pizza friday - dark days

Actually it was quite bright today, in a classic Wisconsin its-only-going-to-be-15 degrees kind of sunshine way.

A good cold evening for pizza friday! Yes, we are addicted to a weekly pizza here. This week's pie is a chicago-style stuffed affair. I use the Bread-baker's apprentice recipe for crust, adapted to up to 50% wheat flour depending on what I have on hand (this week was the last of some flour from a vendor at our winter market, probably about a quarter of the total...). This recipe is perfect as you can make the night or morning ahead, it proofs in the fridge, and it makes enough for two stuffed crusts. I generally freeze two balls of dough for the next week, they thaw wonderfully overnight in the fridge. It's a very soft and stretchy dough and works great for very thin crispy pies, or in this case, double crusted ones.

Pizza night means pulling a bag o' sauce out of the freezer, and some veggies frozen at the end of the season too. I make sauce with homegrown ingredients all summer long, and freeze a ton of 1-cup portions just for pizza night. They thaw really fast right on the counter, or overnight in the fridge.

For stuffed 'za, you line a pan with one portion of dough-- a cast iron skillet works great. For filling, I use about 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheese. Last week Farmer John's had fresh mozz(!) so we used that and the rest is their provonella and parmesan. Meanwhile I fried up some italian sausage from Pecatonica (sausage with provenance*) and added peppers, onions, and homegrown garlic to the pan at the end, mostly to get rid of some excess moisture. Top with the second portion of dough, prick a few holes to prevent bubbles, and top with about a cup of tomato sauce. Sprinkle a little oregano on top, and bake at 400-450 degrees for 35 minutes. I let it stand for 5 minutes or so after coming out before cutting, just to let things gel. Serve with a drizzle of honey--really, it's good!

This is also a great pizza for company as you can have the dough, filling, and sauce ready ahead of time, and it goes together really fast. You'll have to make at least two though--trust me on that one!

* the story as I heard it from them, they were given an "old family recipe" to use for product they provided to an area restaurant, an old time italian joint. Eventually, they gave permission to sell it at their market booth as well. It's truly awesome sausage.

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  1. I'm drooling! What a great idea for deep-dish pizza.

  2. You should give it a try, it's really pretty easy. :)


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