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Before you raise your eyebrow or roll your eyes, let me ‘splain about this pizza…pizza is often considered the bastion of the professional restaurant, but like many recipes, comes from very humble beginnings. They are a great way to make good use of a bit of this or a smidge of that, just like I’m sure the original cooks did way back when.

Barbeque Pizza - this one with Pepperjack & Cheddar

Barbeque Pizza – this one with Pepperjack & Cheddar

We love pizza a zillion different ways, but this pizza seems to lend itself particularly to left overs -

Here are two different ideas of how to use your leftover Thanksgiving turkey in a pizza:  BBQ Turkey Pizza and a Turkey Artichoke Pizza.  Either, of course, could be made with chicken, as well, and the BBQ with pulled pork.

The crust is courtesy of Tyler Florence from Food Network.  His crust, and method of cooking it, put an end to my years of searching and experimenting, lining up the oven with bricks, lugging out pizza stones, etc.  Now I use my old jelly roll pan, blackened from years of use, and I donated that heavy old pizza stone.  (Just a note – I bought it back the next day -  I remembered I use it for other things!)  This dough is very easy to work with – use a larger pan, like a 1/4 sheet pan for a thinner crust, a smaller pan for thicker.  I stretch it out on my counter while the pan is preheating.

I still try other doughs and methods when the mood hits, but this recipe has become a work horse in my kitchen.  It takes about an hour and 20 minutes or so for the dough, including the rising and another 15 to 18 minutes to bake.  Tyler’s recipe makes two doughs – I usually freeze one, but you could easily 1/2 the recipe.

Barbeque Turkey Pizza – a sprinkle of cilantro brightens up the flavors – try this with chicken or pulled pork.

Recipe:  BBQ Turkey Pizza:

  • 1/2 recipe Pizza dough (below)
  • 3/4 cup of leftover turkey, shredded, more or less as you like
  • 1/4 cup or so of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly or 2 cups shredded

Prepare your dough, preheat pan as directed, place dough in pan.  Mix your turkey with the BBQ sauce.  Spread the mozzarella over the dough.  Sprinkle the red onion across the pizza.  Sprinkle the turkey over the pizza and bake 15 to 18 minutes.

You could use regular shredded mozzarella, and this is a great recipe to use a little cheddar or pepper jack in.  Maybe you have some leftover cheese from a Thanksgiving cheese platter?  Layer it on…Maybe you have a little salad left over?  Some special lettuce or some parsley or cilantro?  Finely chop and sprinkle over the finished pizza.

Recipe:  Turkey Artichoke Pizza

  • 1/2 recipe Pizza Dough (below)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained (save that juice in a Ziploc for meatloaf, soup, stew, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup leftover turkey, cubed, more or less as you like
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained thoroughly, chopped
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella (8 ounces)

Scatter tomatoes over the pizza dough.  Add toppings.  Bake.  Sprinkle with a little basil and oregano if you’d like before baking, or thinly slice fresh basil and scatter if over the pizza when it comes out of the oven.

You could dollop this pizza before baking with ricotta cheese, and red onions and crispy bacon pieces are wonderful with this.

Tyler Florence Pizza Dough - bottom view

Tyler Florence Pizza Dough – bottom view

Recipe:  Tyler Florence’s Pizza Dough, makes two hearty crusts

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups water, lukewarm – 100 to 110 degrees
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for bowl

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and water and stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, 5 to 10 minutes

If you’re using a stand mixer, combine the salt and flour to the bowl and pulse a few times to mix. Add the yeast mixture, at the lowest speed, until the flour incorporates. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough gathers into a ball. This should take about 2 minutes. Add the olive oil and pulse a few more times. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Get a feel for the dough as you’re making it by squeezing a small amount together between your thumb and fingers. If it’s crumbly, add more water, if it’s sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times, kneading until it’s smooth and elastic.

If you’re making the dough by hand, add the yeast mixture to a large bowl and stir in the salt and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then begin stirring in the flour. When the mixture becomes too stiff to stir with a spoon, knead in the rest of the flour by hand, adding just enough so that the dough is soft but not too sticky. As you work, squeeze a small amount of dough together between your thumb and fingers. If it’s crumbly, add more water; if it’s sticky add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Form the dough into a round and put it into a lightly oiled bowl, turning it over to coat the dough entirely with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot (i.e., over a gas pilot light) until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Put a jelly roll pan or a half sheet pan in the oven.

Take the preheated pan out of the oven and drizzle some olive oil over the entire surface. Cut the dough into 2 pieces and reserve 1 piece for another use. Stretch the pizza dough out so it is just bigger than the pan, then lay it inside the pan, so the dough comes up the sides to form a crust on the rim.

Add your favorite toppings, bake in the hot oven until golden and bubbly, about 15 to 18 minutes.

As mentioned above, I usually freeze one of the crusts.  When I’m ready to use, I’ll take it out and put it in the fridge the night before.  Sometimes I’ll make the crust ahead and put it in a Ziploc in the fridge for the next day.  Dinner’s a snap to throw together, then, and the crust tastes even better.

Freeze Dough, Thaw Overnight in the Fridge

Freeze Dough, Thaw Overnight in the Fridge

Sausage, Sauerkraut & Bacon Pizza with Swiss and Ricotta

Sausage, Sauerkraut & Bacon Pizza with Swiss and Ricotta

 

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