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to my delight

Recipe: the woodward pizza

There’s something to be said for sharing a good meal with good people. Aran was in town this past week to teach at The Makerie in Boulder, so Jeremy and I met up with her at The Kitchen for a lovely evening. We shared a family-style dinner that was almost as excellent as the conversation, the company, and the laughter. Despite traveling and meeting people all day, after 20+ hours, Aran was delightful and genuinely sincere as always. Jeremy said it best, “Aran is good people.”

filet on spinach with bernaise

aran was happy to be back in colorado

So did anyone stay up to catch the Lyrids meteor shower over the weekend? I’m going to guess the majority of you did not. That’s okay, because I did and there are pictures to prove it! The best one I was able to capture was at 2 am while I stood in my neighbor’s driveway (they said I could). It was brilliant and lasted several seconds.

that’s my house in silhouette

We used to have to drive 4.5 hours to get to a decent dark sky site when we lived in California. Now? Less than 30 seconds of walking and I’m there (on my deck or in my neighbor’s driveway). You know what else we used to do? We used to order pizza when we didn’t have the time to make our own dough. Things have changed.

with the help of this book

I received Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day from St. Martin’s Press back in October. It was written by Jeff Hertzberg and my friend, Zoë François. Yes, I realize it is now April, but I didn’t want to write about my experience with the book until I could do it properly. We have made a lot of ghetto pizza at home in the past, but I finally went out and procured a pizza stone and pizza peel. And because a 550°F oven in warm weather makes me cranky, we also have a proper grill (one that doesn’t simultaneously undercook and scorch the same piece of food). Huzzah!

you will need: flour, water, salt, yeast, and olive oil

the water should be 100°F

add the yeast and salt

After learning about all of the equipment involved in pizza-making, I started with the olive oil dough variation on their master recipe. There are many other recipes in the book and not just pizza dough recipes (gluten-free too!), but focaccia, pita, tarts, pies, soups, dips, and spreads. However, we really needed to get our pizza dough down in this house once and for all.

add olive oil

add the flour

a slightly sticky, viscous dough

It looks like your basic pizza dough ingredients, right? Except the key to the whole “in five minutes a day” is that you make a nice big batch of dough, store it in your refrigerator, and use it as needed over the next couple of weeks. The basic recipe just fits in my 5-quart stand mixer bowl. I give it a little stir with a spatula to moisten the ingredients and to avoid the flinging-of-flour ritual. You could store it in a large bowl covered with plastic, but this was the perfect excuse to go and get a food-grade bucket from my local home-brewing shop. I love buckets. When the young men working the counter asked me what I was making with the bucket, I replied, “Pizza dough!” They were surprised, but completely enthusiastic and I told them to get Zoë’s book.

[Edit: So many have inquired after my bucket (which I have named Wheatley). I purchased it from Hop To It Homebrew in Boulder at 2900 Valmont Rd. near 29th St. It is a 2 gallon food-grade fermenting bucket which cost me about $5.50. The lid is sold separately for $3.]

there’s a hole in my bucket, dear liza, dear liza…

place the dough in a vessel (like this awesome bucket!)

let it rise for 2 hours

Okay, that was pretty easy. I think the hard part is the waiting. For first-timers (me), it is recommended to let the dough refrigerate overnight (makes it easier to handle). Oh, and that hole in the lid of my bucket allows the gases given off due to fermentation to escape without exploding the bucket in my refrigerator. Awesome! You can refrigerate the dough for up to two weeks, but so far, we have gone through it faster than it can expire. It’s just too easy to make great pizza.

grab a half-pound wad of dough (the size of a large orange)

stretch the surface of the dough down on all sides to form a smooth ball

I have rolling-pinned my dough and I’ve tossed my dough. Both work fine. I did notice that Kaweah took a step closer to me with each toss… If your dough isn’t rolling out (keeps springing back) let it rest for a few minutes to allow the gluten to relax – it will be easier to roll or toss. My ultimate goal was to reproduce a favorite pizza at Secret Stash in Crested Butte, Colorado – a good 4+ hour drive from here. The Woodward pizza has a garlic butter base, fresh spinach, prosciutto, mozzarella, a salt and pepper crust, and is topped with eggs. The only thing I changed was fresh arugula (added after baking) instead of the fresh spinach, which leaves a funky gritty film on my teeth.

