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BrokeAss Gourmet

Picnic pizza

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This idea was born one warm summer evening when I attempted to take a pizza to the park for a picnic. Since I didn't have an actual pizza box to carry it in, I wrapped my freshly cooked pizza in foil, tucked napkins and plates into my bag and hoped for the best. Sadly, the result was disappointing. The pizza flavors were good, but the two-block schlep to the park was enough to wilt the toppings and smush the crust. I needed a better plan. Calzones, of course, were an option, but, though I love eating them at home, I foresaw their saucy insides splattered all over my pretty picnic blanket if I packed them along instead.

A few weeks later, I was rolling fresh cinnamon rolls for a weekend brunch, and it hit me: Why not roll pizza toppings up in fresh dough, a la cinnamon rolls, and then bake them into neat, portable spirals? They would feature the dough/sauce/topping ratio I like so much about pizza, but the handy portability of calzones, without the calzone's goopy, drippy insides. I couldn't wait to finish brunch to put my new game plan into action.

The result, as I had hoped, was superb. These pinwheel pizza rounds proved to be a neat, easily transported pizza option and one of the best meals I've eaten all summer.

brokeass-picnicpizza.jpg

Ingredients

For the dough:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup warm water

1 packet dry active yeast

2 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoon olive oil plus more for the bowl

1 teaspoon salt

For the pizza:

2/3 cup sauce of your choice (tomato, pesto, red pepper, even cooked, pureed carrots or sweet potatoes with spices like ground chiles or curry powder stirred in)

1 1/2 cups shredded/crumbled cheese of your choice (I like provolone, goat, aged white cheddar or fresh buffalo mozzarella)

1-3 pizza toppings of your choice (the recipe pictured features diced red onions, spinach and red peppers)

Directions

To make the dough, combine water, yeast and sugar and set aside in a warm place until it begins to foam (about 4-5 minutes).

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mixer with paddle or a food processor, combine salt and flour. Slowly stream in the yeast mixture and add the olive oil. If using a mixer or food processor, turn on and allow ingredients to combine until they form a ball of dough. If you're using a mixer, now is the time to switch to the dough hook. Knead (either by turning on your machine or by hand) for 2-3 minutes. Set aside in an oiled bowl, covered with a damp dish towel in a warm place (like an oven that has been turned on and then turned off and allowed to cool a bit but is still warm) for 30 minutes.

After dough has doubled in size, punch down and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly flour (or line with parchment paper) a baking sheet and set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 8-by-12.

Spread the sauce over the dough in a thin layer.

Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the sauced dough.

Scatter the toppings evenly over the cheese. Try not to overdo it.

Starting at the bottom, roll the dough up, pinching as you go, to keep it in a tight cylinder.

Use a sharp knife to cut the cylinder into 12 separate 1-inch-thick rounds.

Arrange the rounds on the prepared baking sheet with space between them.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the crust is golden-brown and the cheese and sauce bubble.

BrokeAss Gourmet caters to folks who want to live the high life on the cheap, with delicious recipes that are always under $20. Gabi Moskowitz is the blog's editor-in-chief and author of The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook and Pizza Dough:100 Delicious, Unexpected Recipes.

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