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Friday, July 25, 2014

Smack 'n Cheese Pizza + Homemade Pizza Dough

Smack 'n Cheese Pizza for the Revolutionary Pizza blog tour
Pizza. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Seriously. It's a bit of a tradition in our house; we eat pizza once a week. Fortunately pizza is entirely versatile and customizable. Sometimes it's take-out, sometimes it's frozen (there's some good ones out there), and as often as possible, it's from scratch. It's funny, because every person in the house has a favorite crust or topping or combination thereof, so it's rare that we please everybody (entirely) in one meal. Good thing we do it once a week.

So when asked if I'd like to be a part of the Revolutionary Pizza book tour, the obvious answer was "psssshh, YES!". This cookbook is all sorts of fun. If you're a traditional pepperoni or just-cheese kind of pizza-eater, this cookbook is definitely too much fun for you. It's for the bold and adventurous eaters, and the daring of mouth! It's for those who aren't afraid to enjoy their meal and their cocktail all in one bite. It's for those who welcome crazy combinations and deconstructed favorites.

And yes, it's definitely for the people who've thrown back a few over the course of the day. Or night.

Smack 'n Cheese Pizza for the Revolutionary Pizza blog tour via
The pizza that I chose to share from the book is one covered in a spicy macaroni and cheese. Now, believe it or not, it's not the first time that we've eaten pasta on our pizza in these parts. There's a buffet (who knows the one I'm talking about) that serves a pizza with "regular" mac 'n cheese on it locally. That one is just okay. This one, however, is RIDICULOUS. It's got all sorts of flavor (and flava).

Now, the thing is, you'll notice by looking at the recipe below that I used one 7.5 ounce can of chipotles in adobo for this recipe that makes 2 pizzas. The recipe in the book actually calls for one 13.5 ounce can of chipotles in adobo. Plus, there's a roasted jalapeño in there, as well. That's some fire! Since I really wanted everybody to be able to eat this, I used the smaller can.

It still wound up only the hubs, my oldest child, and myself were able to enjoy it. It was spicy, but it was good spicy. Apparently my 10 and 11 year old are wimps. Now, since today's Friday, it's time to decide which variety I'll make tonight...

Smack 'n Cheese Pizza and Pizza Dough
A homemade pizza crust smothered in spicy, chipotle and roasted jalapeño-laden macaroni and cheese. It's ridiculously good.
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Smack 'n Cheese Pizza + Homemade Pizza Dough
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: pizza: 20 minutes / dough: 20 minutes active + 120 minutes inactive
Cook Time: 12 minutes per pizza
Keywords: bake entree bread cheese chiles pasta American

Ingredients (2 (12") pizzas)
    for the pizza:
    • 2 (1 pound) dough balls, recipe follows or use your favorite
    • 2 cups (473 mL) heavy cream
    • 1 (7.5 ounce) can chipotles in adobo sauce
    • 1/4 cup (30 g) shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1/4 cup (20 g) shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 large jalapeño, roasted, peeled & chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
    • 2 cups cooked, drained, and cooled elbow noodles
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup (30-60 g) shredded pepperjack cheese
    for the pizza dough:
    • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (252 mL) cold water
    • 2 teaspoons (10 g) salt
    • 2 tablespoons (25 g) sugar
    • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons (6 g) dry yeast
    • 3-1/2 cups (420 g) high-gluten or bread flour
    • cornmeal or flour for rolling dough
    Place a pizza stone on the center rack of your oven and preheat to 450° F.

    making the sauce/topping:
    Combine heavy cream, chipotles with the adobo sauce, cheddar, Parmesan, jalapeño, salt, and pepper in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth; use your spoon to press down on the chipotles to sort of break them up a bit, too.

    Remove from heat and stir in the elbow noodles.

    putting the pizza together:
    Roll out each ball of dough into a 12-inch round on a pizza peel or rimless sheet tray that has been dusted with cornmeal or flour.
    making homemade pizza dough
    Scoop half of the topping onto each of the rolled out rounds of dough. Start by placing it in the center and pushing towards the edges with your spoon or spatula. Scatter pepperjack cheese over the top.
    toppings for the Smack 'n Cheese pizza
    Carefully slide the pizza off the peel and onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake until the crust is golden and cooked through, and the cheese is melted, 10-12 minutes.

