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January 15, 2009

Fresh pizza dough (Recipe: peachy mama pizza) {vegetarian}

Peachymamapizza

Never let it be said that Rhode Islanders don't know their pizza.

Pizza is a way of life here. On Federal Hill, the most Italian neighborhood in the most Italian state in the country, even the local bar grills pizza in a wood-fired oven. Thick crust or thin, from North Providence to Newport, you can find above-average pizza everywhere, including in our middle-of-nowhere village five miles up the road.

And, because we love our pizza, every market sells fresh pizza dough, often from the local pizzeria or from a comissary not more than a few minutes from the store.

Pizzadough1

I hope you can find ready-to-use pizza dough in your regular grocery store; it's a great convenience food that will help you get a healthy, original pizza on the table in minutes. My local market stocks white, whole wheat, and organic variations.

You can purchase white or whole wheat pizza shells, too, if you like your pizza round and thin. I'm partial to the freeform shapes I can get by rolling out the dough myself; I like to control the thickness of the pizza crust, and sometimes to fold in cheese or herbs or a sprinkling of crunchy salt and black pepper. And the dough is more versatile than the pizza shells.

Keep fresh pizza dough wrapped in a plastic bag, in the coldest part of your refrigerator. If you don't plan to use it within a day or two of purchase, store it in the freezer so the yeast doesn't start to ferment, which will make your dough taste a bit like beer. Defrost the dough in the fridge, and bring it to room temperature, to allow the gluten to relax, before you try to roll it out.

Whether your dough is store-bought, or homemade like my favorite easy whole wheat pizza dough, you'll love having it on hand for spur-of-the-moment calzones, spirals, tomato and mozzarella rolls, or pizza in a bite. And for pizza, of course, topped with good things from your pantry: tomato and pesto, garlic and shrimp, bacon and eggs, or maybe ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Peachymamapizza2

Peachy Mama pizza

I could eat this every day of the week, and twice on my birthday. My friend Julia, of Grow.Cook.Eat., gave me the peppers -- my first taste of peachy mamas -- and Peter, who guest blogs from his pousada in Brazil, made the pizza in my kitchen last month. Proportions are approximate; use as much or as little of each ingredient as looks good to you. Serves 2 for lunch, 6 as an appetizer.

Ingredients

1/2 lb fresh pizza dough
1-2 tsp olive oil
1/2 medium sweet or red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup butternut squash, cut into thin strips or small dice
Cornmeal, for the pan
1/3 cup total shredded cheddar and gouda (or your favorite cheeses)
3 Tbsp chopped peachy mama or roasted red pepper strips
Drizzle of olive oil
Sprinkling of fresh coarsely-ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425F, and take dough out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature.

In a small nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tsp of oil, and add the sliced onion. Cook over low heat for 10-12 minutes, until onions are lightly caramelized. Remove the onions to a plate, and add another tsp of oil to the pan. Add the squash, and saute until browned and caramelized. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Flour your work surface, and roll out the dough as thin as you like it, less than 1/2 inch thick. On a flat baking sheet, sprinkle cornmeal (it will act like ball bearings to keep your pizza from sticking). Lay the dough on the baking sheet. Spread the cheese all around on top of the dough. Arrange onions and squash around the surface. Sprinkle peachy mamas here and there. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, and season with black pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned. Serve hot.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Pizza bianca
One-rise pizza dough
Scallion pancake pizza
Pasta puttanesca
Asparagus-gruyere tart

Comments

Everyone: More great pizza ideas today! Thanks to all for your birthday wishes, too.

Happy Birthday! Hope it was a great one.

Favorite pizza? Hmm, not sure that I have an absolute favorite. However I will say that I prefer fewer rather than more toppings. Too many toppings and they all seem to get lost.

Lucky are those who can buy pizza dough locally. I can't, so does anyone know a good dough recipe? I got a pizza stone for Christmas, and I'd like to try it out. :-)

Happy Birthday... Feliz Cumpleanos... As for pizza, I love them all, I will try any combination. I prefer veggie types but will add meat (for my husband). As for fruit, this is something that I had only done with pineapples but now I will try other types.

Making pizza is a great way to use up odds and ends of leftover ingredients. Almost *anything* can be put on a pizza if you choose the rest of the ingredients wisely. I must admit I have no idea if pizza dough is available around here; making my own is so easy.

Hope your birthday was delicious and delightful :)

I'd have to say my favorite cookbook is my Mom's old Good Housekeeping cookbook, circa 1942. It's stained and tattered but the memories of my Mom cooking from that book are precious to me. The recipes aren't very healthy by today's standards (shortening!!), but are easily modified and just as delicious.

Happy belated birthday. My favorite cookbook is not my most used, but I have such good memories of making my first recipes. My mother's old BH & G Cookbook.

My son absolutely lives for pizza, he is vegetarian,and loves cheese pizza! I love cookbooks of all kinds!! And we all love pizza around our house!

Oh I love a new cook book, I am currently collecting some but only got like 4 cook books...hehe

Love making pizza but I never try buying it like that. Maybe I should stop by the market.

Sounds delicious!! Although I must say, now I"m thinking about actual peaches on a pizza....

