Saturday, March 16, 2013

Greek Pizza Reprisal | What's in a Name?


I read a blog a few weeks ago about naming foods and it really struck a chord with me. The writer (forgive me, please, that I really can't remember whose blog it was) went on a minor rant about how we -- that would be bloggers and anyone else who writes about food, creates recipes, writes menus, etc., etc. -- have a tendency to assign a dish a nationality just because of one ingredient, maybe two.

For instance, if it has basil and tomatoes, it's Italian.  Feta and olives? Greek. Cilantro and cumin? Mexican. You get the idea.

Guilty. When I was planning to make a white pizza for a girls night in, I told them my friends we were having a Greek pizza, because (here, I *blush*) I was using feta and olives with tomatoes and spinach. Oh, and oregano.

But what else would I call it?  I know that one ingredient does not a dish make. Soy sauce doesn't make it Chinese  Tarragon doesn't immediately mean French.

I know all this, and, still, I didn't know how else to identify what kind of pizza I was making that other people would readily understand. It's a whole lot simpler  to say "Greek pizza" than to spell out "a pizza with no tomato sauce, no mozzarella or provolone, but spinach, tomatoes, olives and feta." And I knew that's what my guests would understand.

Maybe that's why we cavalierly assign names that really aren't authentic  It's like using cliches; they're handy shortcuts, universally understood.


So we had a Greek pizza.  And the next night, Mr. Rosemary and I had the pasta dish pictured at the top. It wasn't "Greek" because it didn't have feta. But I did have extra spinach and olives from the pizza, so I tossed those in with the warm pasta, fresh tomatoes, and added Parmesan. What would you call that dish? Besides quick, easy and good?

Back to the pizza . . . . I was sure that I'd made a big step towards overcoming my fear of yeast since I  now successfully make my own dough often, even weekly.

But my sister introduced me to a new yeast that Fleischmann's makes called Pizza Crust Yeast and I have to admit, it was very easy, very quick and very good. That's a trio of adjectives I like, no matter how much I like to spend time in the kitchen.

The beauty of this yeast is that it requires no rising. So you can mix up the dough and make the pizza right away. No waiting for anything.  It still needs to be kneaded (don't we all) but there's no waiting.

Problem is I only had one packet of the yeast. Now I need to find more. It's not readily available everywhere yet, so I'll have to keep my eye open for it and buy buckets of it when I do.

I'll still make regular pizza dough, but it's nice to know I have a handy alternative.

There's only one teeny, tiny little problem with the yeast: It makes only 1 12-inch pizza, which Mr. Rosemary could handily eat by himself.

No Rise Pizza Dough
from Fleischmann's
1 3/4 - 2 1/4 cup flour
1 envelope pizza yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup very warm water (120 - 130 degrees F.)
3 tablespoons oil

Combine 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add water and oil.
Mix together until well-blended, about 1 minute
Add 1/2 cup flour gradually until dough forms a ball. Add additional flour if needed, to handle
Spoon dough out of bowl and onto floured surface.  Dough will be slightly sticky.
Knead on floured surface until dough is smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes.
Press out dough to fill a greased pizza pan. Or, if you're like me, and need a rolling pin, roll dough to a 12 inch circle and transfer to a greased pan.
Top as you want with sauce, cheese and toppings.
Bake on bottom oven rack at 425 F or 12 to 15 minutes until cheese on top is bubbly and crust is brown.

34 comments:

  1. I call it DELICIOUS, Rosemary.
    No rise pizza dough sounds perfect for me.

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  2. I have not heard of this yeast. I am still hoping to be able to find the old-fashioned cakes of live yeast for baking. It is almost as rare as finding gold.

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    1. That's what my mom always used, and you're right, Susan, hard to find.

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  3. I would love a nice big bite right now :D

    Cheers
    CCU

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    1. If only you weren't so far away . . . .

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  4. I have never heard of that yeast. I make the 18 hour recipe which obviously requires planning ahead. I went to the Fleischmanns site and their online store is down. They list the stores that sell it and they give a substitution to use if you can't find it. What a nice company they are!
    Q: If I can't find Pizza Crust Yeast at a store near me, how can I make the pizza recipes?
    A: It's still easy. Simply substitute RapidRise Yeast for Pizza Crust Yeast and allow about 10 minutes for the dough to rest before shaping.
    I will have to give this a try!

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    1. Me, too! Thanks for doing the investigation.

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  5. I'll have to look for the new yeast product...nice to have in the pantry. The pizza looks delicious no matter what you call it.

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    1. I'm sure to stock up on it when I find it; but it's comforting to know I can make it the good old-fashioned way, too, Karen.

