Biscuit Pizza Trifecta

My friend’s mom showed me this idea the other day and it’s just so convenient and easy that I wanted to show everyone! Basically, instead of making pizza dough or buying a premade crust, you can use canned biscuit dough! The pizza’s don’t come out very big, but I’d say you could make three personal pizzas. An advantage of this is you don’t have to work with it a lot. Pretty much just mush the dough together and cut it into however many divisions you want, then cover it with a wet paper towel and a rag for 20 minutes to let it rise a little. It makes it softer and easier to work with. And because they’re so small, you don’t need a rolling pin to mold thing; a glass would work just fine (that’s actually what I’ve been using for most of my pizza making existence).

We took this opportunity to make some of our favorite pizzas.

Greek pizza, chicken mushroom pizza, and an imitation of the heart-attack breakfast pizza.

For those three we used:
1 can biscuit dough
Tomato sauce
Mozzarella
Spinach
Olives
Tater tots
Bacon
Sauteed mushrooms (video coming soon)
Parmesan (only because we some in the fridge)
Chicken (hoo-ray for leftovers!)

While the dough was rising, we baked the tots and cooked the bacon. (The mushrooms are from something I made the day before.) By that time, the dough was ready and we started the chicken mushroom pizza.

It’s pretty simple, about two tablespoons sauce, cheese, pile on the mushrooms, then the chicken.

Next came the breakfast pizza.

Again, a little sauce, some cheese, then pile on the tots and bacon. Yes.

And finally the redemption pizza; the greek pizza.

This one’s a little bit different. There’s no sauce, just spinach, olives, chicken and cheese (I didn’t show the cheese picture because it’s not as pretty).

And they were all super tasty.

The dough came out nicely. It seemed fluffier and flakier than normal dough (more biscuit-y in other words). But it was a little weird reheated. Not bad, just really biscuit-y. But I’d definitely recommend it as a quick fix.

Pear Awesome Pizza

If you can’t tell by now, pears are pretty much my favorite fruit and I really like cooking with them. A while back I made some crepe/cannoli things with a pear-based filling (Pear Awesome). I made this pizza with the leftovers.

The dough should be prepared like normal, don’t worry about it not being sweet. And the sauce will be the pear awesome.

Other ingredients we used were:
a loaf of french bread
3 pears
honey
cinnamon
1 stick of butter
ginger (not powdered)

Out of the innards of the french bread we made make-shift cinnamon crisps. To do that, I literally just ripped apart the loaf of bread into tiny bits. Next, I melted a stick of butter and poured it over the bread bits. Mix with cinnamon, then lay flat and bake. Voila, cinnamon crisps!

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Out of the pears I made, heh heh, PEARperonies! Instead of slicing them in quarters like I normally would, I laid them on their side to get big, round slices. I still had to cut out the seeds and such.

On the pizza dough went the pear awesome, then the pearperonies.

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Next we grated some ginger and squeezed it over the pizza. We didn’t actually put it on the pizza because ginger is very stringy and hard to chew; we only wanted the flavor from the juice.

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On top of that, the cinnamon crisps and some honey.

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Next, bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until dough is cooked. Par baking the dough will quicken this final step.

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Procuitto and mushrooms

This one does require a bit of prep work, and is probably the most expensive pizza I’ll post, but it’s definitely tasty. It starts off a lot like the Greek pizza, in that you olive oil up and season the dough, and use spinach instead of a sauce.

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As for the prep work, there’s bleu cheese to shred, tomatoes to cut, and mushrooms to sauté.

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What I like doing with the mushrooms is putting them in a skillet on medium-high heat with enough red wine to cover the bottom of the pan–not too much because you want it to all cook off and absorb into the mushrooms. Garlic and pepper work really well for this too. The mushrooms will darken and soften as they cook, and you can take them out of the skillet whenever you like the taste. Whenever they’re ready, you can just dump them on. But be careful if there’s extra liquid; you don’t want it getting on the pizza.

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And for the prosciutto, you can either cut it up or no. That depends on your tastes. But cutting it up does make slicing and eating the pizza a bit easier.

We kind of stacked everything on there without thinking much about it, but we did finish with the cheese on top.

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Next, bake for 5 minutes at 375.

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After those 5 minutes, don’t take it out of the oven. Just put some mozzarella on top and let it bake for another 5 minutes. It makes it prettier and cuts the bleu cheese taste.

Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza

For this pizza, prepare the dough like normal, but without the seasonings.

And while it’s par-baking, you can start cutting up the pears into thin slices. The thinner the better, but chunks work too. It really depends on how soft you want them to turn out. My way of cutting fruit is to start off by slicing them in either lopsided halves, where one side gets all the seeds, or in quarters, where each fourth needs to be cleaned. Both ways work for me, but each method will result in different sized slices. I think the quarters are easier to use, but the half pieces look nicer.

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I also used a combination of normal pears and red pears. (I don’t remember their real names and will update when I do.) I found that the red pears were a little starchier and kept their form better whereas the green ones were mushier and sweeter. That may have been an issue of ripeness, but the contrast in texture was very pleasing to me. I also put some slices aside to top the end result so that there would be a fresh crunch too.

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Lay the pears on a bed of mozzarella cheese, then add Gorgonzola on top of it all. It has a very strong flavor, so we didn’t put a whole lot. To me, the Gorgonzola tasted a lot like bleu cheese and so I don’t think you would miss anything by switching the two. We also added another layer of mozzarella on top.

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Bake until the cheese is melted and the crust looks all the way done. If memory serves, I don’t think this one took too long, I think only about10 minutes in a 375 degree oven, but you should probably keep an eye on it.

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It ended up having such a funny shape because we didn’t par-bake the crust and weren’t able to slide it off the pizza peal onto the pizza stone. We ended up baking it on the peal. The oven wasn’t closed, but it still came out fine.

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Goat Cheese and Honey Pizza

That may sound strange to you, but it’s super good. There’s a fairly recent trend in food where sweet flavors are combined with salty and it comes out really nicely. When I was in France there was all sorts of sucré-salé combinations in restaurant menus and they’re all great.

Start off the dough like before, but skip the oilve oil and greek seasoning. You could put it on, but it’ll definitely make it different.

Ive tried making a sauce for it before, but you have to be sure it ends up thick enough that the pizza doesn’t get too runny. If you do want to make a sauce, just make a cream-based sauce using mozzarella to thicken it. It’s similar to what I did in an older article.

Basically, heat some heavy whipping cream in a skillet and once it warms up, add some honey (about a tablespoon in total) as well as some goat cheese (to get the flavor, you won’t need a whole lot) and some mozzarella (to make it thick and stretchy). Let this sauce thicken a little more than the one for the gruyere sauce mentioned earlier. Feel free to taste it as you go to make sure it’s good. You should be able to taste both the goat cheese and honey whereas the neutral mozzarella and cream flavors should be nearly absent.

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Also, it’s a good idea to par-cook the dough before making this pizza because of it’s potential for being too runny. To do that, all you have to do is preheat the oven to 375 degrees and cook the dough for about 5 minutes. You don’t want it to be all the way done because then it will just burn when you put the pizza in.

Once the dough has cooled, ladle on some sauce. You want to cover the dough to about a half-inch to an inch from the edges but, don’t layer it on too thick. Next add generous amounts of goat cheese, and a little bit of honey, for aesthetics. The flavor of honey should be in the sauce well enough, and it’s always nice to add more at the end, so don’t use too much now.

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We used cheese crumbles here, but it would look prettier if you could get a cheese log and successfully cut it into circles. The one time I tried, the cheese crumbled anyway–I think it was too cold to cut. But if you’re able to do it, let me know because I’d like to have that figured out.

And as you can see from the picture, we put more sauce on top before baking it. If your sauce ended up too thin, then skip this part. You can put mozzarella on top to take it’s place, if you like. It will look nice, but it will tone down the flavors.

Next, bake until the cheese is mostly (or all) melted and the crust looks all the way done. This one doesn’t take quite as long as the other pizzas, so I’d say check on it about 5 minutes after putting it in a 375 degree oven.

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BBQ Chicken Pizza

This one will balance out the last pizza.

Again, start off the dough with a coating of Greek seasoning and olive oil.

Next, ladle on some tomato sauce, with about a tablespoon or less of your favorite BBQ sauce.

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For thin crust pizzas like mine, you have to make sure not to add too much because that could make the dough come out soggy. What I put doesn’t look like a whole lot, but it’s plenty, especially since you’ll be putting more BBQ sauce on at the end.

Next, sprinkle on a handful of cheddar or mozzarella (I like using both for this pizza). Don’t go overboard; this is only the first layer.