prosciutto, mozzarella, garlic butter, fresh eggs, baby arugula

salt and pepper the crust, then spread some garlic butter on top

add sliced mozzarella and prosciutto

It was hot over the weekend, so we grilled our pizzas on a pizza stone. That worked well for us, otherwise I think we would have lost a pizza or two between the grates. Once you transfer the pizza from the peel to the stone, add the cracked egg on top. I haven’t mastered making large pizzas, so one egg per little pizza (about 12-inches in diameter) works perfectly. Seven minutes on the grill yields a soft-cooked yolk.

add the egg as soon as the pizza hits the stone

that looks ready

Once the pizza is done, sprinkle fresh arugula on top and serve hot or else you will waste all of that gooey egg yolk goodness. The dough is crisp outside and chewy inside. You know how some folks have crust left after they eat pizza? This is not one of those pizzas. You will eat the crust and you will relish every bite. We love the flavor and texture. I have to say it is especially good with that garlic butter base.

We’ll still go to Crested Butte a couple of times a year and we’ll still stop by Secret Stash for our pizza fix, but I foresee cranking out heaps of great homemade pizzas right here from now on. Big thanks to Zoë, Jeff, and the little bucket!

my version of the woodward

best pizza i’ve ever made

Full disclosure: I received a free copy of Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day from St. Martin’s Press without any obligation.

The Woodward Pizza
[print recipe]
pizza based on Secret Stash and dough from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoë François

flour or cornmeal for the pizza peel
2 half-pound balls olive oil pizza dough (see below)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup garlic butter (see below)
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, sliced
6 thin slices prosciutto
4 eggs
2 cups fresh arugula

olive oil pizza dough
3 1/6 cups or 25.3 oz. (725 g) water at 100°F
1 tbsp (10 g) granulated yeast
1 1/2 tbsps (25 g) kosher salt
1/3 cup or 2.5 oz. (70 g) olive oil
7 1/2 cups or 38 oz. (1080 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

Make the dough: In a mixing bowl or the vessel you plan to store your dough, measure that the water is 100°F. Add the yeast and salt to the water. Stir in the olive oil. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon, Danish dough whisk, or use the paddle attachment on a stand mixer. Make sure all of the flour is incorporated (you may have to use your hands if stirring with a spoon), but don’t knead the dough. It goes quickly if using the mixer. If you didn’t mix your dough in your storage container, transfer the dough to that container. Cover the container with a non-airtight lid and let the dough rise at room temperature for two hours or until the dough flattens on top. Don’t punch the dough down! Refrigerate the dough with the non-airtight lid. It should be good for the next 14-days (it will deflate, but that’s okay). Makes enough dough for eight 1/2-pound balls of dough.

garlic butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup (4 tbsps) unsalted butter, softened

Make the garlic butter: Gather the minced garlic into a small pile. Sprinkle the salt over the garlic. Turn a heavy knife blade on its side and mash the salt into the garlic to form a paste. Add the paste to the butter and mix well.

Make the pizzas: Get all of your toppings together first to minimize the amount of time the dough spends on the peel (because it will stick). Preheat your pizza stone in the bottom third of the oven to 550°F. Sprinkle your pizza peel with cornmeal or flour (to prevent sticking). Now sprinkle some flour over the surface of your refrigerated dough. Reach in, grab a handful of the dough, and pull up. Using kitchen shears or a knife, cut off about a half pound of dough (the size of a large orange). Add a little flour to your hands and gently stretch the top of the dough down around to the bottom on all sides. It’s like you’re petting the top of the dough, stroking it down and tucking it under the bottom. Turn 90 degrees and repeat until you have a nice and smooth ball. Flatten the dough on a floured work surface or onto the peel and roll it out to 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer the dough to your peel if it isn’t on there already and roll or shape it to a 12-inch diameter. Add more flour as you work to keep the dough from sticking to the peel. If you are comfortable tossing the dough, then do so (I, Jen, have no business instructing ANYONE on how to toss pizza dough).

