I used to make Pizza’s as a kid. In Kuwait we did not go to eat out much. I think a lot of people can relate to that. Actually the only restaurants we went out to were either Indian or Chinese. We did not have any of the chains (well the US chains). I think the only place I saw pizza’s were when we saw them on the TV shows. I got my first recipe from a friend of my moms, she was an excellent cook. It was pretty simple (if only I could remember what it was – haha). I used to make it for quite a few get together’s – well I would make a couple of pizza’s. The toppings were really simple just a few veggies mostly peppers, pepperoni and cheese. I think I even made them on baking trays because that was all we had at home. Not like today where there are so many specialty tools. I do remember kneading the dough (hand kneading for a skinny 12 year old kid) – but it was so much fun.
Well I bought myself a pizza stone a while back. It was on sale at Home goods and I kept meaning to try making a pizza but never got around to it until recently. Well since I did not have my tried and trusted recipe that I had used, I scoured the net looking for a pizza recipe to start off with. I read quite a few including Jamie Oliver’s who uses 7 cups of flour. I wanted to make Pizza but it was just going to be for 3 people with leftovers (you simply must have pizza for breakfast!). I finally settled on this one. I did not really make any changes to the recipe besides using less olive oil. The dough was simple a delight to work with and the pizzas were smashing.
I also decided not to go for the tried and true tomato based sauce but make something different. So I made a hummus based spread. It turned out rather delicious. I think the next one I want to try is an Indian pizza with spinach and panner (cheese).
Sun Dried Tomato Hummus
- 1.5 cups of dried chick peas (soaked overnight and then cooked) or 2 cans of chick peas (drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 cup of sun dried tomatoes in oil
- juice of 1 small lemon
- 1 jalapeno
- 2 teaspoons cumin powder
- salt to taste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt to taste
- basil leaves (as many as you want – i used about 12)
- cheese (I used the Mexican queso cheese)
Caramelize the Onions
Heat a frying pan on medium high heat and add the oil. When hot add the onion slices to it and add stir to coat with the oil. Then add the salt. Stir occasionally until the onions are all lightly browned. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir well. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Turn your oven to 550F (or as high as it will go – your cooking times will vary depending on your oven temperature). Put your pizza stone in on the middle shelf of the oven.
Make the Hummus
Puree the chick peas, jalapeno, cumin, oil, salt, lemon juice and sun-dried tomato in a blender. Add more oil if you do not have a spreading consistency. As always taste and add more cumin/salt if you feel you need it.
Dust your hand liberally with flour and start working on your first piece of dough. It should be nice and puffy at this time. If it does not lift easily from the parchment paper you can use a dough scraper. It should be really soft and you can use any method you want to stretch it. What I did was lift one palm higher than the other, then did a quarter turn using my forearm as a resting place and sliding the dough around (now this explanation makes sense to me but feel free to ask me for more info). Once I had it stretched out to the size I wanted, I lay it back down on the parchment paper and then used my hand to just flatten the edges.
Now spread the hummus and then put on your toppings. I then slid the parchment paper onto a wooden cutting board. When the oven was ready (and had been on for a little longer to make sure my stone was nice and hot I then opened the oven and slid the parchment paper on to the stone (now your parchment paper will brown on the ends). I set my timer for 6 minutes and watched the pizza ends start to puff and the center start to sort of bubble.
When the 6 minutes were done, out it came. I did lift the pizza at one end to look underneath it at the 5 minute mark. I wanted it done just a tad bit more so my timing of 6 minutes worked out great.