Pizza: A love story
This is the story of girl
A love triangle with a new twist: Homemade whole wheat pizza crust.
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
This recipe comes from Dinner a Love Story
3 3/4 cups flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill White Whole Wheat)
2 1/2 teaspoons instant or other active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 cup room-temperature water
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until blended, at least 30 seconds. The dough will be stiff, not wet and sticky. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has more than doubled in volume, about 2 hours. Divide the dough in two and shape each into flattened balls. (Dough can be frozen at this point.)*
When you are ready to make a pizza, preheat oven to 500°F roll out one ball of dough in a rectangular shape and place on an oiled cookie sheet.
*I skipped the step of dividing the dough and found that it makes a perfect amount for one cookie sheet (one pizza). And while this pizza is supposed to serve 5, Dan and I can take it down, just the two of us.
Top the pizza with your favorite ingredients and cook at 500 degrees for about 15 minutes. When I first made this a couple of weeks ago I had bought a bunch of arugula from Harmony Valley at the downtown Madison farmer’s market with hopes of recreating a pizza I had in Chicago last winter: a spicy arugula salad with lemon and shaved parmesan topped a thin crust pie. Heaven. So I improvised a recipe that I found on Dinner a Love Story. I topped the crust with tomato sauce and slices of Cesar’s mozzerella and baked it for 15 minutes. When it came out of the oven I dressed the pizza with a salad of arugula, lemon, olive oil and parmesan cheese. It was love at first bite.
A reason to celebrate
Good morning from Boulder, Colorado. With all due respect, Wisconsin, it was time to get out of Dodge. After a fairly uneventful* car ride across Iowa and Nebraska, Dan and I arrived in sunny Boulder Saturday afternoon and let the Spring Break revelry begin. And since then we’ve been eating and drinking like it’s 1999. Yesterday there were crepes and mojitos, Avery pale ales and grilled kale salads. And there was pizza. Oh, was there pizza. I’m now convinced that you if haven’t had pizza at Pizzeria Locale, then you haven’t had pizza. I spotted this place the second we landed on Pearl Street. As we drove past in our Interstate 80-induced haze, I took note of the happy-looking locals sitting at the open-air bar. We would go back. And we did. Yesterday. For lunch. Oh. My.
There was fizzy water.
There was a bloody mary made with 14 ingredients, 12 of which were made from scratch in their kitchen. “I’m a vegetarian,” announced our waiter. “So I order the drink without the prosciutto-infused salt on the rim.” Damn it. “I’m a vegetarian too,” I replied. If there was ever a reason to un-quit the meat, this might be it. But the cocktail, made with San Marzano tomatoes, was delicious all the same.
And there was this salad. This salad. Snap peas, rainbow carrots and greens dressed in a combination of shallots, whole grain mustard and citrus. Whoa. Hoo ha.
A margherita pizza followed. Unsliced. Hot out of the 1000-degree oven. Magical.
We were full-on splurging at this point, so why not have dessert? And dessert we had- Saltimbocca con Nutella. Basically a calzone filled with Canadian Nutella (it’s made without corn syrup, our waiter informed us) and topped with powdered sugar. Served with a cup of drip coffee. Now that’s lunch.
And, it turns out, we had a reason to retroactively celebrate. When we returned to our friends’ home and I checked my email, I found out that I had been accepted for the this. So a new writing adventure begins.
*There was the incident with the state trooper in Nebraska who pulled us over and placed Dan in his vehicle and then questioned me about a suspicious-looking item he had spotted in my car. “What is this?” He questioned me. “It’s a pen?” I responded quizzically. “It’s an environmentally-friendly pen,” I sputtered. “I got it a film festival for rivers.” Apparently he thought I was going to smoke something with the pen made from recycled brown paper. After questioning Dan about his shiny belt buckle and chuckling when I responded that Dan was my domestic partner after being asked about how we were related, he joyfully sent us on our way with a warning, wishing us happy travels.
Seattle the way I see it, part deux
The food that fueled a revolution
All of this protesting has been making me hungry!
While Ian’s Pizza is now known around the world and will probably be opening a franchise in Cairo sometime soon, I wanted to mention a few other places where I have been fueling up to fight the good fight.
Ground Zero Coffee, 744 Williamson Street
Dan and I have been stopping at Ground Zero every day for coffee to go as we walk to the Capitol. There are always friendly people inside who want to discuss our current state of affairs and the oat fudge bars are out of this world.
