Finding easy hors d'oeuvres that please a variety of guests is a constant mission for me, both as a hostess and a caterer.
This is a spin on our very popular pizza recipe that turns a few simple, delicious ingredients into a cocktail-party-worthy treat that is sure to please your guests.
Homemade Pizza Dough
The following dough recipe
is from Jamie Oliver’s “Cook your way to the Good Life.”
1 ¼ very warm water
1 sachet (or 2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
1 T. kosher salt
1 T. turbinado sugar
2 T. olive oil
Mix together in a large bowl (you will use this bowl to incorporate all of the flour into the dough) and let set until yeast is foamy (about 5-10 minutes.)
1 c. finely ground semolina
2 ½ c. quality bread flour
3 ½ c. quality bread flour
Mix semolina and flour a cup at a time into yeast mixture with a fork until you cannot stir it at all. Add the rest of the flour and knead with your hands, adding more flour a small bit at a time until dough is shiny and elastic. Add to a clean oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight or at least a few hours. Remove dough from fridge about an hour before you wish to cook the pizza. Once dough has warmed up a bit, split into two halves and roll out as thinly as you can. Rolling the dough out on a wooden pizza peel sprinkled generously with finely ground corn meal works well. Let rolled-out dough sit for another 15 minutes.
Note: You can make the dough the same night that you make the pizza. Start the dough about 1 - 1 1/2 hours before the pizza and do not refrigerate. Once dough is oiled in the bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to rise in a warm spot.
Pizza dough has an endless variety of uses in my kitchen. Here is a fun and different way to use it as a base for a savory-sweet appetizing treat.
One half recipe pizza dough (see above)
1 large slices of black forest ham, diced into small pieces
3-4 ounces of chevre (soft goat cheese), crumbled
7 Tb. fig preserves
baby arugula or mache
freshly cracked black pepper
Prepare the dough as outlined above. Roll out the dough and then cut into 20 squares. You can rework the dough and reroll a few times, but be careful not to over handle. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500 degress with a pizza stone inside. Allow the oven to come up to temperature and preheat the stone for at least 5 minutes.
Dab a teaspoon of the fig preserves in the center of each dough square. Top with an even distribution of the ham and chevre, then sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and liberally with freshly cracked black pepper.
Carefully place squares on preheated pizza stone and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the preserves caramelize and the top of the chevre just starts to turn golden.
Remove from oven and transfer to serving plate. Top flatbread squares with the arugula/mache.