My ultimate life goal is to have a brick pizza oven in my backyard. Right now I live in a tiny apartment with limited balcony space (my BBQ hardly fits!) but one day, when I have my own yard, I’m putting in a pizza oven. Once I have that, I’ll know I’ve truly made it.
I can picture it now: me in an airy summer dress and flip flops, sitting with friends in a grassy lawn in the last traces of sun, hovered around the pizza oven, the crackling fire, the smell of pizza dough, some wine in hand. Maybe some post-pizza s’mores. Take me there.
Pizza from a brick oven is so much better than pizza from a plain ol’ oven. Maybe it’s the resulting smokey flavour, or the perfectly crisp crust. Either way, it’s perfection.
I tend to make pizza a lot in the spring and summer months, since nothing spells out “perfect sunny day” quite like rolling out some dough and baking it with random toppings. Pizza is a great way to clear out your fridge, and anything you put on pizza is basically guaranteed to taste fabulous.
Until I get that brick oven, I’m stuck with my pizza stone. It works, and I still love my homemade pizza. I’ve experimented with different doughs in the past but I’ve nailed down my favourite recipe. I use it in all / my / pizzas / all / the time. Herbed and fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside, and not too fussy to prepare. Sure, it takes an hour or two to rise, but it’s worth it.
Pizza is so versatile. You can dress it up, call it flatbread and serve it with fois gras and a full-bodied red wine, or you can dress it down and make it with lunch meat, beer in hand, while watching reruns of trashy TV. Both are unique experiences, but somehow, pizza (or flatbread) just works.
This week’s pizza is a spicy Thai pizza, covered in a homemade peanut sauce, shredded chicken, grated carrots, fresh cilantro and lots of cheese. It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s flavourful.
I find some peanut sauce overpowering; it has a tendency to overwhelm other flavours so much so that you can’t actually taste anything other than peanut butter. To avoid that, I’ve mixed this peanut sauce with a bit of tomato sauce to thin it out, and it while it still has the classic taste, it’s not as… stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth. If that makes sense.
So while my pizza might be missing the authentic taste of my favourite italian pizzeria, it’s still a go-to recipe and a crowd pleaser.
I’ll just have to wait a bit longer for my brick oven.
|Spicy Thai Chicken Pizza|| |
- 1⅓ cups warm water
- 2¼ tsp instant yeast
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Peanut Sauce:
- ⅓ cup smooth peanut butter
- ¼ cup hot water
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ Tbsp chili garlic sauce (or Sriracha)
- ½ Tbsp Thai red curry paste
- ½ Tbsp coconut oil, room temp
- Spicy peanut sauce (recipe above)
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- To make dough: Preheat oven to 200°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine water and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until yeast has dissolved and mixture is frothy. Add in flour, italian seasoning, sugar, salt, and olive oil; knead on a low speed for 5-10 minutes until dough has formed. It should be elasticy and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl; cover with aluminum foil, and place bowl in the oven. TURN OVEN OFF. Let the dough rise in the warm oven for about 2 hours until it has doubled in size. Divide into two balls of dough, then use one for the remainder of this recipe. (Prepare another pizza with the second ball of dough, or store in the fridge for another night.)
- While dough is rising, make peanut sauce: whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- When you're ready to make the pizza, preheat oven to 450°F. Sprinkle some cornmeal on a baking sheet/pizza stone, then roll out the dough over top. You may need to add a bit of flour to the rolling pin to prevent the dough from sticking. Bake the dough in the oven for 5-8 minutes until dough is slightly cooked and puffy**.
- While dough is cooking, combine peanut sauce and tomato sauce in a small bowl. Toss the rotisserie chicken with ½ of the sauce; set aside.
- Remove dough from oven and spread the remaining sauce on top. Layer the pizza with chicken, cheese, and carrot, and bake for another 8-10 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with green onions and cilantro. Slice and serve.
**I prefer to bake the dough a bit before adding the toppings, but bake it all at once if you prefer! (Everyone seems to have their preference for making pizza!)