Sprinkle salt and pepper over the dough. Spread 2 tablespoons of the garlic butter over the dough. Place slices of mozzarella on the garlic butter (don’t overdo it). Tear up two to three slices of prosciutto and scatter them over the pizza. Shake the peel to make sure the pizza is not sticking (if it is, gently use a dough scraper or a knife to unstick it and toss a little cornmeal or flour underneath the trouble spot between the dough and the peel. Set the tip of the peel on the far end of the pizza stone and give it a jiggle so that the pizza begins to slide off and the edge is resting on the stone. Pull the peel out from under the pizza at an angle (to encourage the pizza to disengage). Bake for 8-10 minutes, but check for doneness. If you want eggs on your pizza, then crack an egg into a small bowl and pour it into the middle (just not the edge) of the pizza with about 6-7 minutes left to cook for a runny or soft yolk. Repeat for a second egg. When the pizza is done, remove from heat and pile a cup of arugula on top. Serve. Repeat for the second pizza. Makes two 12-inch pizzas.

26 nibbles at “to my delight”

  1. Kristin says:

    That looks delicious. I use olive oil & garlic on our sauceless pizzas, but might have to give garlic butter a try. The garlic doesn’t spread very evenly when you use oil. I know you said you don’t anticipate getting to Kansas City, but maybe someday there’ll be some irresistible conference here. If & when there is, add Spin Neapolitan PIzza to your list with Christopher Elbow Chocolates. Oh, and if you choose the correct Spin, it is next to Glace, Christopher Elbow’s ice cream & sorbet shop. Best ice creams & most interesting flavors I’ve ever had. And good dairy free options for you.

  2. amy says:

    OOOH! I need a bucket like that. I have a ginormous bowl I use, but it’s not working out. Where did you get it? (I’ll make sure and tell them you sent me!)

  3. Bobbie says:

    Thank you for addressing spinach grit! I’ve tried to explain it to other people before, and they look at me with blank stares. I do love spinach, but the grit gets me down. Thank you for validating me. Also, loved the meteor shower pic. I forgot to look for it, so I’m glad you took a pic.

  4. Zoë François says:

    That pizza is absolutely gorgeous! It seriously took my breath away! Thank you so much for trying it out and for sharing. You made my day! :)


  5. Kristina says:

    I’ve used the ABin5 pizza dough recipe dozens of times and it’s fantastic. That pizza is gorgeous (LOVE arugula on pizzas!) and now I’m hungry…
    One tip; if you are shaping the dough and it keeps springing back to a smaller size, let it rest for a couple of minutes and then proceed with stretching/shaping it and it will stay.

  6. Dan says:

    Good lord Jen, this looks gorgeous. I worked in a Napolitana pizza place for a while out here, your crust looks perfect!

  7. Judy says:

    This book was one of my work projects. I spent last July drooling over all the recipes, while I was working on it. The chocolate dough is good enough to eat on its own as a snack. I’m inspired now to get another batch of dough going so I can make this pizza.

  8. Jessica says:

    I never thought to use a beer brewing bucket, that is a great idea. I didn’t realize that you could put the pizza stone on the grill, which is the main reason we’ve not grilled pizza yet. We will have to give this version a try!

  9. Bobbie says:

    I’m not trying to hijack the comments, but could Judy or Jen please explain the chocolate dough comment? I’m assuming this would be for a dessert pizza of some sort. It sounds yummy. More details please!

  10. Villy @ For the love of Feeding says:

    WOW. Just wow. What a dreamy pizza!!

