FLEISCHMANN’S YEAST: IT’S PIZZA NIGHT !!!

Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast – 1-lb. Package

Pros: Gets a rise out of any flour.  Available everywhere.  Forget the expensive, pricey packets – go for the pound!

Cons: If you don’t bake your own bread, a pound will last a very long time.

In my former location, Friday was pizza night.  I’d bake the pies, while the regulars each had their mission – homemade antipasto and a variety of beverages would arrive like clockwork.  It’s amazing how many different combinations of toppings one can imagine – we tried them all – though I believe pineapple and the dreaded anchovy were abandoned early on.

Before…

We loved our veggies.  Onions, peppers and mushrooms were a must with most meat toppings, while broccoli and black olive were a hit with the Teriyaki marinated chicken.  We even went wild with capers, pickled artichoke hearts and the leek.  A member of the onion family, leeks are mild and flavorful – the perfect pizza prospect.

…and after.

Can You Say Pissaladiere?

After trying a variety of crusts, the gang preferred the classic Pissaladiere with its thin crunch, caramelized onions and tangy Greek olives.  I’ve Americanized this French Provencal standard with an assortment of toppings – but that divine crust has become the house favorite.

Pissaladiere Splendide [Image: Emily Heston, Foodista.com]

The Yeast You Can Do

The beauty of this recipe is that it takes place entirely within your standard food processor.  Simply place 1-1/2 cups of bread flour in the bowl, along with 1 teaspoon of sugar, a half-teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast.  My diversions from this classic formula include the addition of 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, a half-teaspoon garlic powder and a sprinkle of celery salt.  Those with a yen for flame can add a dash of Cayenne pepper.  These amounts will produce sufficient dough to assemble a 14-inch diameter pie.

A Food Processor makes this recipe as easy-as-pie!

Run your food processor for a few seconds to mix-it-up and add a tablespoon of olive oil through the feed tube.  ¾ cup of tepid milk (100 degree Fahrenheit), poured slowly into the mix will cause the dough to form a ball.  At this point, the dough is ready to rise – the machine has done all the work!

Our dough on the way to a first rise.

Long Live Yeast!

My pound package of Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast was purchased a year ago.  The manufacturer recommends that once the product is opened, it should be used within six months – but by keeping it sealed within a plastic storage container and refrigerated, my year-old yeast is still capable of achieving an excellent rise.  The printed expiration date works-out to fifteen-months from the date of purchase.  For convenience, an Industrial Use Conversion Table is printed on the side of the package.

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Let’s Top The Pissaladiere

Tonight’s toppings include onions and mushrooms.  After slicing to your preference, microwave for about a minute and pour-off the water they will exude so as to avoid a swampy pie from the oven.  No need to precook the garlic.  If you like your onions caramelized, simply saute briefly in olive oil with a teaspoon of brown sugar added.  I’m using a meat sauce, so this recipe isn’t vegan, but it forgoes any additional meat.

 

After an hour’s rise, knead for 2 minutes and roll-out on a floured board to about an inch beyond the diameter of your pizza stone (or favorite pan).  Sprinkle some cornmeal on top and gently roll this in – this will be the bottom of the crust and will add to the crispiness.  Arrange cornmeal-side down on the stone, roll the excess dough under and pinch to complete the edge.

A sturdy edge will contain all the toppings while it bakes.

Let’s Assemble

Using a pastry brush, apply a thin layer of olive oil to protect dough from the sauce.  Spread the sauce evenly to the crust.  This is where cook’s opinions differ – to some, the next step is cheese, then the toppings.  This is good if you have a pizza oven that achieves a higher temperature.  For the longer time necessary in a conventional oven, the cheese on top will prevent the meat and veggies from drying-out.

A good-quality olive oil is vital for proper pizza assemblage.

Let’s Eat!!!

Using a stone, a thin-crust pizza will take about 35 minutes @ 400 degrees (Fahrenheit) to achieve a crispy, golden crust.  When placed on a wire rack, the stone will continue to transfer oven heat to the pie as it is being served.  Adding a hearty antipasto (or tossed salad, if you prefer), some bread sticks and the beverage of choice will satisfy any appetite.

Pre-cooking the veggies enough to remove excess moisture will prevent a swampy pie.

Meet The New Gang

Alas… my current rural location doesn’t allow the old gang to congregate weekly as it once did.  Now, Saturday Night is Pizza Night – accompanied by a comic dose of televised Sci-Fi with the new gang.  And if there are leftovers, a convenient mid-week meal is just a freezer away!

Leftover pizza can be stored in the fridge in a sealed plastic container. For crispiest crust, reheat for 25 minutes at 300 degrees.

Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast
Distributed by ACH Food Companies, Inc.
Memphis, TN  38016

Made in Canada

 

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