I, for one, was pleased to see Bill/SFNM select seafood for this month’s challenge because I believe that seafood is an underrated topping for pizza. I personally have tried different forms of seafood on pizza, including the obligatory anchovy pizza, but I have also used oysters (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,702.msg6358.html#msg6358
), clams (Reply 78 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7761.msg72399.html#msg72399
) and crawfish (Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8476.msg73691/topicseen.html#msg73691
For this month’s challenge, I decided to use smoked salmon as a pizza topping. Initially, my thought was to make some version of the deep-dish seafood pizza that member DeepDish 622 proposed at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9283.0.html
. However, when DeepDish 622 failed to come back to the forum after posting at Reply 12 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9283.msg81214.html#msg81214
, I took that as a bad omen and decided to do something that was proven. In this case, I used Wolfgang Puck’s dough recipe and smoked salmon pizza recipe. Those recipes are given at http://www.marieclaire.com/celebrity-lifestyle/how-to/life-advice/wolfgang-puck-pizza-recipe
For my purposes, I halved the Puck dough recipe to be able to make two 8” pizzas, and I modified the salmon pizza recipe to use a sour cream-based Greek tzatziki sauce in lieu of just plain sour cream or crème fraîche (which I didn’t have anyway). I also decided not to use caviar on the finished pizza. I saw it at the market but, at almost $10 for a small jar, and not knowing whether I would like the pizza, I decided to pass this time around.
The Greek tzatziki sauce was made from sour cream, fresh minced garlic, finely minced fresh dill, a little freshly squeezed lemon juice, deseeded and minced cucumber (dried on paper towels), extra virgin olive oil, and freshly ground pepper. I can post my exact tzatziki sauce for anyone who is interested.
For future reference in case I liked the Puck dough recipe--which is one of his basic dough recipes that can be used for just about any kind of pizza--I converted the recipe from volume measurements to a baker’s percent format. I also tweaked the amount of flour as I made the dough, in my case using my 14-cup Cuisinart food processor, to get a more accurate conversion. When I was done making the dough and divided the dough batch into two, I calculated a thickness factor of 0.11559 for the Puck dough. That represents a medium thickness crust. I’d also be happy to post my Puck dough formulation for those who are interested.
The instructions for the Puck dough recipe say that it is possible to hold the dough in the refrigerator for up to two days. That is what I did. When I removed the dough from the refrigerator to use it to make a pizza, I let the dough warm up at room temperature for about an hour or so. The dough at the time of its removal from the refrigerator had doubled in volume. I had no problems shaping and stretching the dough out to 8”. After doing that, I brushed the skin with some extra virgin olive oil and distributed julienned red onions over the skin, as called for by the instructions. The pizza was then par-baked on a pizza stone that I had place on the lowest oven rack position of my electric oven and preheated for about a half hour at 500 degrees F (as called for by the instructions). The instructions said to expect a bake time of 10-12 minutes in order to get a nicely browned crust. In my case, it took only 7 minutes. I finished dressing the par-baked pizza with the tzatziki sauce, smoked salmon, some capers, and a few sprigs of fresh dill as a garnish.
I thought the finished pizza was excellent. The crust was chewy and the bottom crust was crispy and I really liked the tzatziki sauce in combination with the smoked salmon. I even added more of the tzatziki sauce on top of the pizza, along with more freshly squeezed lemon juice.
The photos below show the finished smoked salmon pizza.