Homemade pizza rolled ultra thin is the best and I would prefer it to a birthday cake anytime!

I'm also an avid cookbook collector and think there is no such thing as too many cookbooks-unless they are blocking access to your kitchen...

Happy Birthday to YOU and thanks for a great website.

Yay, I'm not a lurker anymore!

Happy Birthday! When I first read the title I thought there were going to peaches on the pie and was intrigued, after reading the recipe I realized I was mistaken. Now I'm thinking peaches would be delicious and I have TWO new pizza recipes to try, lol.

Happy birthday! My favorite cookbook is probably the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. It was one of my first cookbooks, and I keep coming back to it. I like that it has a lot of references in the back for yields on dried beans, how to cook all kinds of grains, and how big "one medium onion" is.

Happy birthday! My mom was visiting us from across the country during her birthday yesterday. For her birthday dinner we looked through all my cookbooks for inspiration, and then invented our own red lentil dish. For dessert: mandarin orange ice cream from "The Sweet Life" by Kate Zuckerman, and an orange marmalade layer cake from a recipe my mom found online. It was terrific.

What timing--I just made enough dough for seven pizzas for pizza night tonight! I had one left over in the freezer from the Daring Baker's challenge, I made another batch of that dough and then decided to try Emeril's recipe for a comparison. We will be swimming in yeasty dough. Yum.

Best birthday wishes, Lydia! There is always room for more cookbooks! I'm going to try the one rise pizza dough. Making pizza at home is one of my favorite meals to make and I love to try out new dough and sauce recipes.
Hmmmm....BBQ chicken pizza is sounding good!

Thanks Lydia for another recipe that I can add.
I love making stuff from scratch so when I make pizza dough again this will be one of the pizzas that I make.

PS
Happy Birthday Lydia - Oh! and peachy mamas are a type of pepper which I grow in my garden - Alas they grow next to the Jalapano's (in the same pot) so they have a kick and since I don't like hot spicy stuff I sorta just grow them because they are a really pretty plant, I tend to do that a lot. So the suggestion of the roasted red peppers is right on time and I think I'll love the color it will add

Happy belated birthday...love the name peachy mama...mmmmmmm! My fave cookbook these days is Peggy Porschens 'Pretty Party Cakes'! I could sit & read cookbooks all day long!!

Happy belated birthday, my dear and beautiful friend! I wish you many wonderful things and hope you had a great day, because you certainly deserve it! Oh, and I got married on Jan, 15, did you know that?? :D
I make a very quick pizza dough (Donna Hay's recipe) and now I need to use it for different things!

Like a lot of others, my favorite pizza is bbq chicken pizza. As far as birthdays go, my favorite birthday present ever was a mix tape an old boyfriend gave me when I turned 16.

Happy Birthday :) I love giving away old cookbooks to make room for new additions. We love pizza in our household and have it every Friday evening on a picnic blanket in our living room(special for our kids). So, I thoroughly enjoyed your post on pizza and can't wait to try the recipe.

Happy Birthday! Nice giveaway to readers!

When I lived in New Haven, my favorite pizza was mashed potato pizza. Happy birthday!

I started at 11 flipping pages from my mothers Betty Crocker cookbook! I love cookbooks!

Hope you had a wonderful birthday! This pizza sounds lovely, although I have not heard of peachy mamas - I'm guessing they are a variety of what we call capsicum here in Australia.

Happy birthday! As a new-ish cook I must say my favorite cookbook is the joy of cooking for all of those classic things that my mother should have taught me! I also enjoy "Jamie's dinners" and the Moosewood cookbook.

Hello again Lydia, and Happy Birthday! Mine is tomorrow :) I love having 'make your own pizza' parties with friends! I believe last time, my creation was caramelized onions, roasted red peppers and crystalized-ginger goat cheese, but the best pizza of the night was a chocolate-bacon dessert pizza! Oh

mmmm... pizza dough. it was one of our best discoveries about our neighborhood when we learned the local pizzeria would sell us a giant lump of dough for only a couple of dollars. our favorite combination so far was goat cheese, butternut squash, herbs, and greens with a drizzle of olive oil.

Happy Birthday! I love to make pizzas. I've tried several dough recipes but my favorite is one from smittenkitchen.com. It has white wine in it which adds just the right "something extra," I think. I'll have to try this pizza soon; it may be the only way I get my boyfriend to eat squash!

I love cookbooks. My favorite is The New Basics Cookbook.

Here's my comment to be entered in the contest! Found my way here through your shrimp and rice noodle salad. Looks delish!

Happy birthday! My favorite pizza is from a local Italian place [the owner is from Italy]. Extra cheese and black olives. I suspect they put Parmesan in the dough. It's scrumptious.

Happy Birthday Lydia! I like making pizza dough in my bread machine and topping it with roasted vegetables, jack cheese and parmesan.

Happy Belated Birthday. My favorite pizza is pastrami, roasted red peppers and vegetables.

happy b-day!
those peachy mama peppers sound divine. i love roasted peppers of any kind. my favorite kind of pizza is one that i have had at cambridge 1 (in harvard square) that i attempt to replicate at home-- serrano ham and manchego with chili oil. it is simple yet delicious.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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