Saturday, May 10, 2008

Nesting – Black Bean Pizza with Smoked Cheddar, Avocado and Whole Wheat Crust

Everyone’s talking about the nice spring weather, but the truth is, it’s been about a 50/50 gamble most of the time. On those days when it’s cold and gloomy, I’ve been nesting, just been hanging around the house and taking life slow. Some days, I don’t even set foot outside. Maybe I’m just one of those late blooming spring bulbs.

This nesting is almost an economic necessity. You can only afford to fill up the gas tank if you happen to be billionaire Bruce Wayne.

During this time, I’ve gotten to know my kitchen space quite intimately. I’ve been finding so many uses for the bread machine, that I’ve finally decided to name him, “Hatch.” My latest “Ah-ha!!” is that “Hatch” prepares perfect pizza dough – better than anything I could ever get at the store. Not, just any pizza dough, but astonishing whole wheat pizza dough with wheat germ. Since only billionaire Bruce Wayne can afford to drive to the grocery store, why not stay home and watch the pizza dough rise? And if you’re going to be nesting, and not indulging in much physical activity, you should be sure and get a full day’s supply of fiber.

A couple of years ago – on a stunning summer afternoon (no nesting allowed that day) – I made a trip to the artist Jackson Pollock’s home out in South Hampton, Long Island. His studio was out behind the house, which was a large and sun drenched open room with paint drippings still evident on the floor. Some art historians have been able to match up Pollock’s paintings to the pattern of colors spattered on the floor. The pizza dough feels a bit like my canvas, and I toss a little of this and scatter a little of that, creating big splashes of brilliant color.

Black Bean Pizza with Smoked Cheddar, Avocado and Whole Wheat Crust

Pizza Topping

One 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
One 14 ½ ounce can “petite cut” diced tomatoes, drained
One-half green pepper, diced
One teaspoon dried oregano
About 8 ounces of smoked cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ avocado sliced

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, a la “Hatch”

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.

8 ounces water
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 ¼ cups organic whole wheat flour
¼ cup wheat germ
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

Measure ingredients into bread machine pan. Select Dough/Pasta setting. Press start. When display reads zero (after about an hour and twenty minutes), push stop button and remove dough. Press dough into 12 x 15 inch jelly roll pan. Let rest for 10 minutes. Spread with topping and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes until crust is golden. Top with sliced avocado and serve.

Stop by this cool website and unleash your inner Jackson Pollock. Then try your hand at a little creative pizza play. Somebody once said, “Art isn’t easy,” but thanks to the admirable assistance of “Hatch,” whole wheat pizza dough topped with zesty black beans, tomatoes and buttery avocado is an absolute masterpiece.

©2008 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved


Veron said...

it was chilly over here today too. I tend to nest a lot...and the kitchen is where I hang out. that pizza looks delicious!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Once again, I have to give serious thought to getting a bread machine. The pizza looks fabulous, and I have most of the ingredients in my pantry at all times. (By the way, my granddaughter and I love to "play Jackson Pollock" on that site!)

Anonymous said...

Hi TW!
It's so cute naming your bread machine "Hatch". It reminds me of that cartoon with the duck named "Wade". haha
Lovely pizza. You're right about the weather and nesting is what's called for on those cold days :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Oh, I love Mexican pizza, and yours looks fabulous, TW. I haven't made it with wheat dough, though. I also like it with chipotle BBQ on it (course I tend to like my food hot and spicy).

Cakespy said...

This is your masterpiece!!! I mean, I loved the pizza just from the photo, but the Pollock reference and the idea of it as your canvas--brilliant. Appeals to my dueling love for art and food (and their overlap!).

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Veron - I'm afraid I'm going on a pizza binge, but the whole wheat crust is just SOO good.

Lydia - You should get a bread machine. You know you want to!

Hi Maryann - "Hatch" was underused for a long time, but he's really earning his keep these days.

Susan - I will have to try chipolte BBQ - that sounds fantastic with the wheat crust.

Hi Cakespy - pizza is indeed my canvas - now if only I could figure out how to get the cheese and tomato out from under my fingernails!