Friday, October 6

Grape and Gorgonzola Pizza

About a month ago I was in the check out line at Gelson (just for a few of those hard to find ingrediants that seem to never be carried at any other grocery story) when I noticed in the rack beside me the most beautiful magazine I'd ever seen. Seriously, it was far more interesting even than the Tabloids above it. Gormet Magazine, the cover informed me and I immediately reached for it a bought it, as I often do in times of finding things of great beauty for under $5 (that could be a lie, I don't actually remember how much it cost.

So the brilliant thing about this particular issue was that they picked the greatest ingrediants of all time and had a series of recipes for each one. The ingrediants were things like Pomegranates, Duck, Mushrooms, and as in the case of this recipe, Grapes.

Lately I've been on a deconstruction kick where once a magazine arrives via mail or grocery bag I immediately flip through it and then take out scissors and disassemble it into categories. I have all these files now. One is recipes to try. When the recipe is successful it goes into my "Tried and True recipe box" which Bryan thinks I should rename "Fried and blue" but I digress.

This particular recipe caught my eye and since I've been on a now-successful bread making kick, I thought Pizza was the next obvious step. I freely admit that I am lacking pictures of the final result, which was not only pretty but extremely delicious, becuase the recipe calls for wine. I partook in the wine myself and misplaced my camera in the process. Not to worry, it didn't cat baked, I found it this morning in my purse.

So here's the recipe. It calls for Vin Santo, which I wiki'd and discovered is an Italian dessert wine. It is seemingly impossible to find Vin Santo at any of my regular haunts so I substituted a symphony white wine that I know to be very sweet.

Grape and Gorgonzola Pizza


For the Dough
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour mixed with 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cups warm water (105-115F)
1 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp olive oil

For the Topping
1/3 cup Vin Santo (or sweet white wine)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cup seedless red or black grapes, halved lengthwise
5 oz Fontina cheese, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 oz Gorgonzola dolce or creamy, crumbled
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

Pizza stone and parchment paper are ideal!

Make Dough: Stir together yeast, 1 Tbsp flour and 1/4 cup warm water and let stand until mixture appears creamy on surface, 5 min. (If mixture isn't creamy get new yeast)
Whisk salt into 1 1/4 cups flour in a large bowl, then add yeast mixture, oil and remaining 1/2 cup warm water. Stir in enough flour (1/4 to 1/2 cup) for dough to begin to peel away from side of bowl. (this dough may be stickier than others you're used to - says the recipe, like we all spend a lot of time trying different pizza dough recipes - please)

The dough also rises

Knead dough on a floured work surface with floured hands, adding flour as necceassary but as little as possible, until dough is smooth, about 8 - 10 minutes. Form dough into a tight ball and dust with flour. GENEROUSLY dust the inside of a bowl with flour, place dough in bowl, cover with a damp towell and let rise in a draft free place until doubled in bulk about 1 1/2 hours.

Shape Dough and Make Topping: At least 45 minutes before baking pizza, put pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500F.
Don't punch down dough, instead gently dredge it in a bowl of flour to coat, then transfer to a parchment-lined pizza peel. Lightly flour parchment. Pat out dough to form a 13-inch round, working it as little as possible. This is a lot harder than it sounds, but from my experience a little over-handling and punching down doesn't really hurt it.
Bring Vin Santo or wine to a boil, add sugar, dissolve and reduce to 1 Tbsp. Add grapes to cover and cook for 1 minute. Transfer grapes to a bowl, add cheeses and pepper; stir to combine.

Grapes, so many grapes!

Assemble Pizza: Arrange topping on dough leaving 1-inch border.
Slide Pizza on parchment onto pizza stone. Bake pizza until dough is crisp and browned and cheese is golden and bubling in spots 14-16min. Using peel, transfer to a cutting board. Cool 5 minutes, remove parchment and slice. It's important to wait the 5 minutes, otherwise pizza will seem to shloopy. It will firm and be perfect.

That's it. Surprisingly easy for a gourmet recipe. The trick with the parchment is that it keeps you from making a big corn meal mess on the pizza stone. The other trick is to trim the parchment to just an inch around the pizza. I didn't and it burned on the sides of the oven, filling the house with smoke. Otherwise it was a fairly disaster-free culinary adventure.

When I told Bryan and Kevin that I was making Grape and Gorgonzola pizza for dinner they both looked at me extremely skeptically - but then Kevin asked for the recipe when he left. So I guess it's fair to say this is Bryan and Kevin approved.

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