  11. Christi says:

    OMG. I was seriously looking for a recipe for pizza today with an egg on it… Thanks for scratching my itch!

  12. sara says:

    Wow that pizza looks good!! I love egg on pizza, but I’ve never tried it at home (only at restaurants) – definitely need to try that one myself. So tasty!

  13. Lynn Chung says:

    Awesome post! :D I love making pizza at home and any excuse to buy food-grade storage containers! What size is that cute little bucket?

  14. LP @dishclips says:

    Oh wow! Looks great and healthy!

  15. Memoria says:

    Whoa. That pizza looks so appetizing, especially with that garlic butter spread. Goodness!

  16. Carla says:

    Every pizza will be spectacular using ABin5…first book, healthy, or their latest. I have all three. The hardest thing is getting people to believe how EASY it is to make such a marvel at home. I use parchment to get the crust super thin..and slap the whole thing on the stone.. It’s always perfect.

    I save shower caps from hotels and use that to cover my bowl. I really like the bucket though…as someone else asked…where did you get it?

  17. Molly Clark says:

    This looks amazing!! I’m lazy so instead of making the pizza dough my husband and I are going to use naan bread. Wish us luck!

  18. Karen says:

    Where can I buy a vented dough bucket? I need one!

  19. jenyu says:

    Hey everyone! For those of you inquiring after the bucket, it’s a 2 gallon food-grade (the food-grade is important) bucket that I purchased for ~ $8 (including lid) from a home brewing store in Boulder (on 29th and Valmont). The store is Hop To It Homebrew ( I’ve named my bucket, Wheatley. (Those of you who are familiar with Portal 2 will get the joke.)

    Kristin – thanks for the KC recs!

    Bobbie – oh yes. I love spinach, but raw spinach always wigs me out when I eat it (I still eat it).

    Zoë – thank YOU for the awesome technique and clear instructions/information in your lovely book. We are forever in your debt :)

    Kristina – yes, thanks for that tip! I forgot to add it to the write up as there is just tons of info in Zoë’s book. Too much to include in one measly post :)

    Dan – squeee!! Thank you, sweetie xoxo

    Judy – oh wow, I didn’t know you worked on it!

    Jessica – I didn’t know you could either, but it’s one of the techniques they describe in detail in Zoë’s book, so I was totally stoked to try it (and it works fantastically).

    Bobbie – there is a chocolate dessert dough recipe in the book for various pastries (recipes also in the book). It all looks so tempting. I think you may want to check it out!

    Villy – thanks!

    Christi – :)

    sara – thank you.

    Lynn – 2 gallons. It’s the perfect size for their standard master recipe.

    LP – definitely good, sorta healthy ;)

    Memoria – thanks.

    Carla – see the top of my comment for where to source the bucket. If you aren’t in Boulder, I bet you can order from those guys (check the website) and if not, look for a homebrew store in your area. They will likely have one.

    Molly – mmmm!

    Karen – see the top of the comment for where I got it :)

  20. Elizabeth says:

    This dough is just what I’ve been looking for. Weeknight dinners!

  21. Karen says:

    Found the bucket… 2 gallon fermenter. You will need the bubbler air lock also.

  22. jenyu says:

    Karen – actually, I have the bubbler air lock and I didn’t need it (nor use it).

  23. cookingrookie says:

    That’s a gorgeous pizza! I love Artisan in 5 – it’s probably my favorite book ever :-). I never buy bread any more. And I wish they sold a bucket like that here in Vancouver for 8.5 :-). I am using one of those big containers from ice cream, but it’s not large enough…
    Great shots, as always!

  24. Katie says:

    Is there a whole wheat version of this recipe?

  25. jenyu says:

    Katie – there is a whole wheat pizza dough recipe in Zoë’s book.

  26. Dana says:

    Sold! I keep eyeing that book at Book Larder and it is very clear to me now that I must buy it. What a gorgeous job you did with this pizza Jen! I love the idea of having dough on hand at all times and I, like the others, love the bucket!

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