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Cheese-Stuffed Bread Sticks Recipe

Ingredients

  • 16 oz part-skim mozzarella – Do not substitute whole milk cheese
  • 2 pounds pizza dough – or the equivalent dough needed for two pizzas, store bought or homemade
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • salt
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • Tomato sauce for dipping

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with a Silpat or parchment.
  2. Slice the mozzarella into skinny logs (roughly 1/4-inch width). Dust the work surface with flour and turn the dough out on top. Slice the ball in half so you’re working with one pound of dough at a time. Set the other half aside.
  3. Roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 8″ tall by 16″ wide and 1/4″ thick. If the dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for 10 minutes and then try rolling again.
  4. Slice the dough into strips 2″ wide by 8″ tall. Lay a line of mozzarella down the middle of each strip. Fold the strip over on the cheese and pinch it tightly to seal the cheese inside. Gently roll it a few times against the work surface to even it out. Repeat with remaining strips.
  5. Transfer the bread sticks to the baking sheet and let them rise for a half hour. While the first batch is rising, prepare the second batch with the remaining pound of pizza dough.
  6. When ready to bake, brush the bread sticks with olive oil and sprinkle them generously with garlic powder, oregano, salt, and lastly, parmesan cheese. Place the risen bread sticks into the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 350°. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until puffed and golden. Repeat with the second sheet of bread sticks.
  7. Let the bread sticks cool for five minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a serving dish. Serve warm with tomato sauce for dipping. Bread sticks are best eaten right away, but leftovers can be kept refrigerated for three days and re-warmed for 30 seconds in a microwave.

Best Pizza Dough Ever Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups (20.25 ounces) unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour, chilled
  • 1 3/4 (.44 ounce) teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon (.11 ounce) instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) olive oil (optional)
  • 1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) water, ice cold (40°F)
  • Semolina flour OR cornmeal for dusting

Directions

  1. Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). With a large metal spoon, stir in the oil and the cold water until the flour is all absorbed (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment), If you are mixing by hand, repeatedly dip one of your hands or the metal spoon into cold water and use it, much like a dough hook, to work the dough vigorously into a smooth mass while rotating the bowl in a circular motion with the other hand. Reverse the circular motion a few times to develop the gluten further. Do this for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are evenly distributed. If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet and doesn’t come off the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in some more flour just until it clears the sides. If it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50 to 55F.
  2. Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with baking parchment and misting the parchment with spray oil (or lightly oil the parchment). Using a metal dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you are comfortable shaping large pizzas), You can dip the scraper into the water between cuts to keep the dough from sticking to it, Sprinkle flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Lift each piece and gently round it into a ball. If the dough sticks to your hands, dip your hands into the flour again. Transfer the dough balls to the sheet pan, Mist the dough generously with spray oil and slip the pan into a food-grade plastic bag.
  3. Put the pan into the refrigerator overnight to rest the dough, or keep for up to 3 days. (Note: If you want to save some of the dough for future baking, you can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag. Dip each dough ball into a bowl that has a few tablespoons of oil in it, rolling the dough in the oil, and then put each ball into a separate bag. You can place the bags into the freezer for up to 3 months. Transfer them to the refrigerator the day before you plan to make pizza.)
  4. On the day you plan to make the pizza, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before making the pizza. Before letting the dough rest at room temperature for 2 hours, dust the counter with flour, and then mist the counter with spray oil. Place the dough balls on top of the floured counter and sprinkle them with flour; dust your hands with flour. Gently press the dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil, and cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag. Now let rest for 2 hours.
  5. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone either on the floor of the oven (for gas ovens), or on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven as hot as possible, up to 800F (most home ovens will go only to 500 to 550F, but some will go higher). If you do not have a baking stone, you can use the back of a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan.
  6. Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, in flour and lift I piece of dough by getting under it with a pastry scraper. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce. If it begins to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue shaping it. If you have trouble tossing the dough, or if the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 5 to 20 minutes so the gluten can relax, and try again. You can also resort to using a rolling pin, though this isn’t as effective.
  7. When the dough is stretched out to your satisfaction (about 9 to 12 inches in diameter for a 6-ounce piece of dough), lay it on the peel or pan, making sure there is enough semolina flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide. Lightly top it with sauce and then with your other toppings, remembering that the best pizzas are topped with a less-is-more philosophy. The American “kitchen sink” approach is counterproductive, as it makes the crust more difficult to bake. A few, usually no more than 3 or 4 toppings, including sauce and cheese is sufficient.
  8. Slide the topped pizza onto the stone (or bake directly on the sheet pan) and close the door. Wait 2 minutes, then take a peek. If it needs to be rotated 180 degrees for even baking, do so. The pizza should take about 5 to 8 minutes to bake. If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone to a lower self before the next round. if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone for subsequent bakes.
  9. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Wait 3 to 5 minutes before slicing and serving, to allow the cheese to set slightly.

Makes six 6-ounce pizza crusts.

Buffalo Chicken Calzones Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Buffalo sauce, preferably Frank’s Red Hot
Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 pound shredded rotisserie chicken (4 cups)

  • 1 pound pizza dough, halved

  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack (4 ounces)

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, 
for brushing

  • Flaky sea salt
  • Coarse black pepper

  • Blue cheese dressing and celery, for serving


Buffalo Chicken Calzones Recipe

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. In a saucepan, combine the buffalo sauce and butter and simmer over moderate heat until the butter is melted, 3 minutes. Transfer to 
a bowl and stir in the chicken.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 piece of dough 
to a 10-inch round. Transfer to one side of the baking sheet. Spoon half the chicken on one half of the dough round and top with half of the cheese. Fold the dough over the filling. Moisten the edge with water, then crimp to seal. Cut 3 slits in the top, then brush the calzone with olive oil and season with flaky salt and black pepper. Repeat to make one more calzone.

  3. Bake the calzones for about 20 minutes, until the crust is golden. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve with blue cheese dressing and celery.

Calzone Recipe

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1 each egg
  • grated parmesan cheese(optional)

Directions

  1. For calzones, unroll pizza dough. Roll or stretch dough into a 15×10″ rectangle. Cut into 6 5″ squares. Divide desired filling among squares.
  2. Brush edges with water. Lift one corner and stretch dough over to the opposite corner. Press edges of dough well w/fork to seal.
  3. Arrange on a greased baking sheet. Prick tops with a fork. Combine egg and 1t water. Brush onto calzones.
  4. Sprinkle w/Parmesan, if desired. Bake 425 for 8-10 mins. Let stand 5 mins. before serving.

Makes 6 calzones.

  1. Sausage-Mushroom Filling: In a skillet cook 12oz bulk pork sausage or Italian sausage until brown. Drain. Stir in 1/2C pizza sauce, one 4oz pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese (1C), and 1 2-oz can mushroom stems and pieces, drained. Ham-spinach filling: cook 1 10oz pkg frozen chopped spinach according to pkg dirs; drain well. In a bowl combine spinach, 1C finely chopped fully cooked ham (5oz), 1C shredded Swiss cheese (4oz), and 2T thinly sliced green onion.