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After that, pile on some chicken, onions (either green or purple), cilantro (if you’re in to that sort of thing), and more cheese. It looks prettiest when there’s a mix of cheddar and mozz on the top.

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Bake for 10-15 minutes at 375 and voila:

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Right after taking it out of the oven we put on the decorative and delicious BBQ sauce. You can do whatever pattern you want, so be creative!

Greek Pizza

Ok, this is probably one of my favorite and most popular pizzas.

First you start off with some pizza dough, coated in olive oil and Greek seasoning. (See the previous post for a dough recipe.)

Then instead of a sauce, put down a hefty layer of spinach. The spinach has enough moisture to make up for not having a sauce on the pizza. And even if it looks like a lot, the heat will make it lose volume.

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Next add as much feta as you can handle.

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Feta will be your main cheese, but if you can’t handle it’s strength, you can add mozzarella, at the risk of me calling you a pansy. Next up are kalamata olives and tomatoes. As for the tomatoes, you have a couple of options here. I really like and recommend using sun-dried tomatoes. They’re not too moist so as to mess up the crust, and I like their taste the most.

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If not sun-dried, then next I’d recommend using some roasted tomatoes. You can do this yourself pretty easily; the whole process takes about 15 minutes, depending on how fast you can cut tomatoes. Basically all you have to do is cut them into round pieces, lay them flat on a non-stick baking pan, and season. I recommend salt and pepper as a start, and the rest can change based on what they’re going with. For accompanying the Greek pizza, you could use Balsamic vinegar instead of salt, garlic, and a little oregano or basil.

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Technically you could use just normal tomatoes, but I like the flavor of the first two options best, and normal tomatoes are a little bit harder to deal with on the final result. A lot of times they add excess moisture so that the dough doesn’t cook right and is very soggy, or they just slop around and fall off all over the place.

Cooked chicken is a good next addition, but if you want to keep this pizza vegetarian friendly, it’s something that can be left off. You want it to be cooked before hand because the pizza won’t be in the oven long enough to cook it.

Before putting it in the oven, you do need to put on a layer of mozzarella, despite what I said earlier. It protects the spinach from drying out too much and keeps the other ingredients from over-browning. Also, make sure that the oven has been preheated, and if you have a pizza stone, it has to be in the oven the whole time, from the instant you turn it on–a drastic change in temperature could break it.

After about 10 to 15 minutes at 375 degrees, you’ll have something like this:

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Don’t worry about the shape of the dough too much, especially if it’s your first time rolling it. You’ll get better the more you practice. And as long as it tastes good, who cares?

Pizza Dough

I finally got the recipe back from Albert’s house. I really should have it memorized considering how long I’ve been doing this, but…

Any who, here it is. This recipe has worked in a bread machine as well as for hand kneading and yields 2 lbs of dough, good for two to four pizzas depending on the size and thickness of crust you want.

1 tbs Sugar
1 tsp Salt
3 cups Flour
2 tsp Active Dry Yeast

1 cup Water
2 Tbs Oil (I prefer olive oil, but whatever is fine)

When I last made this, I didn’t have the yeast. I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you do end up in that situation, there are two things you can do. Either go without and end up with very hard, cracker-like crust, or substitute the yeast for equal parts lemon juice and baking baking soda (1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp baking soda, in this case.) But you have to put in the lemon juice and baking soda at the end, rather than the beginning.

Another problem happened. We think it was because Albert had left the door open and it was pretty humid outside, but the dough came out really runny and sticky. If that happens, don’t panic. All you have to do is knead it a little by hand with some flour. To do that, I cleaned off a secluded place on the counter top, covered it with flour, and coated my hands with oil. I worked the dough in my hands, dipping it in flour every once in a while, mixing it all into the dough before dipping it in the flour again. It only took a few minutes to fix it; it really wasn’t a big deal.

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But don’t worry, despite all the problems I just brought up. I’m pretty sure I’ve made pizza at least 15 times before and that was the first time any of this happened. So you shouldn’t have any issues. But if you’re one of those unlucky-in-the-kitchen people, those are some ways to deal with them.

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When Albert tried tossing the dough, he poked a hole in it. If that happens to you, don’t worry. All you have to do is wet your fingers and rub them around the hole. Once the dough is a little wet, just push it back together.

And one last prep tip: For most pizzas, it tastes really good to coat the entire crust with olive oil and a light dusting of Greek seasoning. The Greek seasoning isn’t the best idea for dessert pizzas though…