the yeast mixture has gone all thick and foamy, add the olive oil and the seasoned flour mixture.

Using the dough hook mixer attachment, mix on low speed for two minutes.

04bDoughRisebfLOWith the mixer running, add additional flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and clings to the dough hook – 1/2 cup of additional all-purpose flour usually works for me.

Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead the dough for four minutes, until it is smooth and elastic, and has cleaned the sides of the mixer bowl.

08DoughRisenbfLOLift the mixer up – the dough should be (conveniently) clinging to the hook – which means you can pour a little olive oil into the mostly cleaned-side mixing bowl, then pull the dough off the hook, roll it in the oil to coat all sides, then settle it into the bottom and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Set aside in a warm spot for 90 minutes, 4 hours, or overnight, whatever works best for you, until the dough has risen to double it’s original size. At this point, you can punch the dough down and set about making your ‘za! – but I like to add a second rise, so I punch it down, cover the bowl again, and let it rise for another hour or four.

01aKetchupOnionbfLOWhich gives us time to make the special sauce!

If you choose to make your own French dressing – it’s not at all difficult, and yes, you dirty a blender, but then you can turn around and use the same dirty blender to make the special sauce, so there’s not a lot of additional clean up, and as a bonus you have some really good salad dressing left over.

01cAddOilbfLOI start by adding the roughly chopped onion to a blender along with the seasonings and sugar, then cover them with the vinegar, and ‘sup! (or, you could use regular bottled ketchup).

Pulse the blender four or five times to really mince the onion and mix everything well, then scrape down the sides of the jar.

With the blender running, pour the canola oil in slowly through the hole in the lid and blend until the dressing is emulsified. The 02cSpecialSauceAddOnionbfLOdressing will take on a lighter, creamier color, won’t separate, and will stay fresh in your fridge for a couple of weeks. Transfer to a lidded jar and pop the dirty blender jar back onto its base, because…

finally, it’s time for the special sauce!

Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, sweet relish, sugar, and pepper to the blender jar along with 1/3 cup of that lovely French dressing and blend to combine. Pour out into a covered jar and stir in the dried onion.

05GroundBeefCookedbfLOImportant: You need to plan at least three hours at this point for the dried onion to soften and all the flavors to blend properly. Once done, see if this doesn’t taste suspiciously like the sauce you get on those two all beef patties.

Speaking of all beef patties, season your ground beef with seasoned salt and pepper, and sauté with the onion until the meat is cooked through and the onion is tender. Drain off any fat and set aside to cool slightly.

06bDoughSaucebfLOPlace your pizza stone (mine is cast iron, and I LOVE it) on a low rack in the oven and heat to 450° for at least 30 minutes, an hour is better.

Punch your risen dough down one more time and divide in two. You can make two ‘zas! or stash one half in a lightly floured zipper bag in the freezer until you need it. Then, all you have to do is move the bag o’ dough to the fridge to thaw over night and proceed.

06cDoughSauceBeefbfLORoll the dough out into a circle on a lightly floured board, then transfer to a pizza peel that you’ve dusted with corn meal.

Brush the dough lightly with olive oil and let rest for five minutes.

07aBakedCheesebfLOSpread the special sauce on the dough, then top that with the ground beef and the American cheese slices (I used Velveeta, but if you’ve gone through making your own ‘sup and French dressing and dough and special sauce and don’t very much care for the idea of topping your ‘za! with processed cheese, check out this recipe – just cut it in thirds, ’cause this stuff will not last as long as the commercial stuff).

Slide the ‘za! from the peel onto your nicely hot pizza stone (iron) and bake for ten to fifteen minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese nicely melted.

Remove to a board, top with the lettuce, tomato, and pickle slices, then cut into slices and serve.

I love this ‘za! And, any leftover special sauce is pretty fine on sammiches.

Just a thought.

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