Pascale's Kitchen: Pizza party!

There’s nothing like the smell of homemade dough baking in your oven to draw all your family members like a magnet to the kitchen.

Pizza with olives and mushrooms (photo credit: PASCALE PERETZ-RUBIN AND DROR KATZ)
Pizza with olives and mushrooms
(photo credit: PASCALE PERETZ-RUBIN AND DROR KATZ)
Now that the days are shorter and night is falling early, we end up spending much more time inside the house. We also end up preparing dinner earlier, so I thought this would be a great time to offer recipes for a fun pizza night for the whole family. Below, you will find a few different versions for pizzas, some with cheese (others cheese-less), and lots of fun toppings, such as anchovies, green peppers or even eggplant slices.
There’s nothing like the smell of homemade dough baking in your oven to draw all your family members like a magnet to the kitchen. Even though it’s so easy these days to ring your neighborhood pizza shop and have a pizza delivered, this doesn’t have nearly the same effect.
And of course, that’s before we even begin discussing the difference in using fresh vegetables and quality cheese in place of the cheap and far-from-healthy alternatives you’ll find at most pizza shops.
In an effort to bake the pizzas in conditions similar to a taboun or using a baking stone in the oven, I baked them at extremely high temperatures. I kept careful watch, however, to ensure they wouldn’t burn.
Tipascale
Shortcuts:
• You can use a can of crushed tomatoes instead of cutting up fresh tomatoes.
• You can use a prepared jar of pizza or pasta sauce instead of making your own.
• Use a baking stone in your oven.
• You can use any toppings you desire.
Pizza with olives and mushrooms
Makes 3 medium pizzas.
Dough:
½ kg. flour, sifted
½ tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. oil
25 g. (1/2 package) fresh yeast or a heaping Tbsp. of dry yeast
1¼ cups water
Sauce:
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped finely
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 ripe tomatoes, cut into small pieces
100 g. tomato paste
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp. dried or fresh oregno or basil
1¾ cups water
For sprinkling: ¼ cup cornmeal
Toppings:
1 cup black and green pitted olive rings
1 cup sliced mushrooms, canned or fresh, mixed with olive oil
1½ cups yellow or mozzarella cheese, grated
Glaze: ¼ to ½ cup olive oil
To prepare the dough, pour the flour into a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Form a well in the center and add the oil and yeast. Add the water while kneading the dough. Place the dough in a bowl and cover it with a towel and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume.
Sprinkle flour on your work surface and then separate the dough into three equal sections. Roll each out into a circle. Line three trays with baking paper and sprinkle with cornmeal or regular flour. Place a rolled-out dough circle on each tray. Brush on olive oil up until about 1 cm. from the edge.
To prepare the sauce, heat the oil in a pot and add the chopped onion and crushed garlic. Sauté until it turns golden. Add the tomatoes and paste. Stir in the water. Season and cover. Bring to a boil and then add another ½ cup of water. Stir and check consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Separate the sauce into three parts and pour one on each of the three dough circles and spread it out. Sprinkle pizzas with whichever toppings you desire. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 230° for 15-20 minutes. Don’t overbake. Serve hot.
Pizza with mozzarella, olives and broccoli
Makes 3 medium pizzas.
Ingredients are the same as above.
Toppings:
1 cup broccoli florets, blanched
½ cup pitted kalamata olives
20 g. mozzarella cheese, grated, sliced into circles or cut-out star-shaped pieces
Garnish: 2 sprigs of fresh basil
Flour your work surface and split the dough into three sections. Roll them out into circles. Line three trays with baking paper and sprinkle with cornflour or whole wheat flour. Place one dough circle on each tray. Cover with olive oil up until 1 cm. from edge. Separate sauce into three parts and add one part to each dough circle and spread.
Add the broccoli florets and olives. Add the mozzarella pieces (you can crumble mozzarella if you prefer). Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 230° for 15-20 minutes. Do not overbake. Garnish with basil and serve hot.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 1 hour.
Status: Dairy.
Pizza with anchovies
This is a great alternative for people who prefer cheeseless pizza.
Makes 2 medium pizzas.
Dough:
4 cups flour, sifted
2 heaping Tbsp. yeast
3 eggs
1½ cups water
Sauce:
4 Tbsp. tomato paste
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ tsp. cumin
½ cup water
Toppings:
2 tomatoes, sliced thinly or halved cherry tomatoes
1 red or white onion, sliced into rings
2 green peppers, sliced into rings (optional)
100 g. anchovies
Glaze: ¼ - ½ cup olive oil
Garnish: 2 sprigs of fresh basil
To prepare the dough, add the flour and yeast to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough attachment. Form a well in the center and add eggs and half of the water. Mix while adding the rest of the water. Mix well. Let dough rest covered in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it’s 1 cm. thick. Place dough as is on a tray or cut out circles and leave space between each mini pizza on the tray. Brush with olive oil up until 1 cm. from the edge.
To prepare the sauce, mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Spread on the dough and then add the tomatoes, onion and pepper pieces. Gently push the toppings into the dough and then add the anchovies.
Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 230° for 15-20 minutes. Don’t overbake. Garnish with basil and serve hot.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 1 hour.
Status: Pareve.
Cheese-less pizza with vegetables
Makes 3 medium pizzas.
Dough:
½ kg. flour, sifted
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. oil
1 heaping Tbsp. dry yeast
1¼ to 1½ cups water
Sauce:
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped finely
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 ripe tomatoes, cut into small pieces
100 g. tomato paste
Salt and pepper, to taste
¾ to 1 cup water
Sprinkling: ¼ cup flour, sifted
Toppings:
1 narrow, long eggplant, cut into slices
1 light green squash, sliced
2 cups small broccoli florets, blanched
24 cherry tomatoes, washed carefully
¼ tsp. salt
Glaze: ¼ to ½ cup olive oil
To prepare dough, place the flour in a large bowl and sprinkle in salt. Prepare a well in the center and add the oil and yeast. While kneading the dough add the water. Knead until smooth.
Place the dough in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume. Line a tray with baking paper and line with slices of eggplant and squash. Spray with oil spray and broil on high heat for a few minutes until they turn golden brown. Remove and let cool.
Flour your work surface and then separate the dough into three sections. Roll out each into a circle. Line three trays with baking paper and sprinkle with cornmeal or regular flour. Place a circle of dough on each tray and sprinkle with olive oil. Spread until 1 cm. from the edge.
To prepare the sauce, heat the oil and add the onion and garlic. Sauté until they turn golden brown. Add the tomatoes and paste. Stir and then add the water. Season with salt and pepper and cover. Bring to a boil and then add another half cup of water. Mix and check consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Separate sauce into three parts and spread each on a circle of dough. Add whichever toppings you desire. Arrange the eggplant and squash slices on the pizzas. Add the broccoli florets and cherry tomatoes. Gently press toppings into sauce. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 230° for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Serve hot.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 1 hour.
Status: Pareve.

Translated by Hannah Hochner.
Text and styling: Pascale Perez-Rubin