Category Archives: Pizza

Hot Pizza Air

Happy VD!

Today, you may consider yourselves the luckiest people on the face of the Earth.

That’s because I’m going to give you something you’ll thank me for until you die.

First, a preamble. Last night I made pizzas. It was the only thing I could think of to snap The Loved One and me out of these winter doldrums. I made a mushroom pizza for T-Lo and she happily gobbled it while watching the new season of House of Cards. For me, I made a nice artichoke heart and black olive pizza.

These are the drugs T-Lo and I partake of these days.

Anyway, I figure I’ll share the high. And here’s where you get lucky.

I hereby present my recipe for from-scratch pizza dough.

Big Mike’s Supercool Pizza Dough


  • 3 cups semolina flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1¼ cup lukewarm water
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. dry yeast

[Note: You’ll need either a bread machine or awfully strong arms for this one. Semolina is a high-protein wheat whose flour makes for a substantial dough. You’ll want this for your thin crusts because it holds together really well, giving a crisp crunch on the perimeter and a sturdy base for the sauce, cheese, and toppings. If using a bread machine, set it to Dough.]


Measure your flours into a bowl and mix well with a fork or spoon. Put the bowl aside.


Get It At Kroger Or Bloomingfoods

In your bread machine pan, pour your lukewarm water and add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the teaspoon of honey, and the salt. You must add the salt to the water as this keeps it away from the yeast for as long as possible — salt neutralizes yeast.

Gently pour the flours mixture into the bread machine pan so it lays on top of the water. It should be sort of a mound. Using a spoon, make a little well at the top of the mound and pour your yeast into it.

Turn the machine on and let it do the hard work.

Bread Machine

Set For Dough

When your machine beeps, open the lid and punch the dough down so it can rise once again. Let it rise this second time for about 20 minutes.

Now, punch the dough down again and remove it from the machine pan. Cut it in half and form two big balls.

Pull out your bread board and, using a tea infuser, tap some flour on the board and your rolling pin. This prevents the dough from sticking to either. Place one of the balls of dough in the middle of the board and squish it flat with your hand. Work with it to make sure it’s symmetrical. Then begin rolling it out. Make it nice and thin but not so thin that you can see through it or holes can develop.

Infuser Spoon

Great For Sprinkling Flour Or Powdered Sugar

Now lay the rolled-out dough on a baking sheet. You can make your pizzas either round, New York/Chicago style, or rectangular, Sicilian style. Using your kitchen brush, paint olive oil over the surface of the dough. Place the first dough into the oven, preheated to 350°F. Bake for 8 or so minutes.


Sicilian Style

When that’s done, put the second dough into the oven. While that one bakes, you may dress your first pizza. Use whatever sauce recipe and toppings you prefer. I like to use any mixture of cheeses including mozzarella, young provolone, fresh Asiago (Pressato), young Fontina (aka Fontina Val d’Aosta), and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (or parmesan if you want to economize).


Fontina Val d’Aosta

Crank your oven up to 420°F. Place the first fully-dressed pizza in for ten minutes or until the cheese just begins to turn golden brown. Repeat.

Now, eat like a queen or a king. That’s my Valentine’s Day gift to you.

Hot Cranky Air


Okay, Pencillistas, here’s the deal.

The 73 feet of snow that fell upon Bloomington and environs as well as the string of days with slate gray skies have turned me into a miserable, cranky, venom-spitting curmudgeon.

Or, more accurately, a more miserable, cranky, venom-spitting curmudgeon.


The Loved One And I Shoveling Our Driveway

I try to keep my eye on the line that separates me from being a run of the mill annoying, whining, griping, beefing pain in everybody’s ass. The recent South Central Indiana meteorological epileptic fit has pushed me over that line.

Nothing I can see at this moment pleases me. Moreover, my vision for the rotten in life is more crystal clear than usual. Honestly, if, say, the ravishing actress Chloë Sevigny slipped me a note reading, “Oh, Big Mike, I long for you to make sweet, sweet love to me. Please meet me in my luxury penthouse suite,” I’d crumple it and mutter, Sheesh, she didn’t say a single word about there being pizza afterward, the cheapskate.


That’s All You Got?

As a result, I’m staying away from committing my bile to this page for a little bit. Dig: If you choose to enjoy the hell that is winter, that’s a matter for discussion between you and your psychiatrist. Far be it from me to kill your buzz.

I’ll meet you back here when I feel better.

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