Southern Biscuits with Sawmill Gravy
My husband's amazing take on a childhood favorite of mine.
This recipe is a humble homage to a different pizza I had recently with a friend at Dove Vivi, a pizza place in NE PDX that is about as Portlandy as they come and has a great cornbread crust on their pizzas. Recently I sent there and had a roasted corn and serrano pizza. I loved the corn so much I decided to try it at home, but go in a slightly different direction.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your pizza dough and try a lot of things. Today I used a pretty simple recipe from Cooks.com, but I didn’t really follow the directions. What follows are mine, which are similar to theirs but in a different order:
You will need (this will make two large crusts):
The most important thing about making any kind of bread is the yeast. In my opinion, you should always be very specific with the temperature of the water for the yeast – none of this “lukewarm” stuff. Get your thermometer and warm the water up to 110-120 degrees. Put it in a bowl with the sugar and the yeast and let it sit for about five minutes, until there’s a little foam on the top. That means the yeast has woken up and is ready to metabolize!
Mix in the flour and the olive oil and knead for about five minutes. The dough will be ready when you can take a small piece and stretch it thinly enough that it still sticks together but has a very thin veil you can almost see through – the “baker’s window.” that means you’ve formed enough gluten for the bread to have a good texture. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for half an hour or so.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350, boil or roast an ear of fresh corn, grate two cups of cheese (I went with cheddar here, but you could do anything) and caramelize your onions. Cut up a medium white onion and cook on low-medium heat in a saucepan with a few teaspoons of olive oil.
This is what you are going for:
When all of those things are done it will be pretty close to time to pre-bake the crust. Spread cornmeal on your pizza stone like so:
Use your hands to start with a ball of dough and eventually spread it out into a larger and larger disk. I recommend using a stone to bake it on.
Bake for 5-7 minutes until the crust is almost ready, and then assemble your toppings. If you like a crispier or more well done crust, add time during the prebake instead of when the toppings are on the pizza so you aren’t burning or overcooking the toppings in the process. I brushed the top of the crust with olive oil before spreading out the cheddar, corn and finally the onions.
It was so good, my mouth is watering just thinking about it again. The pizza will be ready after another 10-15 minutes of baking. Just make sure the cheese is melted and the crust is structurally sound. And then devour!