Rustic pizza party of four please. Guests were scheduled for dinner and I couldn’t decide what to make. For weeks, I had been craving a pizza that I love to order from a favored Italian restaurant. The favorite featured caramelized onions, roasted pear, pecorino cheese, and pesto. As good as this pizza tastes to me, it may not be the choice of our guests, so I decided it would be fun for us all to make our own pizza. Husband raised an eyebrow when I told him what was on the menu. I don’t know why he could be so suspicious!
Doubling the crust recipe allowed us to make a bonus pizza for dessert. It was easy, time-saving and fun! We enjoyed light-hearted conversation while building our creations.
Preparing for a “build your own pizza party” is simple and takes a lot of pressure off the hostess to make everything perfect. It’s pretty much a guarantee that each person will love the dish when they customize it themselves. And the atmosphere? It could get a bit crazy and you might have flour all over the floor, but it will be memorable and entertaining.
We used the cut out piece of countertop I saved from the kitchen remodel to roll out our pizzas. Young sweet chef turned her edges like a galette pastry, so we all followed suit.
Savory toppings included: Marinara sauce, olive oil, sautéed mushrooms, roasted red peppers, roasted onions, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, Canadian bacon, roasted pears, and a variety of cheese (goat, feta, pecorino, mozzarella, parmesan, and Italian blend). It’s obvious that I am on a roasting kick. I do love roasting veggies or fruit with a drizzle of olive oil in a hot oven until caramelized and sweet. Additional toppings we like but didn’t use were: fresh spinach, chicken, bacon, pesto, and balsamic reduction. Marinara, ranch dressing and olive oil were served on the side.
Our side dish was Fall Salad with romaine lettuce, red onion, feta cheese, roasted pears & nuts.
Fruit toppings for our dessert pizzas included: fresh blueberries, strawberries, roasted pear, apple butter, cheese, and nuts. The apple butter really added a sweet punch and paired well with the other ingredients. We put that layer on the bottom, added cheese, fruit and then nuts. We were all so proud of our sweet and savory creations! You
The following pizza dough recipe is an easy one I make in the food processor.
- 1 pkg active dry yeast
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 1/4 cups warm water (105-115 degrees F)
- 3 1/3 c. unbleached flour
- 1/2 T kosher salt
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450-500 degrees. If using a baking stone, put stone in oven for 30-45 min while oven is warming so stone is hot when you put it in hot oven to bake so it won't crack.
- In a 2 cup liquid measure, dissolve the sugar in 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F to 115 degrees F). Sprinkle the yeast on top and let stand 10 minutes, or until foamy.
- Add the olive oil and salt.
- Insert dough blade into large work bowl of food processor and add flour.
- With machine running on dough speed, pour the liquid slowly through the small feed tube as fast as the flour will absorb it.
- Once a dough ball forms and cleans the sides of the work bowl, process for an additional 30 seconds to knead the dough. Dough my be slightly sticky.
- If you do not have a food processor, mix by hand in a large bowl and knead 6 min or until elastic.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat the surface.
- Cover the bowl with damp towel or plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 45 min to 1 hour.
- Place dough on lightly floured surface: punch down and let rest 5-10 min. Divide into six pieces for 7 inch crusts or thirds for 12-inch crusts.
- Form into smooth balls and cover loosely (If you're not using the dough right away, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze up to 1 month.)
- Sprinkle a pizza peel or baking sheet lightly with flour or corn meal.
- Flatten dough with your fingers until it's as flat as possible, and roll with small rolling pin or gently pull with hands while rotating the crust.
- When the circle has reached the desired size and thickness, place it on the pizza peel (or on the prepared pan). We don't have a peel, so working with small pizzas allows you to lift them with your hands and place them on the pan to bake.
- Top the pizza as desired and slide it from the peel onto the hot stone (or transfer the pan to the oven).
- Bake 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness, or until the crust is crisp and golden.
Making savory and dessert rustic pizza’s for the same meal has it’s pros and cons. We were full after dinner so didn’t want to partake of dessert until later. (well, we may or may not have stuffed ourselves and tried some (or half) of our dessert) A light dessert may have been appreciated at that point. But since we already had fruit, cheese & nut toppings on the counter and flour everywhere, it made sense to go for it!
As you enter this holiday season when family and friends gather together, perhaps this simple menu idea will fit your busy schedule. Let me know if you try it. 😀
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have…” Hebrews 13:16a