These pizzas were originally part of a story on Turkish street food, and boy did they steal the show: We talked about them for months. With a crisp-tender crust and savory-tangy topping featuring deliciously salty kasseri cheese, they're simply divine. The recipe makes eight individual pizzas, enough for an interactive cooking party. The original recipe didnt meet our current sodium and calorie guidelines, so we adjusted a few ingredients. Great news: The pizzas are still show-stealers.
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 (28-ounce) can unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained
8 ounces kasseri cheese, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
To prepare dough, weigh or lightly spoon bread flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 75 ounces (about 1 cup) bread flour, sugar, yeast, and 1 cup warm water in a bowl; let stand 15 minutes.
Weigh or lightly spoon all-purpose flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 5 ounces (1 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour, remaining 75 ounces (about 1 cup) bread flour, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Add yeast mixture, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 teaspoon oil to flour mixture; stir well. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; divide dough into 8 equal portions. Cover and let rest 20 minutes.
To prepare topping, combine oregano, cumin, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; set aside. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic, bay leaf, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 15 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Working with 1 dough portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), roll each portion into a 6-inch circle on a lightly floured surface; place circle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portions.
Top each crust with 1/4 cup tomato mixture, 1 ounce cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon oregano mixture. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until crusts are lightly browned. Sprinkle with minced parsley.
I made this last night and it was very tasty! I added all spices to the tomato mixture while simmering because I don't care for raw spices. I couldn't find that particular cheese so I used sliced provolone as a substitute. Sprinkled the fresh parsley as directed at the end and we ate it all! Very good.
I must admit that I am a rookie at baking, and I did not take the instructions (100-110 degrees for warm water) seriously enough. I killed the yeast on the first try and my dough did not rise. On the second try (hours later) it came out perfect. I changed up the toppings, so I can't rate the whole recipe, but I gave this five stars because the dough was excellent and the seasoned tomatoes (without the cumin) were great. I loaded it up with toppings and it didn't get soggy or anything. It takes a long time but it was worth it.