Roman Candle Pizza, 1054 Williamson Street
About a billion years ago, Dan and I went to Roman Candle after our first night of protests at the Capitol and discussed the possibility of a teacher “sick-out” with some other teachers who were sitting at another table. Since that night, Roman Candle has started offering a 10% discount to union members and teachers. In a show of solidarity, my cousin, a teacher in the Denver public schools, and her colleagues ordered my elementary school staff Roman Candle pizzas for lunch last week. My favorite protest pizza? Make your own: Firecracker sauce, banana peppers and green olives. Yum.
Lazy Jane’s, 1358 Williamson Street
It’s all good, really, but my favorite is the grilled cheese and avocado sandwich on wheatberry bread. Put sriracha on the potato chips and order a pineapple juice with fizzy water to quench your thirst from yelling, “This is what democrazy looks like” about 412 times. The bakery items are delicious, too. Yesterday I had an orange coconut white chocolate chip scone that was fresh out of the oven and oh so good.
I’m off to school and then back downtown to check out the scene, so, for now, Solidarity through scones!
Snow Day Eve Pizza Par-tay
I was prepared to do a snow dance.
It worked in 1991 when my best friend, Meagan, and I took a break from listening to our Vanilla Ice cassette tape to run outside and chant to the snow gods. Back then we had to wait it out until the morning to find out if school was cancelled… Watching the banner across the bottom of the television we scoffed at the A’s (when does Adams-Friendship ever have school), waited painfully through the B’s, C’s and D’s and felt a rush of adrenaline as they approached the M’s. Usually we were disappointed as Madison was skipped over and we quickly found out that kids in Mineral Point, Monona and Monroe (yay Berghoff) got to stay home for the day. But in ’91 our snow dance did the trick and we had two whole days off of school to play Scattergories at Meagan’s house.
This time around a snow dance wasn’t necessary. These days they take all the fun out of it and announce snow days the evening before- in fact, as I was leaving school at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday I was informed over the loudspeaker that schools would be closed on Wednesday. It was a little snowy and windy as I drove home from school, but when I drove home from the gym around 7 p.m. we were in the midst of a full-blown blizzard. Luckily Dan had obtained provisions at Star Liquor and Willy Street Co-op and we were prepared for a snowed-in pizza party.
While we waited for the pizza to bake we played a game of cribbage, enjoyed an Ale Asylum Ambergeddon and listened to the wind howl. When the pizza was ready we served it up with some roasted broccoli (toss broccoli and olive oil on a baking sheet and roast in a 375 degree-oven for about 10-12 minutes, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and squeeze on some fresh lemon juice)… Yum. Dessert was a cup of tea and
a three chocolate cookie cookies (recipe coming soon).
After a breakfast the next morning of transcendent eggs and french press coffee, I was ready to face what the blizzard had to show for itself. The first challenge was getting out the front door. While it may not have had the same mystique as snow days past, it was a snow day nonetheless. An occasion to be celebrated; a day to remember. Happy Snow Day.
Yum Town called: They want their pizza back
I’ve got some super exciting news today to report: Metamorphic, the latest cd released this summer by Dan’s band, Clovis Mann, is featured on the cover of this week’s Isthmus, Madison’s weekly newspaper, as one of the top ten local albums of the year!
Not nearly as important, but exciting to me, is that also means that my photo is on the cover of the Isthmus.
In other awesome news, tonight was pizza night. Sometimes you have those weeks substitute teaching where you spend part of your week bored into submission by the task of cutting out laminated math sheets for multiple hours and part of your week in awe of what is wrong with society when a first grader is hoisting his chair over his head to throw across the room and flipping desks over. There is something that makes these weeks better and that something, my friends, is pizza night.
I don’t remember exactly how it started or when (but I do know that it use to coincide with watching The Biggest Loser until Dan and I realized that we wanted to shoot the television, not unlike that gentleman from Black Earth who did shoot his television this week over a dancing Palin) but pizza night has become one of my favorite things that I look forward to all week long. While I like to do a lot of the cooking, there are a few things that I leave up to Dan because he does them very well: Tacos al pastor (we ate these before I quite meat- we’re still working on the veggie version), omelettes, pancakes and pizza. Dan starts his pizza with a Rustic Crust crust from the Willy Street Co-op and globs on Muir Glen pizza sauce (which to he adds chopped up hot chili peppers from the olive bar olives).
Next come the onions and the shredded Farmer John’s cheese. He tops it off with a sliced portabella mushroom cap, olives and tonight, a jalapeno pepper. YUM! We devoured it with a spinach salad with a mustard vinagrette and some roasted broccoli with sea salt, pepper and lemon. And a nice, cheap red wine that I purchased tonight after my run at the local pharmacy- and that’s not slang for liquor store.
Back to first grade tomorrow. Fortified by pizza, I am ready.