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Caramelized Onion “Flatbread”

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We have company here at Casa C&J.  My best friend from school and work and Boston-in-general is wrapping up her Doctorate annnndddd getting married this week!  The graduation ceremony is on Thursday and the wedding is Friday.  She’ll be staying with us Monday & Tuesday night since she’ll be on campus.  The accommodations here are very nice:


I went a little nuts cleaning the apartment yesterday (I decided it was a good opportunity to get some Spring cleaning done).  Laundry was done, floors were swept, counters cleaned, dishes washed.

And then, dinner.  What better to make in your sparkling clean apartment than homemade pizza dough?  My thoughts exactly.

I used the basic pizza dough recipe from the Joy of Cooking and made some very slight modifications.  Previously when I’ve made this, it’s been a quickie dinner using pre-made dough from the store.  It’s been a long time since I’ve made fresh pizza dough, but the difference in texture, pre- and post-cooking was great.  I also had some dried rosemary and whole wheat flour on hand so here’s what the recipe looked like:

  1. Proof yeast: 1/3 c water (105-115 F please) and 1 packet of yeast (2 1/4 tsp) with a dash of sugar.  Let this sit until it has poofed up indicating the yeast is active.
  2. While that is sitting, I added to a large bowl: 1 c WW flour, 2 1/2 c AP flour (recipe calls for all AP flour), almost a full tbsp salt, 3 tbsp OO (recipe calls for just 2), some dried rosemary that I crushed in my hand a bit.
  3. I added the proofed yeast mixture, and then an additional 1 c water (still 105-115 F, but the main objective is just to not be > 115 or you’ll kill the yeast)
  4. Mix it all up and once it starts to gather together nicely, transfer to a floured surface and kneed for about 10 minutes.  You’ll notice the texture continue to improve and the dough forms a nice ball all by itself.
  5. Lightly oil a large bowl (I just used the same one for mixing after I cleaned it out a bit).  Place the ball of dough in it, cover with plastic wrap or a cloth and place in a warm, draft-free area.  If you want to get really particular, the location should ideally be 75-85 F.
  6. Let it rise to double, apx. 1- 1 1/2 hours.  Mine took about an hour.

Meanwhile, you’ll need to prepare your caramelized onions.  I had a big-ol vidalia (sweet) onion that I got on sale just waiting to be sliced up for this.

  1. Slice up your onion (I used one really big onion) into thin strips.  I also slivered up two cloves of garlic.
  2. Heat a saute pan on medium and melt a mixture of 50-50 butter and olive oil, I eyeballed it, but probably used about 2 tbsp each.
  3. Add in the onions (hold the garlic).  The name of the game here is “low-and-slow” – reduct the heat to low-medium.  You want to let the juices from the onions seep out slowly and get happy.  Shuffle around the onions occasionally and you’ll watch as they start to get soft and they begin to smell sweet.  Total, this probably takes 30 minutes.  With about 10 minutes left, I added the garlic.  {This is also a good time to preheat your oven to 475 F and sprinkle some cornmeal on your pizza pan if your using one}
  4. When the garlic was added, I began to roll out my dough.  The recipe above makes 2-12 inch pizzas, but I ended up using the whole thing for a pan that was maybe 16 inches?  It was pretty thick, more pizza-like than flatbread.  I used a pastry brush to get some of the butter-olive oil-onion juice from the pan and coated the crust in that.
  5. Using tongs, or a fork, scatter the onions/garlic over the dough and you can drizzle whatever remaining butter-OO is left over the top.  I also added some more crushed rosemary here and a scant sprinkle of Parmesan.
  6. Into the oven it goes, 475 F for 12 minutes.  Keep in mind this was a thick pizza, so if you do 2-12 inch pizzas, maybe check on them after 10 minutes.  You’re looking for a golden brown crust.


And that’s that – it was delicious, simple, and guest-approved!  Looking forward to some leftovers for lunch :)

Smells like Spring… and Pizza

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After a long dry spell with unusually high temperatures for this time of year (and a non-existant winter) – we are now getting doused with rain!!  It smells like Springtime.

This past Friday, we went to dinner at Il Posto in Davis Square.  We planned to go to the Painted Burro … but the hour long wait wasn’t very appealing, so we left.  I’ve been dying to go there!!!  I guess it’ll be on the list for this Friday.  Il Posto actually had a similar wait time but alas a couple was standing up from the first come-first serve bar area and there we were :-)  We started with a couple of beers.  I had a Rapscallion Honey – it was crisp and light as expected, but I was hoping for some more honey or clover overtones.  Appetizer was the Lemon Arancini … mmm fried risotto – these we excellent and came to us quickly.  We scarfed them down.  For our pizza, we ordered a Margherita.  Absolutely classic and a must order the first time at any pizza place.  Il Posto is acclaimed for having an Italian wood burning oven that reaches 850 degrees.  They bring in the best pizza flour and tomatoes they can get and they make their own mozzarella daily.  You can absolutely taste the difference!  This pizza was stellar!  I definitely need to go back, just as soon as I make a reservation :-)

Pizza = Love.


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