Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Deep Dish Pizza!

A lot of people on Facebook asked about the recipe I used for my deep dish pizza. I used a couple different recipes cobbled together, some tricks and tips I found online and a dough recipe from my moms. Sorry for posting this late, truth is John and I drank a lot of wine and I was far to drunk last night to type this up. Anyways with out further ado, my cast iron skillet deep dish pizza: 

Pizza Dough: This recipe makes enough dough for 3, 9 in deep dish pizzas. You can cut it down if you like.

4 cups bread flour
1 envelope yeast
1 1/2 tbsps salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup olive oil

Mix 4 cups flour with salt in large bowl. In separate bowl add sugar and yeast to warm water and mix. Let sit for five minutes so you can see the yeast starting to activate. Add oil to water/yeast mixture. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture and stir til it starts to form a ball. Knead dough for 10 mins using flour on surface and hands when dough gets sticky. Place ball of dough in oven for an hour to rise (oven should be warm, but not on!). Dough should have risen to be at least twice the original size. Punch dough to release gas, form into a ball and knead again for 10 minutes. After this dough should be ready to use. I made my dough the day before, so I stored it in a bowl with a little olive oil in the fridge with plastic wrap over the top. If you do this, let the dough reach room temperature before you use it.

Pizza dough when it was done rising

Pizza time!

You can use whatever "toppings" you want. I used Italian Sausage and mushrooms.

3 sweet italian sausages
9 white mushrooms
1 1/2 pounds of mozerella cheese
1  small can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
2 cloves crushed garlic
onion powder
garlic powder

In a pan I crushed and browned 3 italian sausages. When fully cooked I placed them on paper towels to get the grease off. Slice mushrooms. Shred cheese (or just used shredded cheese!). I sort of winged the sauce. I mixed all the sauce ingredients together in a pot and seasoned to taste. You could also just buy pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce.

Preheat oven to 450. Lightly grease a room temp cast iron skillet. Take a third of your dough and start to work it flat using your hands on a flat surface. Once you have it in a flat circle about 2 inces larger than your skillet transfer dough to skillet. Work the bottom part of the crust flat on the bottom of the skillet and work the sides of the crust as high up on the sides of the skillet as you can. (I learned this next trick online and I'm not sure if it's the same if you don't do it, but it seemed to work when I did it) Using a fork poke dents in the dough on the inside of the skillet, this is to make sure no bubbles form in the dough when it's baking? After your dough is all nice looking, add a thin layer of shredded cheese to your pizza, this is so the meat or water from the mushrooms don't make the crust soggy. Then add "toppings" meat and mushrooms. Then pile on the rest of the cheese. There should be so much cheese that you can't even tell there is meat in the pizza, or at least that's how I like it. Once the cheese is all piled on, using your hands flatten and pack the cheese in the pizza as best you can. You want the surface to be flat and you'll see the dough rise up on the sides so you'll know the cheese won't ooze over the edges. Once flat, spoon a thin layer of sauce to the top of your pie. Look how pretty it looks... It's not done yet. Setting your stove top burner to high, place the skillet with your pizza on the burner and leave it there for 4 minutes. This way you'll get a nice crispy crust and it help the pizza cook all the way through. Then with a pot holder or oven mitt (please do not burn your hands) take the skillet off the stove and place in preheated oven for 20-25 mins. You'll see the crust browning and the cheese starting to bubble. Then it's done! You can pop the pizza right out of the cast iron skillet using a spatula. Final step: Eat that pizza!

Pizza heating on the stove top before I put it in the oven.

Pizza once it's finished cooking.

Dat crust!

So cheesy and delicious.

The perfect slice.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

One Month Later

A lot has happened in the past month...

I spent a week in Chicago with family and friends.

There was a hurricane in NYC.

And then there was a snow storm.

None of these are really excuses for not updating my blog. They just all happened when I just so happened to not be updating my blog. So here's an update on some stuff. Yay!

For Halloween I dressed up at Maurice Moss from the IT Crowd.

The top one is Moss (played by Richard Ayoade) and the bottom one is me, in case you couldn't tell.

A quick sketch of me as Moss.

Today I got a chance to go to The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival and see selections from the 2012 Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation (which plays annually in Chicago, but was replayed in part for BCGF). I got to see a lot of cool artists and view some interesting animation. I also spent way more than I should have on comics. 

BDGF swag and the Eyeworks program (cover designed by Ivan Brunetti ).

I was lucky enough to get some of my comics signed by some pretty cool artists/authors like...

I came home from all the fun today to find a notice from the post office. They tried to deliver my Don Hertzfeldt DVDs, but they wouldn't fit in my mailbox. Now I have to wait until Monday to pick them up from the post office. Oh, and just so yous guys know, I've got a little freelance project I'll be working on for the next week or so, so I probably won't post again for another week or so. Anyways, here are some more Snapshots to hold you over until then.

Snapshots 04