Since taking an adult cooking class on pizza making taught by Ron Sarni at Create-a-Cook in Newton, Massachusetts last winter CK and I have been experimenting with various pie toppings almost every week. Of all the combinations and experiments we’ve attempted the one we come back to time and time again is this simple BBQ Chicken Pizza creation. Of course, I doubt we’d be quite so pizza addicted if it wasn’t for the incredible dough recipe that we were given in the class. It comes out perfectly every single time…well, except when I forgot to replenish the flour stash and substituted bread flour for all-purpose. CK complained about the state of that batch of dough the entire time he was shaping it.
Speaking of CK, making pizza for dinner has become a sort of tag-team affair for us. I prep and tend to the dough, and then he shapes it and adds the toppings. He’s also a total prince and does the dishes too so it’s like a double kitchen holiday for me. This is probably another reason why I tend to suggest pizza so often *wink* *wink*
Erin & CK’s BBQ Chicken Pizza
Inspired by Ron Sarni’s Techniques of Italian Cooking Class at Create-a-Cook.
For the Dough:
Adapted from The Italian Baker by Carol Field via Ron Sarni’s recipe recommendation
Erin’s Note: This recipe will make four individual sized 12-inch pizzas. I generally half the recipe though without incident.
1- 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1-1/3 cups warm water
1/4 cup olive oil, plus additional for brushing the crust
3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
**You Can Mix the Dough By Hand:**
Stir the yeast and sugar into the water in a large mixing bowl; let stand until foamy about 5 minutes.
Stir in the oil. Mix the flour and salt and stir, 1 cup at a time, into the yeast mixture, beating well to get all of the lumps out.
Knead on a lightly floured surface until soft and satiny, but firm, about 8 minutes.
**Or You Can Choose to Mix the Dough in Your Mixer:**
Stir the yeast and sugar into the water in a mixer bowl; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the oil with the paddle.
Mix the flour and salt and add to the yeast mixture.
Mix until the dough comes together.
Change to the dough hook and knead at medium speed until soft and satiny but firm, about 3 minutes. Finish kneading briefly by hand on a lightly floured surface.
Erin’s Note: At this point place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover tightly and allow it to rise for 1 hour. Then punch the dough down, cover it again (I prefer Press’n Seal for this), and allow it to rise a second time for approximately 30 minutes.
Next, pre-heat the oven to 500ºF. Liberally sprinkle your baking sheets with olive oil. Divide and shape the dough. Generally, we cook one pizza per pan. For BBQ Chicken Pizza layer the below toppings in the following order: BBQ sauce, cheese, chicken, red onions, and finally pepper. Bake for 10 minutes and then immediately remove the pizzas from the pans and place them on a cutting surface or board. Slice and serve.
Toppings for One Pizza:
1 cup shredded roast chicken.
2/3 cup BBQ Sauce (Erin’s Note: Our preferred brand is Bull’s-Eye Original).
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (Erin’s Note: We’ve also used various blends of Parmesan, Fontina, and Gouda before. Any or all of these cheeses make a great topping).
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper