Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bacon Macaroni and Cheese Pizza

Pizza Dough:

(Please make it yourself! In the long run it's a lot cheaper and it tastes SO much better. Besides, it only takes an hour, and only 6 minutes of  that involves you doing something).

1-1/2 cups very warm water (not hot, not warm...about 110 degrees) 
1 tsp. sugar
1 package dry active yeast (*not quick rise*)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. salt
4 cups of  flour

Dissolve the sugar in the hot water, and then stir in your package of yeast (it should look like the picture on the top left). Leave it alone for about 10 minutes, until the yeast starts to froth up (like the top right picture). If it doesn't froth, your yeast was bad so dump it out and start over!

Next, stir in your olive oil. In a separate, large and wide-mouthed bowl (so it's easy to knead) or your  stand mixer, add in 4 cups of flour and your salt. Stir to combine. Create a well in the center of the flour and pour in your yeast mixture--make sure you scrape out all of the yeast!

By hand:
Using your hands, carefully begin incorporating the flour around the rim of  the bowl into the yeast mixture. Once you have formed a doughy mixture, begin to knead it together. Add in up to another 1/4 cup of  flour if it gets too sticky to handle. Knead for approximately 6-10 minutes, until it forms a nice, soft, elastic dough that no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl or to your fingers.

With a stand mixer:
With the dough hook attachment on low speed, pour in your yeast mixture. When it is combined, turn up the speed to medium and let it go for about 3 minutes, until the dough has an elastic texture.

Form the dough into a ball with your hands, and rub it with a little olive oil to keep it moist. Place it in a clean bowl, cover with a cotton towel, and let it sit for an hour. It should about double in size and when you press it with your thumb, there should be an indent.

At this point you can either store it in a covered container, large zip-lock bag, or even cling wrap (just make sure its not too tight because the dough will expand again in the fridge), or you can go ahead and use it for your pizza!

Big M.A.C. Pizza (makes one 14 inch pizza):

1/2 pizza dough recipe
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh thyme 
parmesan cheese

1 1/2 tbsp. Butter
1 1/2 tbsp. Flour
1/4 tsp. mustard powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
 8 oz. cheddar cheese (used a blend of shredded Colby, Jack, and cheddar--you could also use sharp cheddar but then omit the salt)
8 oz. ribbed macaroni pasta (yes, get out your measuring scale and measure!!)

6 slices of bacon, cooked until crispy, cooled and crumbled to bits
1/2 a tomato, diced and patted dry with a paper towel

Preheat your oven to 450F. Grease a pizza pan/upside down cookie sheet and set aside (or if you own one, put your pizza stone in the oven to preheat). Pull off half of your pizza dough and shape it into a small circle. Using your rolling pin interchangeably with  your hands, stretch out the dough into a (approximately) 14 inch circle. Try to make it as even as possible. It will stretch out to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch in thickness. Place on your pizza pan (or dust a wooden pizza turner with some corn starch and place your dough on that).

Next, mix together your olive oil, garlic, basil, and salt. Using a brush, spread the mixture over the entire crust. Sprinkle on some fresh thyme sprigs, and grate a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese over the whole surface. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the top is bubbling and starting to turn a pale golden color. Take it out of the oven, and set it aside.

Meanwhile, start working on your Mac and Cheese!! Set your water to boil for the 8 ounces of pasta. Cook until it's just al-dente--NOT MUSHY!!!--and strain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

Place a medium-sized pot over medium heat. When it's hot, add in your butter. When it's entirely melted, add in your flour and whisk until  combined. Cook over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes, until it starts to turn golden and smells good. Add in your mustard powder, onion powder, pepper (and salt if you aren't using sharp cheddar). Whisk in the milk, and keep whisking over medium-high heat until the milk starts to bubble. Bring the heat back down to medium and keep on whisking until the liquid starts getting a little thicker (Hint: it will adhere to the spoon and the sides of the pan). Add in your 8 ounces of shredded cheese. Take the pan off of the heat and stir until all of the cheese is melted. Taste. If it doesn't taste cheesy enough add some more salt.

Stir  the pasta into your sauce when its all thick and creamy. Then, spread your Mac and Cheese over the  precooked pizza crust. Leave a 1 inch border free. Finally, sprinkle over your bacon bits and diced tomato. Finish it with a final grating of Parmesan cheese over the top. Set it back in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until bubbly and brown...but not too brown because you don't want your pasta to get crunchy!

VOILA!!!! Oh, and I paired mine with a salad....just to make us feel better about the carbs :P

No comments:

Post a Comment