Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Semi-Home Made Chicken Sausages and Pepperoni Pizza

Semi-Homemade Chicken Sausages and Pepperoni Pizza

A new item at Safeway: fresh 16-ounce package of WHITE WHOLE WHEAT pizza dough (5 grams of fiber per serving). Regular price is $1.99 per package, but watch for some good sales coming up. The pizza dough are displayed in the Deli section of Safeway. This dough is easy to work with and bakes nicely. Easy to follow directions on the package. All I needed to do is to purchase the toppings:

Trader Giotto's Pizza Sauce (purchased at Trader Joe's)
Pepperoni (purchased at Trader Joe's under a brand name)
Part-skimmed shredded Mozzarella cheese
Mild Italian-style chicken or turkey sausages, casings removed
Thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
Sliced black olives
Frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and diced, sprinkled with some sea salt and a little olive oil
Fresh minced garlic

Place pizza stone on an oven rack position in the center of the oven. Preheat oven at 450 degrees for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove pizza dough from the refrigerator and let the dough sit out in its packaging at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes (30 minutes if kitchen is warmer and 60 minutes if kitchen is cooler).

Meanwhile, set out a large wooden cutting board, rolling pin, pizza peel, some whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour), and corn meal. Have ready all the topping ingredients set out on the counter ready to go. Sprinkle a little corn meal on the pizza peel and set aside.

Generously dust your cutting board with flour. Unwrap pizza dough and lay on the cutting board. Dust both sides of dough with the flour and flatten first side of dough with your finger tips. Turn dough over and gently slide around to get more flour on the underside of dough. Flatten the second side of dough with your finger tips. With floured rolling pin, gently roll out pizza dough a few times just to flatten pizza dough more. Pick up dough and stretch the dough by holding the dough by the edge and stretch, turn, stretch, turn until you reach full circle. Place the dough on the knuckles of both hands (fingers turn in and don't forget to remove your jewelry). Stretch the dough by pulling your knuckles of both hands apart; then turn the dough, either right or left to rotate the dough, stretch and turn, stretch and turn until you reach full circle. It is also easier to stretch when the dough is slightly angled vertically than horizontally so that the weight of the dough can help with the stretching. Repeat the knuckle stretching until you get about 12 inches in diameter. For better clarification, you can watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72oe_j-0gwE

Place pizza dough on the pizza peel dusted with corn meal. Shake the pizza peel to make sure pizza dough is not sticking. Make a little dam around the edges of the dough to prevent any oil/liquid dripping off the edge of the pizza. Give pizza another shake to make sure pizza is not sticking to the peel.

Now top pizza with the pizza sauce, Mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts, olives, mushrooms, chicken sausages, pepperoni, and some minced garlic. (I did not precook the sausages or mushrooms. When placing the chicken sausages on the pizza, just break up the sausages into very small pieces using your fingers and drop it on the pizza, like in the pizzeria. The mushrooms should be thinly sliced.) After toppings are placed on the pizza dough, it's ready to go in to the oven. Carefully shake pizza peel and slide the pizza on top of the pizza stone. Bake for 13 minutes turning pizza halfway of baking time. (Turn pizza by sliding the pizza back on the peel and turn the pizza 90 degrees and slide back on the pizza stone.)

When done, remove pizza from the oven with the peel and transfer pizza onto a pizza pan or pizza rack. Let pizza rest about 5 minutes before slicing. Slice into 8 wedges.

I made two pizza so there will be some extra slices for someone's lunch. One 12-inch size pizza will serve 2 to 3 adults.

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