Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Pizza Night

My husband's lactose-intolerance was adult-onset so he knew what he was missing in real cheese pizza. When we first met he would order pizza out sometimes if the restaurant had soy cheese. Although soy cheese is a nice substitute for those who are allergic or vegan, it doesn't taste like dairy cheese and it doesn't melt like dairy cheese. Luckily, Cabot Creamery, produces several varieties of lactose-free cheddar and mixed hard cheeses. You have probably seen Cabot at your supermarket and never realized it was lactose-free, but there is a small icon on the label telling you it is true! This is obviously not mozzarella. Mozzarella, like other soft cheeses, is high in lactose. However, Cabot's cheddar or pepper jack cheese makes a wonderful pizza. We prefer the pepper jack because it adds a little spice, also great in tacos!

I've purchased refrigerator pizza dough from Trader Joes before and noted that they had several varieties with spices added to the crust...what a great idea! I recommend garlic salt and any mix of thyme, oregano, rosemary, etc. We have used store bought sauce in the past, but the pizza really doesn't need any sauce. I wouldn't add oil on top of the dough (like an olive oil brush) because it will make the pizza greasy. Perhaps there is something about mozzarella which mitigates the greasiness of oil + cheese, but it doesn't work the best with this hard cheese. Tomato sauce will work fine.

The whole process takes about an hour and is perfect for a lazy weekend!

Lactose-Free Pizza
Yield: 10-12 inch pie
Bake: 425 degrees for 16-20 minutes

1 tbsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
2 cups bread flour
Spices - garlic salt, thyme, oregano - 2 tsp each
3-4 cups Cabot cheese (shredded)
Toppings - mushrooms, bell pepper slices, pepperoni (all-natural recommended if you can find it)

Add the warm water, yeast, and sugar to a bowl and let sit around ten minutes until it is frothy (this activates the yeast). Mix in the olive oil and salt. I use a kitchen aid mixer with the hook attachment to make the dough, running the mixer while slowly adding the flour and spices. The dough is done when it forms a ball around the hook attachment. If your dough is clinging to the bottom of the bowl, just add a tablespoon of flour at a time until the ball forms. Dough can also be mixed by hand, and then kneaded for approximately 10 minutes. When the dough is done, grease a large bowl with olive oil and roll your dough ball around the bowl to lightly coat it. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes, the dough ball should roughly triple in size. Flour a clean surface and rolling pin and roll out the dough to approximately 1/4 inch thickness. Transfer to a pizza stone or sheet tray. Add your toppings, I like to add a light layer of cheese, then the toppings, then top with more cheese. If you pile too many toppings in the middle, your dough may not cook through in the middle. Try to make a nice, even layer across the pizza. Bake until the edge of the crust is golden brown and firm to the touch. Enjoy!

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