Dark Days: Sausage & Pepper Pizza

Last night we had the happy coincidence of two friends traveling back home from Christmas celebrations, both of whom decided to stop and spend the night with us en route.  We had a delicious, impromptu, and local dinner of sausage & pepper pizza, served up with Saranac ales, good conversation, and many laughs.  Thanks, Frannie & Christina, for a great night!

Happy holidays everyone!

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Sausage & Pepper Pizza

INGREDIENTS

METHODS

  1. Make and shape the pizza dough. (I highly recommend that when making the dough, double the recipe and par-cook two extra pizza dough rounds for the freezer; so convenient when friends drop by for an impromptu dinner!).
  2. Preheat the oven as high as it will go (550 degrees F on my oven).  If you have a pizza stone, try to allow at least an hour of preheating.
  3. Slice the sausage into thin rounds and brown, over medium heat, with a tiny bit of olive oil, in a large saute pan.  Do not crowd the pan.  Remove from the pan once browned and set aside.
  4. Prepare the mise en place. Grate (or slice) the cheeses as necessary. Set out the cheesse, sauce, herbs & spices, olive oil, sausage and extra flour or cornmeal in preparation for assembling the pizza.
  5. Transfer your pizza shell to a parchment-covered pizza peel, or one liberally sprinkled with cornmeal or flour.  (Par-cooked pizza shells will not need parchment or cornmeal, although I always sprinkle some cornmeal for flavor). Or, if you do not have a pizza stone, transfer to a baking sheet or pizza pan.
  6. Assemble & cook the pizza. Drizzle about 1 tbsp of olive oil on the formed pizza shell, and spread over the surface of the dough with your fingers or the back of a spoon.  Sprinkle grated hard cheese over the shell.  Then add dollops of tomato sauce, mozzarella, bell peppers, sausage, herbs and spices.  If you wish, brush a little more oil along the edges of the pizza dough and sprinkle with grated hard cheese.  Slide the pizza off the peel and onto your pizza stone, or transfer the pan to the preheated oven.  Cook for 7 minutes, or until the dough edges have puffed up and browned and the cheese is bubbling and starting to carmelize.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 – 5 minutes before slicing. 

Yields two, 10- to 12-inch pizzas.

OPTIONS

  1. The frozen peppers were not completely thawed when I added them to the pizza; they added a bit too much water to the pizza after cooking. Next time I will thaw completely and dry saute them for a minute or two in order to leech out some of the water prior to cooking the pizza.
  2. It’s pizza: use what veggies, meats or cheeses you have on hand. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with homemade pizza!

STORE

Lasts for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.  Cooked pizza will also freeze well for up to 1 month.  Par-cooked pizza shells will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.

SEASON

Christmas!  :)  Well, really, this pizza can be made year-round, but I like to make pizza in the winter; it doubles to warm up the house.

LOCAL RESOURCES

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8 comments

  1. localkitchen

    It really was quite delicious, helped, no doubt, by the awesome Mountain Products Smokehouse sausage.

    Julia, I’ve had lots of the Mountain Products sausage, their smoked chicken, chipotle bacon – without fail they’ve been wonderful. I pick it up at Holbrook Farm in Bethel, CT, but I’m guessing you could find it in New Paltz. I’m glad you find the links helpful – it’s worth the extra effort if someone finds a great local product and enjoys it as much as I do.

    Sophie, I don’t usually let the ‘quick’ dough rise overnight, but if I do, I put it in the fridge. This seems to work fine as long as the fridge rise is the first rise – sometimes if it is the second rise I find that the yeast is exhausted and you don’t get much of a rise once you bring it back to room temp. If I know I want the dough tomorrow, I usually make the 12-grain recipe, using Wild Hive’s 10-grain mix – recipe here:

    http://localkitchen.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/12-grain-pizza-dough/

    This dough is fabulous, but definitely hard-core wheaty; not the one to break in the uninitiated to whole grain goodness. :)

    • Hi!
      I am so glad you wrote about our products! We love when our fans come up with awesome delicious treats
      As far as where to find us, we are in Hannaford, Adams Fairacre Farms, Gigi Market, Robin’s Produce, Rhinebeck Health Foods, and if you can’t find us there, ask at your local store and have them contact us!
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  2. I made it! I made pizza using your quick(er) dough recipe. Actually, I made it twice. I made it for New Year’s Eve dinner and it was sooooo delicious, I ate one whole pie all by myself! I made it again on New Year’s Day for my family as an appetizer. My sister and brother-in-law couldn’t stop raving about it. Even the kids loved it. The crust is so tasty that they didn’t notice it was whole wheat. This is really an exceptional pizza crust. This is the recipe I’ve been searching for my whole life! (Yes, I used Wild Hive!)

    So much for getting back to my diet…

  3. localkitchen

    So glad everyone enjoyed it! The quick(er) crust recipe is an amalgamation of tips from various bread cookbooks, and I’m not always so conscientious about super-hydrating the dough, resting for 20 minutes, etc. You’ll find, as you experiment with it in your kitchen, that it is pretty flexible and you can shave off time (if need be) by upping the percentage of white wheat flour, lessening the hydration, with limited sacrifice in performance, flavor and texture. The recipe as written is to give you the best possible flavor and texture. It’s a handy one to have in your arsenal. I often serve it to people who don’t know that it is whole wheat, and only ask “what makes this taste sooooo good?”

    Wild Hive, making cooks look good since 2006…. ;)

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