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