Forno Bravo Community Cookbook

Zucchini and Roasted Red Pepper Pizza With White Wine Cream Sauce

First off, I need to give credit where it’s due: The idea for this pizza is lifted from Pizza Orgasmica in San Francisco. When my wife and I lived in the Bay Area, the Ecstasy, as it’s called on their menu, was our favorite pie of theirs, and it led me to mess around with creating a white wine cream sauce recipe so I could mimic it at home. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

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Once again, please refer to my first posted pizza recipe for my ramblings on crust: http://www.fornobravo.com/cookbook/index.php/12-recipes/pizza/172-pesto-asparagus-and-egg-pizza

For the white wine cream sauce (enough for 4 pizzas):
4 T unsalted butter
1 C shallots, minced
1 1/2 C dry white wine
8 oz crème fraiche
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

For the pizza:
1 red bell pepper
1 zucchini
4 oz mozzarella
freshly grated parmesan, as needed

To make the cream sauce, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook slowly, stirring often, until well caramelized. The shallots should have a nice mahogany hue. Add the white wine and increase the heat to medium high. Bring to a boil and allow the wine to reduce until the pan is almost dry again. Remove from the heat and allow the shallot mixture to cool for 5 minutes. Place back over a low flame and whisk in the crème fraiche, mustard and remaining tablespoon of butter. Once incorporated, adjust the seasoning and set aside.

While you’re preparing the sauce, have the red pepper roasting in your wood oven. Simply place the pepper on the floor of the oven and allow to cook, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides and soft. Remove from the oven, place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow the pepper to steam for 10 minutes. When it’s cool enough to handle, uncover and use a kitchen towel to rub off the blackened skin. Slice the flesh into thin strips and set aside.

For the zucchini, all you need to do is slice very thin rounds using a mandoline or sharp knife.

To assemble the pizza, roll out your dough using your preferred method. Spread with a thin layer of the white wine cream sauce. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella. Top with some of the roasted red pepper strips and zucchini rounds. Hit it with the rest of the cheese and a dusting of parmesan. Move to your wood oven and bake until crusty, bubbly and delicious. Take the pizza out of your oven. Slice it. Eat it. Be happy.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Potato, Roasted Radicchio and Thyme Pizza With White Wine Cream Sauce

Here is the second installment in what I have taken to calling My Own Personal Pizza Month here at the Forno Bravo online cookbook. For brevity’s sake, I’m only going to talk pizza construction in this article; for my crust recipe, please refer to last week’s post for pesto, asparagus and egg pizza, found here: http://www.fornobravo.com/cookbook/index.php/component/content/article/12-recipes/pizza/172-pesto-asparagus-and-egg-pizza.

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For the white wine cream sauce (enough for 4 pizzas):
4 T unsalted butter
1 C shallots, minced
1 1/2 C dry white wine
8 oz crème fraiche
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

For the pizza (enough to top 1 pie):
1 small Yukon gold potato
1 small head radicchio
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 T fresh thyme leaves
4 oz low-moisture mozzarella, shredded
freshly grated parmesan cheese, as needed

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook slowly, stirring often, until well caramelized. The shallots should have a nice mahogany hue. Add the white wine and increase the heat to medium high. Bring to a boil and allow the wine to reduce until the pan is almost dry again. Remove from the heat and allow the shallot mixture to cool for 5 minutes. Place back over a low flame and whisk in the crème fraiche, mustard and remaining tablespoon of butter. Once incorporated, adjust the seasoning and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, peel the potato and slice into very thin rounds using a mandoline or sharp knife. Blanch the potato slices in the boiling water for 1 minute, or until tender but still holding their shape. Remove from the water and shock in an ice bath.

To prepare the radicchio, cut the head into quarters through the root end. Slice the core out of each quarter and then slice each quarter into thin strips. Heat a large sauté pan in your wood oven. Add the vegetable oil; when hot, add the sliced radicchio. Season with salt and pepper and roast in your oven, tossing frequently, until wilted and beginning to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a strainer to allow any excess moisture to drain off.

