Amaree – Pizza and a Movie

One of my favorite movies is the OLD Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Always one to be attracted to the silly and whimsical, Willy Wonka has been one of my favorite characters, played so adeptly by Gene Wilder. He has such delight in the simple pleasures of life and finds ways to share those simple delights in fantastical ways! And yet, behind that silliness, there is such a deep and complex person who cares so much for others. And then there is sweet, innocent Charlie! It is so easy to love him and his genuine, tender personality.  And of course, the basis of the movie is a love of chocolate. And I LOVE chocolate!

Now, my pizza has NOTHING to do with chocolate, or Willy Wonka, BUT it IS scrumdidilyumptious! It was based off of a pizza we had at a favorite restaurant that is now 90 miles away, but it truly has taken a life of its own. Every time we get mangoes in the basket, this is always pretty high on my list of things to make (if the mangoes don’t get scarffed before I get to making it!) This last time around was even more fun as I was able to use one of my first ever heirloom tomatoes and some basil that we grew in our garden. My husband insists on using “fresh” mozzarella from the store as well instead of the shredded kind, and it really makes the pizza taste amazing.


The sauce uses Thai Sweet Chili sauce as a base with some added tomato sauce and adds a sweet and spicy little zing to the pizza. The baked mangoes and pineapple also add to that sweetness, and if using the jalapenos, it really rounds it out. If you’re up for something a little different for a pizza, this is a really good one to try :)

Thai-Dyed Pizza

Ingredients

    For the crust
  • 1 C warm water
  • 1 T instant yeast (or one envelope)
  • 2 T Sugar (optional)
  • ½ t Salt
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 2 ½ - 4 C Bread Flour (or all purpose)
  • For the Sauce
  • 1/2 C Thai Sweet Chili sauce
  • 1 tsp dried basil OR 2 TBS fresh basil, minced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (OR 2 cloves fresh garlic)
  • 1/2 tsp powered ginger or ½ t of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • Dash of pepper
  • For Toppings
  • 1 Mango, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup pineapple tidbits
  • 1 pepper, diced (or half a red pepper, half a green pepper)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tomato, de-seeded (important) and diced
  • Jalapeno slices (optional)
  • 1 c grilled chicken, diced
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 chives, minced
  • For the pan
  • Cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting
  • Parchment paper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven (and stone if you have one) to the hottest your oven will get-- at least 400, preferably 500 or more.
  2. For the crust
  3. Put Yeast in water to dissolve.
  4. Add the oil, salt, and sugar to the water.
  5. Finally, starting with 2 1/2 cups of flour, add the flour to the water mix and knead until the dough is no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed to make a soft dough.
  6. Knead 6 minutes by mixer on lower setting or 8-10 minutes by hand, until the dough passes a windowpane test.
  7. Put in an oiled bowl, cover, and let dough rest.
  8. While the dough is resting, make the sauce and prepare the toppings:
  9. For the Sauce
  10. Mix all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer on low to let the flavors blend.
  11. To assemble the pizza
  12. Roll out the dough some parchment paper dusted with cornmeal or semolina so that there is a small lip on the pizza dough, and the dough is stretched pretty thin.
  13. Spread the sauce on the pizza.
  14. Spread the toppings evenly on the pizza.
  15. Using a cookie sheet underneath the parchment paper, gently slide the pizza (and parchment paper) onto hot pizza stone or preheated pizza pan.
  16. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and brown.
  17. Let it cool for a couple of minutes, because it is VERY hot!
  18. Eat and enjoy!

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