Plain, regular tacos? Not today. Not on my shift. Not when I have something else to blog about. I mean, who needs instructions on how to make regular tacos? Certainly not you, my gifted readers. So for your viewing pleasure (and because I like to take something easy and make it more difficult,) I present to you, The Taco Pizza.
note* If making your own dough, keep in mind that it needs an overnight rest in the fridge before being ready to use.
8 ounces of pizza dough, store bought or homemade, recipe follows
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 packet of taco seasoning (I used 2 TBSP of Penzey's taco seasoning)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
3/4 cup shredded cheese (I used queso quesadilla cheese but you could use Monterey Jack or mozzarella)
See crust directions below if making your own dough.
Brown ground beef and drain. Add taco seasoning and water. Simmer on medium low heat for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside.
Grape tomatoes, halved
Shredded cheddar cheese
The crust: (This makes one pound of pizza dough, enough for one large 12-14 inch pizza, or two 8-10 inch pizzas)
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp vital wheat gluten
1 TBSP pizza dough flavor (optional, but delicious)
2 tsp instant yeast
1 TBSP olive oil
3/4 cup warm water (90-100 degrees)
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the flours, salt, sugar, wheat gluten, pizza dough flavor and instant yeast. Whisk together. Add the olive oil and the water. Using dough hook, mix and knead dough for 8-10 minutes, adding more water or flour as needed, until dough is smooth and elastic. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and transfer dough to bowl, rolling it around to completely coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let proof at room temperature until doubled, about one hour. Gently punch dough down to degas, knead again for a few minutes and return to bowl. Cover bowl again with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, remove dough from fridge about an hour and a half before you want to bake the pizza. Spray some cooking spray on your counter top and transfer dough. Cover dough with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let rest while you make your sauce and put the rest of your pizza ingredients together.
About thirty minutes before baking the pizza, place pizza stone on the middle rack of your oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees.
After dough has rested for an hour, spray a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray. Place dough on parchment paper and starting from the middle of the dough ball, gently spread the dough out into a 12" circle. It the dough resists, just let it rest a few minutes longer before working with it again.
Transfer the crust along with the parchment paper to the baking stone in the oven. I use a pizza peel to do this. Bake for five minutes then remove the crust and parchment paper from the stone.
Top pizza crust with salsa, taco meat and cheese. Return pizza to oven and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese is bubbly. Remove pizza from oven and top with shredded lettuce, onions, tomatoes and cheddar cheese. Garnish with sour cream if desired.
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