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black and white

Here we have another recipe installment for the 1931-themed upcoming birthday celebration for my dad…

Although the television was already invented by 1931, regular commercial network television programming did not begin in the U.S. until 1948.  And it was many more years until it was commonplace for families to own a black and white television.  So it is not so much the television, but black and white photos that these pizzettas are meant to represent from the year 1931.

Black & White Pizzettas

1 tablespoon or 1 package active dry yeast
2 cups flour, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

White Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and very finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
Cornmeal for dusting peel

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cooked and shredded chicken breast meat
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained well
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Dough: In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine 1/4 cup of lukewarm water, the yeast, and 1/4 cup of 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.  Place a baking stone on the middle shelf of the oven and preheat on the highest setting for at least 1 hour.

White Sauce: In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 or 6 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute longer. Add the cream, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the cream thickens and reduces slightly.  Remove from the heat, stir in the thyme, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool completely before using.

Portion the dough into golf ball-size rounds. Using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten the dough balls until they are 1/4-inch thick and slightly thicker toward the edges. Transfer the dough rounds to a peel or an inverted sheet pan that has been dusted with cornmeal.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise slightly while you get the toppings ready.

Topping: In a bowl, stir together the ricotta, salt, thyme, and pepper.

Spread the white sauce over the surface of the dough, leaving a slight border uncovered.  Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the sauce. Top with shredded chicken, mozzarella, and black beans.

Carefully slide the pizza from the peel onto the baking stone.  Bake for about 12 minutes. When it is done, the crust should be crisp and slightly charred on the edge and the cheese should be bubbling and just beginning to caramelize. The underside of the crust should be brown and crisp.  Remove with peel and let cool for about 2 minutes before serving.

Makes about a dozen

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1 comment

1 sloane { 03.20.11 at 1:48 PM }

These are yummy!

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