When Dean Martin sang “When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie…That’s amore” in 1953, he was singing about this pizza.
Recently, I have cut back on the amount of dutch oven cooking. My motives have nothing to do with the quality of cast iron food -it is the best food on earth. I am training for a marathon (26.2 miles) and don’t want to carry the results of the dutch oven cooking along with me. Dutch oven cooking is mighty good but it can involve more fat than the average meal (which is why it is so good of course!).
I had a hankering for some pizza and decided that I could break my DO fast just once. I know that sounds like an alcoholic just before they crash but I did this several weeks ago and have resisted temptation since. I decided to make pizza from scratch (short of growing the grains & grinding the flour.)
Here’s what I did:
The Caddy Pizza (14″ dutch oven)
4 cups gluten free flour (1-1-1, Corn Starch, Sorghum Flour, and Rice flour) – or make this with regular bleached flour (same amount)
1 package active yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 batch of Mark’s Killer Pizza Sauce (see below)
1 lb. sausage (or meat substitute)
1/2 white Onion
1/2 c Greek Olives (sliced)
1/2 ball fresh mozzarella (sliced)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Preheat dutch oven to about 400°F. In an electric mixer, combine the yeast, sugar and water and let stand 5 minutes until it foams up. Add the butter (softened), flour and salt and combine well, using the paddle attachment. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water if dough is dry and not coming together. If dough is too wet, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Remove the dough from the bowl. Grease the bowl with olive oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover and let the dough rise until it doubles in volume (about 1 hour). Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide in half. Shape the dough into two balls, cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Line a 14″ Dutch Oven with olive oil and Corn Meal to keep the dough from sticking.
Pat the dough into a circle and transfer it to the skillet. Press dough down into bottom of skillets and up the sides. Drizzle a little olive oil over the crust then layer the sauce, sausage, olives, onion, and mozzarella. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is crust is golden brown. Remove Dutch Oven from coals and open top. As the pizza rests (about 10 min) top it with the Parmesan and fresh basil.
Mark’s Killer Pizza Sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 quart of canned tomatoes (& their juice)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 green Bell pepper (chopped really small)
4 Roma Tomatoes (diced)
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Heat the olive oil in a small cast iron skillet. Chop or crush the garlic and add to the skillet, sautéing until golden. Add the tomatoes with their juice. Add salt, oregano and chile flakes, stirring well. Make a hot spot in the bottom of the pan and add tomato paste using a cookie cutter, allowing it to caramelize a bit before stirring it into the mix. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, until the sauce thickens.
This is the best pizza I’ve ever had. Eat your heart out Dean Martin. I’ve found your fabled pizza.
Here are some pics of the process: