Pizza e Pane (Pizza and Bread)

MOM’S PIZZA DOUGH AND SPECIALTY PIZZAS

We have always enjoyed homemade pizza. To this day, when we visit my parents, we can expect to enjoy a delicious variety of pizza for lunch. Some of my mom’s favorite toppings are listed below, but you can experiment and get creative with your favorite ingredients.

Ingredients:
Pizza Dough:
1 Pkg. Yeast
1 1/3 Cups Warm Water
2 Cups Bread Flour
2 Cups All Purpose Flour

Various Toppings:
• Fresh Tomato Sauce with Mozzarella and Basil
• Marinara Sauce with Cooked Sausage and Peppers
• Marinara Sauce with Sauteed Mushrooms
• Ricotta and Shredded Mozzarella
• Ricotta and Sauteed Spinach

Directions:
Soften 1 package of yeast in 1 1/3 cups of warm water. Add 2 cups bread flour & 2 cups all-purpose flour. Knead until well blended. Cover & let rise in a dark place for 2 hours. (One recipe makes 4 round pizzas). Oil pizza pan before spreading dough. Add favorite toppings and top off with parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with oregano & garlic powder. Bake in convection oven at 425 degrees for 9 minutes or in a regular oven until golden brown (approx. 12-15 minutes).

pizza

STROMBOLI (see Blog for detailed instructions)

This stromboli recipe is very easy to make, and any combination of ingredients can be substituted, based on your preference. The pepperoni & cheese stromboli is usually the crowd favorite. I like to make this before people arrive because the aroma in the house is wonderful when they walk through the door. This recipe is best when served warm from the oven, with a side of marinara sauce.

Ingredients – Pepperoni & Cheese Stromboli:
Pizza Dough (See recipe, or purchase store-bought dough)
3 Cups Pepperoni Slices
3 Cups Mozzarella, Shredded
3 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
1 Egg, Beaten
Salt or Sesame Seeds (Optional)

Directions:
Divide the pizza dough into two pieces. On a well floured surface, roll out each piece of dough and top generously with pepperoni slices, shredded mozzarella, oregano, and parmesan cheese. Fold the long sides of the dough to the middle (so each side overlaps and creates a seam), and fold the ends in to cover the filling. Place on a greased baking sheet (seam side down). Cut several slits in the dough to create steam vents. Brush with egg wash. You can salt and/or put sesame seeds on top of loaf. Bake until golden brown in a 350 degree oven for approx. 20 minutes.
Variations:
Other filling mixtures can be used. Sliced ham and shredded cheddar cheese is a delicious combination. Cooked and crumbled sausage with shredded provolone is also very good. Be careful to avoid fillings with excess moisture (like onions and peppers) because they will soften the exterior of the stromboli when cooked.

stromboli

MOM’S PARMESAN ROLLS

These parmesan rolls are soft, buttery and delicious. We have enjoyed them for years at many holiday gatherings, especially Thanksgiving. You will love the smell in the house while they are baking!

Ingredients:
1 Package Yeast
¼ Cup Warm Water
1 Cup Butter
4 ½ – 5 Cups Flour
2 Eggs, Beaten
1 Cup Lukewarm Milk
¼ Cup Sugar
1 Tsp. Salt
Topping:
Melted Butter
Parmesan Cheese

Directions:
Soften 1 package of yeast in ¼ cup warm water. In a separate bowl, cut in 1 cup of butter into 3 cups of flour. Add 2 slightly beaten eggs, 1 cup of lukewarm milk, ¼ cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt & the softened yeast/water mixture. Gradually add 1-1/2 to 2 cups flour to make a stiff dough. Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours. Divide dough in 5 parts. Roll each part into a circle on a well floured surface. Cut circle into 8 equal triangular pieces. Roll each triangle into a crescent shape. Brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter and parmesan cheese. Let rise 1 additional hour. Bake at 350 degrees until brown.

rolls

PROSCIUTTO BREAD

We used to purchase prosciutto bread at the local pork stores in New York. This recipe closely simulates the delicious flavors from my memory. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Pizza Dough (See recipe or purchase store-bought dough)
1 Cup Prosciutto, Diced Small
1 Cup Provolone, Diced Small
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
2 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. Distribute the prosciutto, provolone, parmesan cheese and oregano over the dough. Fold the long sides of the dough over, jelly-roll style, and fold the ends in to cover the filling. Place on a greased baking sheet (seam side down). Cover and let sit for approx. 1 hour, which will allow the bread dough to rise. Cut several slits in the dough to create steam vents. Brush the surface with olive oil and bake until golden brown in a 400 degree oven for approx. 30 minutes. Serve warm.

bread

PIZZAGEN

This cold cut pie is an Italian American treat that has always been a part of our holiday buffet. Originally prepared for Easter, we now enjoy this pie during most holidays. The sweetness of the crust, paired with the saltiness of the cold cuts and egg mixture really makes a savory pie. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Filling:
1 lb. Sliced Ham
1 lb. Sliced Salami
1 lb. Sliced Provolone
12 eggs, Beaten
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp. Black Pepper
Dough:
Use Cassadele Dough (see dessert section for recipe).

Directions:
Roll out cassadele dough for bottom crust and place in a greased pie dish. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, parmesan cheese and black pepper. Coat the bottom crust with about 1/4th of the beaten egg mixture. Layer sliced ham, provolone cheese and Genoa salami & top with beaten egg. Repeat layers to top of pie dish and complete with beaten egg mixture. Place top crust on and flute edges. Cut several slits in the top crust to allow steam to vent while baking. Brush with beaten egg. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, or until golden brown.

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PIZZA RUSTICA (see Blog for detailed instructions)

There are many variations of this traditional Easter dish. This version includes ricotta, meat and cheese. I serve this dish on my Easter and Christmas holiday buffets. It’s very hearty and is delicious served with warm marinara sauce on the side.

Ingredients:
Pie Dough (Pre-Made Pillsbury Rolled Dough, 2 Shells)
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 lb. Italian Sausage
½ lb. Ham, Diced
1 lb. Ricotta Cheese
12 oz. Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
3 Eggs
2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, Chopped
½ Tsp. Salt & ½ Tsp. Black Pepper

Directions:
Roll out the first pie dough shell in the bottom of a well greased, round pie pan. In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil, remove the Italian sausage from the casing, and brown the sausage over medium heat for approx. 10 minutes. Remove the sausage from the sauté pan, and crumble. In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients, and add the cooked sausage to the mixture. Fill the pie shell with the ricotta mixture. Top with the second pie shell, and flute edges. Cut slits in the top of the pie shell to vent steam during cooking, and brush with a beaten egg. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for approx. 50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Let pie sit for approx. 10 minutes to set filling before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

P RUSTICA

GRILLED CHICKEN PESTO PANINI

I recently had lunch at a restaurant called Pazzo’s in Red Bank, NJ and thoroughly enjoyed a grilled chicken pesto panini. This recipe is my version of that sandwich. It is extremely flavorful, and makes a wonderful meal paired with a side salad or homemade pasta salad. Feel free to modify the ingredients based upon the flavor combinations you enjoy the most.

Ingredients:
2 Chicken Breasts, Pounded Thin
½ Tsp. Salt & ½ Tsp. Black Pepper
¼ Cup Pesto Sauce, Prepared
4 Slices Sliced Semolina Sandwich Bread (Large Slices)
2 Slices Provolone Cheese
¼ Cup Roasted Peppers, Sliced
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:
Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken breasts (pounded thin). Place the chicken breasts on a preheated and greased grill pan. Grill for approximately 1-2 minutes per side, until grill marks are evident and chicken is cooked through. Meanwhile, spread one tablespoon of pesto onto one side of each bread slice. Place each grilled chicken breast on top of one pesto layered bread slice. Top with the roasted peppers and a slice of provolone cheese. Finish with the remaining bread slice, pesto side down. Brush the outer sides of each sandwich with the extra virgin olive oil. Heat a panini press and grill the sandwiches until browned on both sides (approx. 3 minutes). A grill pan can also be used if you do not own a panini press. Heat the grill pan over medium heat. Place the sandwich on the grill and weight with a press or heavy plate while cooking. Grill the sandwiches until browned on one side, then turn and grill the other side, approximately 2 minutes per side. Serve warm.

DSC03250

MOZZARELLA, TOMATO & BASIL PANINI

We enjoyed the most delicious panini sandwiches on the streets in Rome and Florence, Italy. Some of the best sandwiches were the simplest – grilled bread with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. The key to making this panini exquisite is using the freshest ingredients possible. This version is Jessica & Nicholas’ favorite.

Ingredients:
4 Slices Sliced Semolina Sandwich Bread (Large Slices)
8 oz. Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced
3 Roma Tomatoes, Sliced
Fresh Basil
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Prosciutto, Sliced (Optional)
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:
Place the sliced fresh mozzarella on top of all four slices of bread. Place the sliced tomatoes and basil on top of half of the bread slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If desired, layer with the sliced prosciutto. Finish with the remaining bread slice, mozzarella side down. Brush the outer sides of each sandwich with the extra virgin olive oil. Heat a panini press and grill the sandwiches until browned on both sides (approx. 3 minutes). A grill pan can also be used if you do not own a panini press. Heat the grill pan over medium heat. Place the sandwich on the grill and weight with a press or heavy plate while cooking. Grill the sandwiches until browned on one side, then turn and grill the other side, approximately 2 minutes per side. Serve warm.

DSC03254

EASY FOCACCIA (see Blog for detailed instructions)

This recipe is incredibly easy to make (using premade pizza dough), and delicious. It can be used as the basis for Sicilian Focaccia (like Sicilian Pizza), or as the bread for a delicious Focaccia Sandwich.

Ingredients:
2 Recipes Pizza Dough (either homemade or premade)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Dried Italian Seasoning

Directions:
Spray a large 12” round pan (2” deep) with nonstick cooking spray. Place two recipes of pizza dough in the pan. Let the dough rise for about ½ hour, then push the dough down to cover the bottom of the pan. Press the dough down with your fingers so the dough becomes dimpled. Let the dough rise for approx. 1 hour and press again.
When ready, sprinkle extra virgin olive oil on top of the risen dough. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and dried Italian herbs to cover the top. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for approx. 30-40 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Remove from the pan and place on a dry surface to ensure that the moisture on the bottom of the focaccia is absorbed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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SICILIAN FOCACCIA (see Blog for detailed instructions)

This recipe reminds me of the Sicilian pizza we have enjoyed for years. This is quick and easy to make, using premade pizza dough. Feel free to substitute your favorite cheese for the provolone, if desired.

Ingredients:
2 Recipes Pizza Dough (either homemade or premade)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt, Dried Italian Seasoning
1 ½ Cups Mild Provolone, Shredded
2 Cups Crushed Tomatoes

Directions:
Spray a large 12” round pan (2” deep) with nonstick cooking spray. Place two recipes of pizza dough in the pan. Let the dough rise for about ½ hour, then push the dough down to cover the bottom of the pan. Press the dough down with your fingers so the dough becomes dimpled. Let the dough rise for approx. 1 hour and press again. When ready, sprinkle extra virgin olive oil on top of the risen dough. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and dried Italian herbs to cover the top. Spread approx. 1 cup of crushed tomatoes on top of the dough. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven, and cook for approx. 30-40 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown. After removing from the oven, top with the shredded provolone and dollop with additional crushed tomatoes. Return to the 350 degree oven and bake for approx. 15 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Remove from the pan and place on a dry surface to ensure that any moisture on the bottom of the focaccia is absorbed.

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FOCACCIA SANDWICH (see Blog for detailed instructions)

This recipe uses the basic focaccia recipe as the bread for the sandwich. Although this recipe calls for an oven baking method, it is equally delicious using a panini press to melt the fresh mozzarella and provolone. Feel free to substitute your favorite ingredients for the sandwich filling.

Ingredients:
Cooked Focaccia Bread (see recipe)
Fresh Mozzarella, Prosciutto, Soppressata, Provolone, Roasted Peppers

Directions:
Using the cooked focaccia, slice in half, horizontally. Place the sandwich on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Layer the bottom half of the focaccia with fresh mozzarella and sliced thin prosciutto. Continue to layer with sliced soppressata and sliced provolone. Cover with the top half of the focaccia. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for approx. 20 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and slice. Serve with roasted peppers or sliced tomatoes, if desired.

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