To assemble the pizza, roll out your dough using your preferred method. Spread with a thin layer of the white wine cream sauce. Top with half the mozzarella. Shingle the potato slices over the surface of the pizza, then add the remaining mozzarella. Distribute the roasted radicchio over the pie. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and finish with a dusting of freshly grated parmesan.

Transfer to your oven and cook for however long it’s taking to finish pizzas. Remove and allow to cool for five minutes, then slice and serve.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Pesto, Asparagus and Egg Pizza

I’ve been posting recipes here in the Forno Bravo cookbook for months, but oddly enough I have yet to tackle pizza, one of the cornerstone outputs of our wood-fired beauties. Perhaps it was a subconscious reticence to test my mettle against seasoned pros – like telling Mario Batali how to make pasta. But here we are: I’m posting a pizza recipe, and will be doing so for the next few weeks. I hope they are worthy.

You will notice that my dough recipe is slightly unorthodox. Instead of using a high-gluten flour, I use regular all purpose and then add vital wheat gluten. I find that this produces a dough that is lighter and more crispy, while still maintaining a nice chewy consistency on the inside.

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For the dough (makes 4 pizzas):
1.5 C warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1.5 tsp honey
3.5 C AP flour plus as needed for dusting
1 T vital wheat gluten
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 T extra virgin olive oil

For the pesto (enough for 4 pizza and then some):
1/4 C pine nuts
1.5 oz freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 C extra virgin olive oil
3 oz fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper as needed

For the pizza (to top 1 pie):
3 oz asparagus
4 oz fresh mozzarella
freshly grated parmesan as needed
1 fresh chicken egg
cornmeal as needed

To make the dough, combine the water, yeast and honey and allow to bloom for about five minutes, or until slightly foamy. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, wheat gluten and salt. It is important that the wheat gluten is thoroughly cut into the flour – adding liquid straight to wheat gluten will result in a rubbery mass. Once the dry ingredients are mixed, add the water mixture along with the olive oil and knead with the dough hook attachment until the dough is smooth and proper gluten development has occurred, about 8 minutes.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator overnight to retard. The next day, about 3 hours before you’re ready to make pizza, take the dough out of the refrigerator, put in a warm spot, and allow the dough to rise until it is double its original size.

While the dough is doing its thing, prepare the rest of the ingredients for the pizza. To make the pesto, first toast the pine nuts in your wood oven, tossing frequently, about 2-3 minutes. Place the nuts, parmesan, garlic and olive oil in the carafe of a blender. Season with salt and pepper. Start the blender, and with the motor running add the basil leaves in 3-4 batches, working quickly to avoid excess oxidation. Blend just until smooth, adjust seasoning and set aside.

To prepare the asparagus, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Trim the woody ends from the asparagus, then cut each spear into 1-inch pieces. Blanch in the boiling water for approximately 30 seconds, then drain and allow to cool.

Once your dough has risen, remove from the bowl and divide into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, dusting with flour as necessary. Cover the dough balls with a slightly damp dish towel and allow to proof for 15 minutes.

When you’re ready to make pizzas, shape one ball into a disc using your preferred method. Place on a peel liberally dusted with corn meal. Spread on a thin layer of pesto. Top with the mozzarella and asparagus. Add a sprinkling of fresh parmesan.

Transfer to your wood oven and bake. As you all know, cooking time is going to vary depending on how cranked up you have your oven. As a result, this also affects the timing on egg placement. If you’re running super hot, crack an egg into the middle of your pizza right before you go into the oven. If your cooking time is more in the 5-6 minute range, wait 2 minutes after you’ve started baking your pizza and then add the egg. You may need to play around with it – what you’re looking for is a nice set white and a runny yolk to meld into the cheese and sauce and create unctuous, creamy deliciousness.

Once the pizza is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Show it off to all your friends, then use a fork to pierce the yolk and distribute it around the pizza. Slice and serve.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Wood-Fired Black Bean Enchiladas

 

I won’t lie – the ingredient list on this one is going to look intimidating. If you can’t handle it, just buy canned enchilada sauce. But I’m telling you, making your sauce from scratch is worth the effort. And once you’re hooked, you can start tweaking the recipe to make it your own by playing around with the types and ratios of dried chiles you use.

