I managed to work my onto the Betz Family Winery list. I think it took me less than a year and I’m so happy that I was able to go to the wine pickup party the other Saturday. While sipping Clos De Betz a friend mentioned that he had the Bob Betz pizza recipe which he has shared. Bob does have an advantage of having his own pizza oven. Maybe Bob will invite me the next time he fires up the pizza oven? I wouldn’t say no to a glass of wine either! The recipe is as follows…..
Pizza Rustica (courtesy Bob Betz, Betz Family Winery – Woodinville WA)
(with minor modifications by Stuart)
This pizza is really easy, but incredibly tasty! You just about have to have a pizza stone to make this work (unless you have a wood fired pizza oven, which is best!)
Makes about 2 ¼ cups sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons chopped garlic (or more to taste…)
2 – 14 ½ cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1 tablespoon dried basil, crumbled
1 tablespoon dried oregano, crumbled
Dash of kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized, deep saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook one to two minutes, stirring constantly, until the garlic turns golden brown. Do not allow the garlic to burn.
- Add the tomatoes, stir and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and simmer very slowly (with barely an occasional bubble) for one hour. Add the basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste and stir well. Cook one hour more or until the sauce reduces and darkens slightly but remains fairly chunky with a bit of liquid.
- Remove from the heat and cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor or blender and pulse until still slightly chunky (not entirely pureed).
- Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
This sauce is good to make the night before along with the dough.
Makes 4 10-inch pizzas
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon active-dry yeast
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 ½ cups cold water
- Place the flours and the yeast in a large mixer bowl with the mixer’s dough hook attached and combine well.
- Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water. Add this mixture gradually to the mixing bowl on the mixer’s medium speed until well mixed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Continue kneading with the mixer five to seven minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and silky.
- On a well-floured surface, knead the dough by hand a little longer, adding flour if necessary until it develops a smooth texture and is easy to manage; it should feel neither too wet or too dry.
- Form the dough into a circle and divide into quarters. Formthe quarters into balls and pat down slightly. Arrange without overlapping on a well-floured baking sheet. Flour the dough balls well and cover with plastic wrap so that the dough is completely covered (so that the edges do not dry out) but not tightly wrapped (so the dough has room to expand). Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least 18 hours and up to three days.
- One hour before cooking, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Keep it in its wrapping, but allow the dough to come to room temperature.
Making the Pizza
If you are going to bake your pizza in the oven on a stone, make sure that you have some parchment paper – it makes it MUCH easier to work with.
- Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Make sure that your stone is in the oven when the oven is cold.
- Ten minutes before cooking, take one ball of pizza dough, and holding the top edge of the dough, let it droop under its own weight to form a circle, then quickly work around the circumference of the dough with your fingers, stretching it into a larger circle.
- Lay the dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce to within ¼ inch of the edge.
- Next comes the cheese. Less is more. Do not overload the pizza with cheese or it will not melt properly and everything on the pizza will slide off.
- Now the other toppings – again, less is more. Don’t put more than two meat items on it or it will be greasy. Don’t put too many toppings on; 3-4 is plenty. If you are using fresh herbs, consider putting them under the cheese so they don’t dry out, or put them on in the last minute of cooking.
- Vegetables like mushrooms or onions should be sliced very thinly or they may not cook properly.
- Use a peel if you have one to transfer the pizza (on the parchment) to your stone. Leave it on the parchment – it will keep your stone cleaner and is easier to get in and out of the oven.
- Depending on the temperature of your oven your pizza will probably cook to perfection in 5-10 minutes. Check to make sure it doesn’t overcook and remove it with your peel. Place it on a cutting board for a couple of minutes to settle and eat!