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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!

Chocolate-Hazelnut Pizza

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


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6 comments

1 barbara fenzl { 06.23.10 at 2:55 PM }

Dear Linda,
Thanks so much for sharing Cheryl’s blog. It was terrific, and I couldn’t agree with her more. It’s why I never understood why anyone would want to be a food critic – it takes the fun out of dining!

Love,
Barbara

2 Linda Hopkins { 06.23.10 at 4:21 PM }

Well, there are the “paid for” meals 🙂 Barb, it totally makes my day to know that you read my blog! Can’t wait to spend quantity and quality time together with you and Kim in a few weeks and to hear all about your stint at Rancho La Puerta! xoxoox

3 Ronnie Jaap { 06.24.10 at 8:26 AM }

First of all, the PIZZA — It’s INSANE and has all my favorite things. Can’t wait to make it! Secondly, thanks for sharing Cheryl’s blog. Can never have enough reminders to live in the moment!

4 Linda Hopkins { 06.24.10 at 9:35 AM }

Thanks Ronnie, looking forward to having Bren in class next week! xoxo

5 Ronnie Jaap { 06.27.10 at 9:32 AM }

Brendan says “Cool”. We enjoyed Jamacian Jerk burgers, ala Linda Les Petites Gourmettes recipes on Friday night. Tyler leaves for CA, college and new adventures with copies of all of your cooking school recipes in hand.

6 triple cheese pizza — Les Petites Gourmettes { 07.10.10 at 10:31 AM }

[…] pound frozen, homemade, or purchaed fresh pizza […]

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