Sunday, March 28, 2010

Focassia Pizza

I discovered that pizza on a focaccia crust is a delightful change up from the usual thin crust and also has a very exciting flavor.

Brush the focassia crust with just a bit of Tomato Sauce and top with artichoke hearts and prosciutto. Then match with your favorite vegetable salad and even your Aunt Sophia will want to join you for lunch.

Pizza Tomato Sauce:

This tomato sauce is lightly herbed with oregano and basil, yet the basic tomato taste stands out.

Some pizza enthusiasts prefer a simpler sauce, but you'll like the colors and bouquet this sauce adds to your pizza. It makes about 2 quarts.

3 tbsp. - Butter

16 oz. - Tomato puree

3 tbsp. - Olive oil

1 tsp. - Salt

3 - Garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. - Black pepper

3 - Yellow onions, large , minced

1 tsp. - Whole oregano

2 qts. - Whole Italian tomatoes, canned or fresh, peeled and cooked

1 tsp. - Whole basil

In a Dutch oven or large skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil and slowly sauté the garlic and onion.

Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and puree. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for two hours. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes with a potato masher.

Continue to mash, stir, and simmer partially covered until the sauce reaches the consistency of a rich soup.

If you find you have too many or too large tomato seeds left in the sauce, you may run the sauce through a sieve.

Set the sauce aside to cool or refrigerate before applying it to your pizza dough.

Focaccia Pizza Crust:

1 cup warm water

1 package yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons olive oil

2-1/2 cup bread flour, or combination whole wheat flour

and all-purpose flour

Garlic Oil made from olive oil and fresh garlic

Fresh rosemary leaves

Place the water in a large, warmed bowl. Add the yeast and sugar, and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and olive oil. Gradually add the flour(s); dough should be firm.

Place dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth, adding flour as necessary. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let sit in a warm place for 1-1/2 hours.

Punch down dough. Knead for a minute, then let sit for 10 minutes. Grease cookie sheet.

Spread dough onto cookie sheet, forming a rectangle. Brush on the garlic oil. With the tips of your fingers, make dents in the surface of the dough, about one inch apart. Sprinkle on the rosemary leaves. Allow focaccia to rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden.

Bon Appetit!