    Remove from oven and allow it to sit for 5 minutes (sauce will set and thicken a bit) before cutting. Repeat with other pizza if you are doing them one at a time.

    making the pizza dough:
    Combine water, salt, sugar, and oil in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Add yeast and give it a quick stir, then immediately add in the flour. Mix at medium speed for about 10 minutes, or until a dough ball forms. It should be tacky, but not sticky. Divide into 2 equal dough balls.

    Knead each dough ball by hand about 10 times to remove any air bubbles and create a smooth surface. Form each portion into a ball, set on a smooth surface, cover with a moist towel or plastic wrap. Allow to sit and rise at room temperature until doubled in size, ~2 hours.

    At this point, they are ready to roll out and use. If you don't want to use them right away, loosely wrap each ball and refrigerate until you're ready to assemble your pizza.

    If you'd like to make the dough and have it ready for anytime, punch it down and reform into balls after rising. Set on a tray in the freezer and freeze until solid. Transfer each to a freezer-safe quart-sized baggie. Thaw them in their baggie overnight in the fridge the day before you want to use them. Set them out at room temperature for 2-3 hours to rise before rolling out and topping.

    -adapted slightly from Revolutionary Pizza
    Smack 'n Cheese Pizza for the Revolutionary Pizza blog tour

    Revolutionary Pizza
    author: Dimitri Syrkin-Nikolau
    publisher: Page Street Publishing
    photos: yes
    soft cover: 157 pages

    chapters/sections: The Basics: Making 'Za Magic | Pizzatizers | Deconstructed Diner | Comfort Cravings | Main Course Meals | Chicago Staples | Comida Caliente

    fun features: What ISN'T fun about this cookbook, is more like it. This is a must-have for pizza-lovers everywhere. I know it'll keep me entertained for quite some time...and then I'll pass it on to my brother, a fellow pizza-fiend. Plus, now I really, really want to drive over to Chicago and hit up the source!

    (a few of the many) recipes destined for my kitchen:
    • The Cure: Think Bloody Mary on a pizza
    • Jalapeño Pop 'n Lock: Beer batter crust, jalapeños (fried), mozzarella, cream cheese, cheddar, bacon, green onions
    • Jake's Grapes: a creamy Parmesan sauce, mozzarella, Prosciutto, pistachios...and blue cheese and grapes
    • The Governator Burger Pizza: California-style
    • Thanksgiving Leftovers Pie: Need I say more?
    • Burnhard: shredded beef, roasted jalapeños, bbq sauce - and sriracha!
    • CM Punk's Anaconda Vice: black beans with bacon bits, chorizo, CILANTRO
    • Chi-Style Hot Dogs: all the goodness of my favorite kind of hotdog chopped up and scattered on a crust with cream sauce
    • Milwaukee Ave.: Polish goodness all the way - onions, kielbasa, brown mustard, Polish dills
    • Fish Taco: Yes, I do want to go there.
    about the author: Dimitri Syrkin-Nikolau is the owner of Dimo's Pizza, which has two locations in Chicago: Wrigleyville and Wicker Park. Dimo's pies are known for their outlandish ingredients and addictive tastes. They have been enjoyed by CM Punk, Andy Dick, hordes of Cubs fans, the entire improv scene in Chicago and many a folk just a few drinks in. Dimitri hopes to change the world fo rthe better using the most delicious weapon he knows: pizza - the food of the people. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

    further info: website | facebook | twitter | instagram

    Giveaway - CLOSED
    Would you like to win a copy of Revolutionary Pizza? The publisher has offered one of my readers in the US or Canada a chance to do just that. 

    To enter, simply answer this question in the comment section of this post: What are the craziest toppings that you've ever eaten on a pizza? Then go into the rafflecopter widget below and record your comment entry. This entry is mandatory. After that, more optional ways to enter will be opened up.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only. Submissions will be accepted through 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, July 31, 2014. One winner will be chosen via random draw and notified via email within 48 hours of the close of this contest, and given 24 hours in which to respond. If no response is received within that time frame, a new winner will be chosen. All entries will be verified (if the mandatory comment is not received, yet the box is checked, all entries by that person will be voided).

    As part of the Revolutionary Pizza blog tour, I received a free cookbook. All opinions stated in this post are my own.