Two quick notes about peppers to help avoid confusion: First, peppers and chiles refer to the same thing, and I’m using the words interchangeably in this recipe. Second, many chiles are given different names when they are dried and/or smoked. For example, poblano peppers, the kind used to make chiles rellenos, are called ancho chiles when they are dried. So when a recipe calls for an ancho (or a pasilla, guajillo, etc.) it is calling for a dried pepper. There is no such thing as a fresh ancho chile.

For the enchilada sauce:
1/2 yellow onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic
3 ancho chiles
2 guajillo chiles
2 pasilla chiles
2 chiles de arbol
1/4 C canned tomato puree
2 tsp chipotle en adobo sauce
2 T plus 1 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 T honey
2 C water
1/4 C plus 3 T vegetable oil

For the filling:
2 red bell peppers
3 oz yellow cherry tomatoes
2 chayote squash
1 T vegetable oil
12 oz frozen corn
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle en adobo sauce
1 T tomato puree
4 oz Chihuahua cheese
2 oz queso fresco

For the salsa verde:
3 tomatillos, papery covering removed
1 serrano chile
1 jalapeno
1/2 onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic
juice of 2 limes
1/4 C cilantro

1 8-oz package of cream cheese
12 corn tortillas
4 oz Chihuahua cheese
queso fresco, as needed
sour cream, as needed

To make the enchilada sauce, first roast the onion and 3 cloves of the garlic in your wood oven until soft and charred in spots, about 10-15 minutes depending on your temperature. Place the chiles in a dry skillet and quickly toast in your oven, turning once, until puffed and fragrant. This will only take about 20 seconds. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and discard. Place the chiles in a small sauce pan with 1 cup of the water. Cook over medium heat until the chiles are soft and the water is gone from the pan. Transfer the chiles to the carafe of a blender and add the roasted onion and garlic, the 1 clove of raw garlic, the tomato puree, adobo sauce, vinegar, spices, honey and remaining water. Blend until smooth. Then, with the blender still running, add the vegetable oil in a steady stream until fully emulsified into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the filling, first place the bell peppers and tomatoes in a dry skillet and roast in your oven until charred and soft, about 5 minutes for the tomatoes and 20 minutes for the peppers. Peel the peppers and chop. Set aside.

To prepare the chayote, first remove the skin using a peeler. Next, remove the flesh. Chayote have a large oblong seed in the middle, similar to a mango. Cut the flesh away and discard the seed. Chop the chayote into bite-sized pieces. Preheat the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan in your oven. When hot, add the chayote and roast, stirring frequently, until tender, about 4 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.

To make the filling, stir together the roasted tomatoes, roasted peppers and chayote with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Next, get the salsa verde going: Place all of the ingredients except the cilantro and lime juice in a dry skillet and roast in your wood oven until charred and soft, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, assemble the enchiladas. Heat a dry skillet on your stove over medium-low heat. Use this to warm each tortilla for a few seconds on both sides to make them pliable and avoid breakage as you build. Spread a thin layer of your enchilada sauce over the bottom of an ovenproof 9×13 baking dish. Next, smear a line of softened cream cheese down the middle of your warmed tortilla. Add about 1/4-1/3 cup of filling, roll up, and place seam side down in your baking dish. Spoon sauce over the tortilla to coat. Repeat with all the tortillas. They should fit pretty well nestled together in a 9×13 dish. Top with the remaining enchilada sauce, filling in all the nooks and crannies. Sprinkle the remaining Chihuahua cheese over the top, cover with foil, and place on a rack in your wood oven to bake. Cook until bubbling and hot in the middle, about 40-50 minutes depending on the heat of your oven. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of cooking time to allow the cheese to brown on top. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

