two rights – make an “excellent”
Right # 1 – Pizza! It is one of the most popular foods for a huge majority of Americans. Why? Because it is packed with flavor; you’ve got the great bread, with melted gooey goodness, and tasty toppings. It can be eaten in hand and is the perfect food to share. It is fabulous eaten hot or cold.
Right #2 – Chocolate! Another all time favorite of people world-wide. Why? For starters, chocolate melts at about 98 degrees and not so coincidentally, our body temperature is about 98 degrees. The soothing quality achieved by merely placing a piece of chocolate in your mouth and just having it melt away is simply luxurious and luscious. Plus chocolate is known to be a mild mood elevator, stimulating brainwaves and pushing your stress levels down. When your stress levels lower, you become more relaxed which in turn is beneficial to your health. Chocolate also raises antioxidant levels in the blood, which in turn help fight any foreign bodies that can cause illnesses. And of course there is the benefit your taste buds feel when consuming chocolate-which keeps you in touch with that happy little child within.
Excellent overall – combining Pizza and Chocolate! Sounds like the perfect food to me! You’ve got the great bread, the gooey melted chocolate, which not so coincidentally are also the tasty toppings. You eat it out of hand either hot or cold, and you’ll want to share so your friends can ooh and aah along with you!
But…. before we get to the recipe of the day, I have to once again share a post from one of my favorite bloggers (heck one of my favorite writers) out there. Cheryl Sternman Rule of “5 Second Rule” has such talent, humor, humanity, and style that I just can’t help but share. Sure, she’s on my Blogroll (in fact, right near the top) but you really must read her post from yesterday, please click this LINK, and thank me later.
You have a few options for the pizza crust. Frozen, purchased fresh and homemade. If making your own, you’ll find my favorite dough recipe at the bottom. Use it as is or feel free to stir in 3 tablespoons Nutella when adding the milk and olive oil, for a sweeter and chocolate-looking dough. Personally, I prefer the less sweet original crust and also the contrast of color provided by the golden crust. Also, feel free to mix it up and use butterscotch chips, or mint chocolate chips, or whatever sort of chips or chopped flavored chocolate floats your boat!
1 pound pizza dough; homemade, frozen, or purchased fresh
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), melted
1/2 cup Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread)
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
3 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line large pizza pan or baking sheet with foil.
Roll or press out the dough on lightly floured surface into an 14-inch round. Transfer dough to prepared pan.
Make indentations all over dough with fingertips. Brush melted butter over. Bake until pale golden, about 18 minutes.
Smooth the Nutella over hot crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border uncovered. Sprinkle all three types of chocolate chips over top of Nutella.
Return to oven and bake until chocolate begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chopped hazelnuts over, slice into 12 wedges, and serve.
Serves 10 to 12
Basic Pizza Dough
1 tablespoon or 1 package active dry yeast
2 cups flour, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine 1/4 cup lukewarm water, the yeast, and 1/4 cup of the flour. Let stand for 20 minutes, this is called the sponge.
Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup lukewarm water, the olive oil, milk and salt and mix thoroughly. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, elastic, and a little bit tacky to the touch, about 8 minutes.
Place the dough in a very lightly oiled bowl and turn the dough over to cover with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Makes about 1 pound pizza dough