Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pizzetta with Roasted Roma Tomatoes, Organic Fennel, Garlic, Queso Fresco, Balsamic Syrup and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Pizzetta Dough
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup warm water (between 95° and 115° F.)
2 T yeast (2 tablespoons, I like my dough a little yeasty. You can use less)
2 T sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. Salt
Pour warm water into a bowl. The water should be about 85 to 115° F. Test it with your hand. It should feel very warm, but comfortable. Add the sugar and salt. Mix until well blended. Add the yeast and mix. Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour and the olive oil and mix until well blended. Add the rest of the flour (and any other additions) and mix well. The dough should turn into a ball. If the dough does not ball up because it's too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time until it does. If your mixture is more like a batter, add flour one tablespoon at a time. Adding water or flour as needed to get the right consistency will assure you always get a perfect dough. Just remember to do it in small amounts.
Once the dough is balled up, place the ball on a floured board and knead for about a minute. Place the dough in a covered bowl and store in a warm, dry area to rise.

After about 45 minutes the dough should have about doubled in size. Punch it down. Let it rise for another hour to an hour and a half. The dough is now ready to be rolled out.

Portion into 3 - ounce balls and roll out. Pizzetta should be about 5 inches across. Place on a sheet pan, and brush with olive oil. Let rise for 5 minutes then bake at 425°F until lightly browned.
Freeze any unused dough for the future.

Toppings for 4 pizzettas
4 Roma tomatoes
1 baby fennel bulb only sliced thinly
1 c. balsamic vinegar (not the expensive variety)
8 basil leaves julienned
4 oz. queso fresco or mozzarella shredded
4 cloves garlic chopped
Kosher salt
Queso fresco can be purchased at many Mexican food stores. Substitute fresh or regular mozzarella if necessary.
Quarter the tomatoes and lay cut side up on a cookie sheet with the sliced fennel and garlic. Sprinkle with kosher salt and olive oil. Roast the tomatoes, garlic and fennel in a 400°F oven until slightly browned and caramelized. Remove and keep at room temperature.
Reduce the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over low heat by 3/4s or until it seems to thicken.

Arrange pizzettas on a cookie sheet and top with roasted tomatoes – 4 quarters per pizzetta and divide the fennel and garlic over the pizzettas. Sprinkle with basil, top with cheese and bake at 400°F until cheese melts. Drizzle balsamic syrup over the top of each pizza and brush with olive oil. Cut into quarters and serve.