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  6. I find it funny what people choose to expend energy on! If you create it, you get to name it - to me, it's that simple. I read a blog recently where someone went on a rant about the "correct way to write a recipe" which is totally not the way I write recipes. Did I change anything I do? No. This is a creative endeavor and we all get to be creative in it. I like "Greek Pizza." I had an instant image of what that might look like. And, it's really beautiful, Rosemary.

    Have a lovely St. Patty's Day!

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    1. I guess we can all get our feathers ruffled a bit, huh? I cringe when I hear grammar errors! But in the end, some "rules" really don't amount to a hill of beans.

      Hope you have a grand Irish celebration, too. I went to school in South Bend, Indiana, and I challenge even Bostonians to celebrate better than Notre Dame Irish!

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  7. so is it a special yeast this pizza yeast? Not a regular one? I actually like when a dough grow, it gives me time to rethink a topping, but sometimes there's just no time. And a nice idea with a Greek pizza, I'd never think of calling it greek because of feta, but I like it :)

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    1. Yes, it's a special yeast for pizza. And I, too, Marta, like to see a dough rise. Almost like I had something to do with it!

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  8. I've not heard of this yeast - I'll keep an eye out. Sounds very easy and something I could do. Love the looks of your pizza. And it's true about the names isn't it.
    Sam

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    1. I really will hoard it when I find it. Next girls night, I want to try other toppings for pizza. I like Mr. Rosemary's fave -- pepperoni pizz -- but I like more variety than he does.

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  9. Your post reminds me of the time I marinated chicken in yogurt and the yogurt was infused with lemon, bay, olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. Then I cooked it in my clay pot. I called it Greek Tandoori Chicken!

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    1. Whatever you called it, it sounds good. Cultures collide away!

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  10. Whatever we call it...I know I'll eat the entire bowl (and then some!) Thank you for sharing another lovely post, my friend. I hope this week is full of warmer weather, good food, and laughter.

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    1. . . . and a happy growing Lucy to you.

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  11. No rise pizza dough? What a fabulous idea. Your pizza looks wonderful, so you get to call it whatever you wish :-). Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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    1. Yep, no-rise pizza dough. Worked just great. It seemed to "stay in place" better while shaping than regular yeast. With yeast, Mary, I need all the help I can get.

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  12. As a food blogger I've often had that dilemma myself - what to name a dish. I have to agree with you. If most of the components reflect a certain nationality, then I name it that. Your pizza looks fantastic. Do you think the dough would work with whole wheat pastry flour?

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    1. It is difficult to name a dish sometimes. Nothing seems to be really original anymore. All just variations on a theme . . . tasty variations, mind you.

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  13. Oh Rosemary, some people are just so particular (and need more to do in their lives!), but I like a little more categorization in my life too and a LOT more simplicity when it comes to typing out a name for recipe for a blog title. This looks recipe sounds phenomenal, I adore pizza, and I truly love Greek flavors!

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    1. Me, too, Roz! I'm all for being authentic, but sometimes, you just gotta go with what communicates the best. (And the pizza was good.)

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  14. Love the 'no-rise' pizza dough for one really important thing...NO, actually make that two important things. #1 for the best thin crust crispy Roman type of pizza, this is the best way...#2 it sure saves time not waiting for pizza dough to rise. Genius, and love the Greek topping with the tomatoes, feta, and olives.
    For sure a great Greek style pizza:)

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    1. Thanks, Elisabeth . . . the no-rise, no wait is the best feature for me.

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  15. Naming dishes is hard sometimes. We had "shut up and eat it" the other night because I couldn't think of a name. It was really good. Maybe it needs better OR.

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    1. Yes, it is . . . I think shut-up-and-eat-it is a great name. Many of my soups are called that very name, Donna.

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  16. Guilty as charged. I am with you. Assigning a dish a nationally makes things so much easier as diners know exactly what to expect without giving a whole rundown of ingredients. I have seen this yeast at the supermarket and have yet to try it but I'll buy some next time with your recommendation. We love homemade pizza.

    Thank you so much for your vote and support. Who knows if I'll make it or not but I have been moved by all the love my friends have shown my recipe. Thank goodness it is all over on Thursday.

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    1. I hope you're going to Las Vegas, Karen. Your Pillsbury bake-off entry is most intriguing. The name of your recipe (ironic, huh?) caught my eye before I even saw that it was you!

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  17. I think you can call it anything you would like to Rosemary. Saying it is Greek or Greek-style gives us an idea of what to expect.

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    1. You're right, of course. My friends knew what we going to be having wuthout my giving them a list of ingredients.

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I realize you don't have to take the time to comment . . . but it makes my day! So glad you decided to stay.