Tasso, Cheddar & Garlic Pizza
adapted from King Arthur Flour website (dough)
(makes 2-3 pizzas, depending on size)
2 cups lukewarm water (110-115 degrees)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
5-6 cups flour, enough to make a smooth, soft dough
Dissolve the sugar, yeast and salt in the warm water. Let sit for about 10 minutes; you should have some yeast action going on by now -- the mixture should be bubbling and foaming. If not, you're probably using the yeast that is too old and it needs be thrown out, or your water was either too hot or too cold (I use a kitchen thermometer to measure the temperature of the water. It takes the guesswork out of the mix). In that case, start over with fresh yeast.
Pour the water and yeast mixture into a bowl of a stand mixer (or any large bowl, if making the dough by hand). Add the flour, starting with about 5 cups. Using a dough hook, knead the dough on low speed and add enough flour until it's smooth and elastic. Knead for about 10 minutes. If you are doing this by hand, it's easier, though messier to mix with your hands. Same principle applies, though it will probably take a little longer.
Put the dough into a lightly greased large bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Let rise about for an hour on a counter. If you need it to sit longer, just put in the fridge.
15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
8 small basil leaves, torn or left whole, whatever you like
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato puree, if desired
Mix all ingredients together. Set aside. Before using, taste and adjust seasoning. I like a more garlicky sauce, so I usually end up with 3 cloves total, depending on the size and potency of the garlic.
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup olive oil mixed with 1 tablespoon granulated garlic or garlic infused olive oil
8 ounces Teet's Smoked Pure Pork Tasso, thinly sliced
If you have a pizza stone, place it on the lower rack of the oven preheated to 500F. Let sit for an hour.
Divide the dough in half, transfer one half onto a lightly floured counter and gently flatten the dough, starting from the center, with your fingertips, leaving the edges slightly thicker than the middle (refrigerate or freeze the remaining dough for future use). Stretch the dough until it's roughly 10"-12" in diameter. Let rest for 10 minutes, then brush with the garlic oil. Transfer the dough onto the preheated stone and quickly top with the pizza sauce, leaving about a 1/2-inch border. Add half of the shredded cheddar and mozzarella, then add the tasso. You may not need all of the tasso, just add enough so that you have a thin layer. Top with the remaining cheddar and mozzarella and bake until golden brown, about 10 -14 minutes. Remove the pizza from the stone onto a large cutting board, cut and enjoy.