A long time ago, I learned that a literal translation of ‘pizza’ from Italian to English is ‘pie’. I though, ‘Okay, so in Italy, there is no apple pie of the kind that is used for desserts. It would be interesting to see what would happen if cooked apple were put onto an Italian pizza!’ Of course, I knew that I would not use tomato sauce. I also knew that I would not use sugar and that I would use cheese. I decided that it would be fun to try a radically different type of apple pie.
As a first step, I would need to make a crust. I have heard advertisements from a number of pizza chains that say they make fresh dough daily. It sounds like a good idea. Meaning that pizza restaurant workers are not being lazy and are ready to create what sounds like a good product which is why they talk about making the dough every day. And since their customers would rather go to a restaurant or order pizza to be delivered, the customers would know nothing about how to make their own pizza dough.
Thankfully, I am not the typical pizza consumer.
Since I have made pizza more than a hundred times, I know that the best ones have crust that has had time for the flavors to develop. This can occur when the dough for the crust is mixed the day before, allowed to rise for a few hours, and put into the refrigerator overnight. Then it is used the next day. Or during the next two weeks, if you avoid using it for that long!
To make the crust, take a large bowl and put one and three quarters of a cup of hot tap water inside. Dissolve one teaspoon of yeast. Let it sit until it starts to bubble, ten to thirty minutes. Add one and a half cups of all-purpose flour and mix. Add two teaspoons of salt ad mix. Add two cups of all-purpose flour and mix. Next, add one fourth of a cup of olive oil and the final cup of all-purpose flour.
Place some flour on the counter or on a board and use this surface to kneed the dough for five to seven minutes. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with plastic. After two to four hours, punch the dough down, cover again and put it in the refrigerator until the next day. About an hour before you want to eat the pizza, remove the bowl from the refrigerator.
Divide the dough into six balls and individually wrap what you will not use in plastic. These balls can be put in a large plastic bag and put into the refrigerator.
Take a baking sheet and place parchment paper on top. Put the pizza dough ball in he center and start to stretch it out. If it does not want to remain stretched, it is not a problem. Just do you best and let the dough sit. It will relax and meanwhile, there are more things to do to make the pizza!
Take a granny smith apple and put it on a cutting board. Use a paring knife to cut the apple into half slices. Place one fourth of a cup of olive oil into a large skillet and add half of a teaspoon of cinnamon, one fourth of a teaspoon of ground ginger, and one eighth of a teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Turn the heat to medium and use a spatula to distribute the spices and season the oil.
Add the apples. Allow them to cook, turning them every few minutes, until they are soft and starting to turn golden. At this point, they should also smell fantastic. Turn off the heat and return to the pizza dough. Continue to pull the dough out to a larger round. You can also use a rolling pin. Eventually, the dough should be nine to twelve inches and should not retract when you remove your hands.
Bring the baking sheet over to the apples. Add them to the rolled out dough. It is fantastic to add some of the olive oil, too, if you can since it will have amazing flavor. Add some shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for seven minutes. At this point, the crust should be golden and the cheese bubbly. Enjoy your pizza.
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