While the enchiladas are baking, finish the salsa verde. Remove the stems and seeds from the serrano and jalepeno. Place the peppers in the carafe of a blender along with the tomatillo, onion, garlic cilantro and lime juice. Process until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, spoon a pool of salsa verde onto each plate. Place a portion of enchilada on top. Sprinkle with queso fresco and serve with a dollop of sour cream. Crack open a fresh Dos Equis or top off that margarita (you’ve been drinking this whole time, right? It helps the prep go by like a breeze…) and enjoy your Mexican feast.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Authentic Vera Pizza Napoletana Dough

italian pizza dough

Ingredients

By Volume 
4 cups Molino Caputo Tipo 00 flour
1 ½ cups, plus 2 TBL water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry active yeast

By Weight
500gr Molino Caputo Tipo 00 flour
325gr water (65% hydration) 
10gr salt
3gr active dry yeast

We highly recommend cooking by weight. It is fast, and easy to get the exact hydration (water to flour ratio) and dough ball size you want. Personally, I do not use recipes or a mixing cup when I cook dinner for the family, but pizza and bread dough is different. Being exact counts, and nothing works better than a digital scale.

Mix the dough in a stand mixer, by hand or in a bread machine. If you are using a stand mixer, mix it slowly for two minutes, faster for 5 minutes, and slow again for 2 minutes.

Cover the dough and let it rise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, or until double. Punch it down and push out the air bubbles. Form the dough into a large ball, then cut it into three 275gr equal pieces.

To make your pizza balls, shape each piece of dough into a ball. Gently roll your dough into a ball, then stretch the top of the ball down and around the rest of the ball, until the outer layer wraps around the other side. Pinch the two ends together to make a smooth ball with a tight outer “skin.” Set your ball seam-side down where it can rest. Dust your pizza balls with flour, and store them under a damp towel, in a proofing tray, or under plastic wrap. This will prevent the outside of the ball from drying out and creating a crust, and becoming difficult to work with. The top of the pizza ball should be soft and silky.

Your pizza balls will need to rest for about an hour to become soft and elastic, so that they can be easily stretched into a thin crust pizza.

If you won’t need your dough for more than an hour, refrigerate it until you are ready to start.

If you won’t have an hour to let your dough rest, read our Dough in a Hurry strategy. By cutting back each phase of dough preparation by the right amount, you can make great pizza or focaccia dough in as little as an hour.

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Rating: 2.5/5 (24 votes cast)

Pizza Sauce

You can use canned San Marzano tomatoes (Pomodori Pellati) to create a wonderful, and simple pizza tomato base. Use a potato masher to get a good sauce consistency. Don’t use a food processor or hand mixer, as those will break the seeds and give your sauce a bitter flavor. If you are using a brick oven, you should not cook the sauce. The hot oven will cook the sauce perfectly. If you are using a pizza stone in your oven, you might want to try cooking the sauce first. Try it both ways to see what you like. 

Smashed Tomato Sauce
1 can (28 oz) San Marzano tomatoes 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1/2 teaspoon of salt 
1 teaspoon of oregano 

Options
1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 tablespoons of fresh basil 
1 tablespoon garlic powder 
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice 
1 tablespoon olive oil – done forget to swirl excellent extra virgin olive oil on your pizza right before you put it in the oven

Watch the Forno Bravo Pizza Sauce Video on YouTube.

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Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

San Marzano Tomato Pizza Sauce

You can use canned San Marzano tomatoes (Pomodori Pellati) to create a wonderful, and simple pizza tomato base. Use a potato masher to get a good sauce consistency. Don’t use a food processor or hand mixer, as those will break the seeds and give your sauce a bitter flavor. If you are using a brick oven, you should not cook the sauce. The hot oven will cook the sauce perfectly. If you are using a pizza stone in your oven, you might want to try cooking the sauce first. Try it both ways to see what you like. 

Smashed Tomato Sauce
1 can (28 oz) San Marzano tomatoes 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1/2 teaspoon of salt 
1 teaspoon of oregano 

Options
1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 tablespoons of fresh basil 
1 tablespoon garlic powder 
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice 
1 tablespoon olive oil – done forget to swirl excellent extra virgin olive oil on your pizza right before you put it in the oven

Watch the Forno Bravo Pizza Sauce Video on YouTube.

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Rating: 2.7/5 (14 votes cast)