Day 241: Pulled Pork Pizza

I don’t think I ate dinner tonight. I cooked dinner for 15 people at a private event in Red Deer (a class/dinner party at the Cooking Room) and before I left assembled a pulled pork pizza for the boys from a baggie of pulled pork I squirreled away on Tuesday morning before bringing the rest in to CBC.

The beauty of a pulled pork pizza is that the pork delivers the sauce as well, so all you need to do is spread it over the (whole wheat) crust and top it with some (part-skim, in this case) mozzarella and bake it. If you’re partial to cilantro, a bit is good on top once it’s out of the oven. I felt guilty enough about leaving for the evening that I couldn’t put something leafy and green on W’s dinner as well. (He will eat spinach, if it’s cooked and enveloped in pizza or pasta.)

I thought too much on the drive home, as usual, and got a little heavy-hearted upon realizing that a) it was almost midnight and although I was exhausted I still actually looked forward to writing a blog post before crawling into bed, and b) I only have 124 days left, and what am I going to do on January 1? After 365 days (and nights) of documenting dinner, will I even be able to stop? And do I even want to?

Mike suggested I continue on but with a weekly post, summing up the week’s eats and offering my few favourite recipes, but will that sour the real-time daily-news appeal? If I don’t do it every night, is there a point to it? And how can it possibly be the Labour Day weekend already? So much food, so little time.

Basic Pizza Crust

Pizza dough is a wonderfully versatile thing. I know you can buy pre-baked crusts at the grocery store for a few dollars, but pizza crust made from scratch is far better, costs practically nothing, and I find the process of mixing and kneading the dough by hand therapeutic. (Besides, Mike does it most of the time.) Once the dough has risen it can be twisted into bread sticks or pretzels, patted into focaccia, or topped with whatever you like and baked into a pizza or flatbread.

1 cup lukewarm water
1 pkg. (or 2 tsp.) active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar or honey
2 1/2 – 3 cups flour – all purpose, whole wheat, or any combination of the two (I usually use about 2 3/4 cups)
1 tsp. salt
a drizzle (1 tsp. – 1 Tbsp.) olive oil

In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast and sugar; set aside for 5 minutes, until it’s foamy. (If it doesn’t get foamy, either your water was too hot and killed the yeast or it was inactive to begin with – toss it and buy fresh yeast or try again!)

Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour, salt and oil and stir until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 8 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat all over. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for about an hour, until doubled in bulk. If you want you can let it rise more slowly in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.

Punch the dough down, cover again and let it rest for 5 minutes. Divide it in half and shape each into a circle (or make individual mini pizzas) and place on a cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with flour or cornmeal.

Spread the pizza dough with tomato sauce, sprinkle with desired toppings and bake at 450 F for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and golden.

Makes enough dough for 2 – 9” pizzas, or one big rectangular one (I do these on a large rimmed baking sheet).

Per slice (based on 12 slices): 111 calories, 0.7 g total fat (0.1 g saturated fat, 0.3 g monounsaturated fat, 0.2 g polyunsaturated fat), 3.2 g protein, 22.5 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.1 g fiber. 6% calories from fat.

To make flavored pizza dough: add a generous pinch of chopped fresh or dried basil, rosemary or oregano, a clove of minced garlic, a few finely chopped olives or sun dried tomatoes (if they come packed in oil, use it in place of the olive oil) or 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper along with the flour. Flavored pizza dough makes great breadsticks – roll the risen dough into sticks as thin or fat as you like, sprinkle with coarse salt or grated Parmesan cheese and bake until golden.



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17 comments on “Day 241: Pulled Pork Pizza

  1. Lana
    August 29, 2008 at 7:17 am

    I personally LOVE reading your updates every day but I understand how you might want a sabbatical from the daily reporting.
    I hope you WILL stay on with it, but maybe Mike’s idea is the way to go..weekly instead of daily?

  2. mmac
    August 29, 2008 at 7:21 am

    Or minimum weekly but with the option to post through the week if you feel like it/have something too great to wait until the weekly update. It’s incredible to me that you have next to no repeat meals in your year. That never happens at our house.

  3. Theresa
    August 29, 2008 at 7:23 am

    What on earth were you cooking last night at the Cooking Room????? I was upstairs at the Eye Doctor. We were all ready to storm the party. YUMM!

  4. Pat
    August 29, 2008 at 8:24 am

    I will go into withdrawal if you stop writing daily, but I understand what a commitment your daily writing is to your already busy life. I so enjoy your sense of humour!

  5. twomittens
    August 29, 2008 at 9:15 am

    I really look forward to seeing ‘what’s for dinner’. Even if (or maybe because) my kids usually prefer cereal or peanut butter.
    I’m inspired by your unending enthusiasm and creativity for food =)

  6. Colleen
    August 29, 2008 at 10:03 am

    I truly enjoy your blog – it’s the only one I visit. I would LOVE if you continued it next year, but understand if the commitment is too much. Your recipies and writing style are both phenomenal!

  7. Dana
    August 29, 2008 at 11:16 am

    I struggle with similar questions. I will read your blog on a weekly basis so make it work for you Julie.

    And, this pizza idea is a good one!

  8. elektra
    August 29, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    what if you posted weekly around a theme? i’m thinking of recent posts when you wrote “but that’s another story”. maybe those stories have potential in your 2009 blog?

  9. Diana
    August 29, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I love your daily blog also, and always check it out.
    But,like everyone else, I know what a commitment it is for you. I think if you don’t post at least weekly I will have ‘dinner with Julie’ withdrawal!!

  10. Eleanor
    August 29, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    I have really enjoyed the blog hope yo will continue at least weekly, I like how you can create meals out of anything in the fridge. Have really helped me be more creative.

  11. Colleen
    August 29, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    I must concur with everyone else who has posted. I have enjoyed every one of your posts and your dinner ideas. I have tried almost all of your recipes. I hope that you continue on with this blog in any way that still fit in with your busy life. Daily, weekly, even monthly, I will be still be a fan. Cook on girlfriend!

  12. Lisa
    August 29, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Labour Day really snuck up on us this year. All of a sudden, my due date seems just around the corner (end of October)! You’re blog is the first thing I read every day and I will be one sad girl when you wrap it up. Any kind of blog would be awesome!! 😉

  13. Cheryl
    August 29, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    And just the other day I detected, dare I say?, a small whine that it felt like homework to blog?

    I’m glad you had a good day and thought of us readers and your desire to share. I’m just sad I found you so far along on this journey. That’s what archives are for!

  14. robyn
    August 30, 2008 at 8:58 am

    I say continue the blog, but with ads so you generate a bit of money from it. Win win!

  15. JulieVR
    August 30, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Good idea, but I a) don’t want to offend anyone by having ads, (even though great bloggers like 101 Cookbooks and Chocolate and Zucchini do it – I don’t know – how do people feel about ads? some blogs are so adamantly against them…), and b) I need a few thousand more visitors a day to have it be profitable, I think… by my calculations, I’d make about $5 a day on ads. So, would it even be worth it?

  16. robyn
    August 30, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    How much do you make now? :- )

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