CHEW THIS! Kami’s Deep Dish Pizza

Kami’s Deep Dish Pizza


The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, June 18th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Deep Dish Pizza – a Family Favorite
Blaise Doubman

I love a good deep dish pizza! I am not a fan of thin crust pizza or flatbreads. Give me a thick, delicious and tomato sauce slathered piece of deep dish pizza any day! My very favorite deep dish pizza comes from Giordano’s in Indianapolis. If you have not tried it, I highly recommend it! Now, when you go, be prepared to wait about 45 minutes for your pizza but trust me, the wait is well worth it! When I started developing recipes for my own deep dish pizza I wanted something simple, foolproof and flavorful. After testing several recipes I found a recipe for deep dish pizza from my Aunt, Kami Doubman. I was blown away! The recipe was simple and the techniques in letting the dough rise and rest were simple and straightforward. I made the recipe in several variations and discussed with her in length about the ingredients and process. The recipe below is the official result – and it is fabulous!

I love recipes that are passed down from one generation to the next and I love recipes that are easy and versatile. For this particular recipe feel free to use a good pizza sauce from a jar or even a good quality marinara sauce with your own herbs added. Go completely homemade with the pizza sauce if you want to by adding ½ cup chopped white onion and 2 tablespoons minced garlic in a skillet over medium heat until clear and tender. Next add in 2 tablespoons olive oil, a couple of cans of crushed tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, a small can of tomato paste and a sprinkling of salt, black paper, oregano and basil. Simmer until thickened and ready to use – it really could not be any more simple – and so delicious! Shoutout and special thanks to my Aunt Kami for allowing me to share this recipe with everyone!

Kami’s Deep Dish Pizza

Top this pizza with anything you desire! My personal favorite topping with this pizza is pepperoni and sliced – not shredded – mozzarella cheese. When using sliced cheese it creates a “blanket” of cheese on top that using shredded cheese just does not match. Add hamburger, sausage, peppers, onions, olives or even pineapple. To help the dough rise in a warm location, turn your oven on 200 degrees F and place the bowl of dough near the oven.

1 cup white all-purpose flour
½ cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package dry yeast
¾ cup whole milk
¼ cup water
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons white all-purpose flour

Start by combining the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, salt and dry yeast in a large bowl.

In a glass measuring cup combine the whole milk, water and salted butter. Microwave on high power for 2 minutes being sure not to overheat the mixture because it could kill the yeast. You want the liquid to be warm to the touch not too hot.

Add the warm liquid to the flour mixture and stir gently to combine.

Once combined, gently stir in 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons white all-purpose flour.

Combine, using clean dry hands, until the dough forms a ball that holds together.

Lay the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. This can also be done using the kneading function on your kitchen stand mixer.

Once the 10 minutes is up, place the dough ball into a clean bowl and cover with a clean towel. Place in a warm area and allow to rest and rise for 90 minutes.

Punch down, knead a couple times, reshape and allow to rest and rise 60 additional minutes.

Remove dough from bowl and place in a lightly greased 9x-13-inch baking pan. Gently pat and coax the dough into the pan being sure to press down the dough without stretching it. If you stretch the dough it will return to exactly where it was before in the pan.

Once evenly distributed cover with pizza sauce, pepperoni, sliced cheese, etc.

Bake in preheated 375 degree F oven for 37 minutes.

Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Ask and Answer: Several people messaged me about my made from scratch strawberry pizza and wondered if you could substitute other fruit toppings in place of the strawberries. The answer is yes! Blueberries would be nice, pineapples and kiwi or even cherries. In replacing the fruit you would then want to make a glaze that would pair nicely with the substituted fruit. Unless you wanted to use the strawberry glaze with other types of fruit and that would be perfectly delicious as well. Hope this helps and thanks for asking!


CHEW THIS! Strawberry Pizza, From Scratch

Strawberry Pizza, From Scratch


The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, June 4th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Updating A Classic, From Scratch
Blaise Doubman

Every strawberry season my Aunt makes a strawberry pizza and I love them! I could sit down and eat the entire pizza in one sitting, no problem. Matter of fact, I loved it so much I included the recipe for it in my cookbook – page 39. But really, strawberries, cream cheese, sugar cookie crust; who wouldn’t love it? Whenever I make it I think of strawberry season, farmers markets, Bell’s Strawberry Farm and of course the famous strawberry shortcake at Ivanhoe’s Restaurant in Upland, Indiana. If you have not tried the strawberries at Bell’s or the strawberry shortcake from Ivanhoe’s I highly recommend searching out both for a full strawberry experience.

Strawberries are really versatile and pair beautifully with a wide variety of flavors. Blueberries, orange, lemon, lime and even balsamic vinegar to name just a few perfect pairings. There isn’t anything more comforting to me though than strawberries, cream cheese and sugar cookies. When developing this recipe I really wanted to create a recipe truly from scratch. I did not want to use store bought sugar cookie dough or the strawberry glaze that you can buy in a pouch. I wanted something that was still familiar, yet updated and seasonal. I think that you will find this recipe quite delicious and I hope it gives you the good strawberry summer memories it has for me. This is the perfect recipe for entertaining, reunions or cookouts.

Strawberry Pizza, From Scratch

It is important that the cream cheese be at room temperature before starting this recipe. If the cream cheese has any type of chill on it, you will never be able to get the grainy texture away from the end result. The lemon juice in the filling really brightens up the overall flavor and pairs wonderfully with the vanilla and strawberries.

For the crust…
1 cup white all-purpose flour
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt

For the filling…
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup white granulated sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice

For the topping…
1 cup strawberries, cut in half
¼ cup white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the white all-purpose flour, confectioner’s sugar, softened butter and salt. Stir until the mixture forms a soft ball.

With gentle fingers, form dough into ball and place in the middle of the prepared baking sheet. Press the dough into a 14-inch circle making sure the surface and edges are evenly proportioned. Bake this in preheated oven for 15 minutes exactly. Remove and cool.

To make the filling combine the cream cheese, pure vanilla extract, white granulated sugar and squeeze of lemon juice in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together until lump free and smooth. Spread this mixture onto the cool crust and spread evenly.

To make the topping combine the prepared strawberries, white granulated sugar and cornstarch in a pot over medium heat. Stir until the mixture begins to simmer. Simmer until the mixture turns thick and glossy which should take about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before spreading on top of the filling.

Place into the refrigerator until ready to serve. Best stored and served chilled.

Ask and Answer: Pat Bogue from Spiceland would like to know more about freezing cookie dough to make ahead, freeze and then bake off later. It is simple Pat, just make the cookie dough and roll into balls, placing on a baking sheet. Freeze the baking sheet until the dough balls are firm and frozen. Remove from freezer and place frozen cookie dough balls into a plastic storage bag. Store in freezer until ready to bake. When ready to bake simply place and bake. Bake a couple minutes longer than the recipe suggests for fresh dough. Almost all cookie dough can be frozen easily with very few exceptions. Certain peanut butter cookies and certain oatmeal raisin cookies tend to turn out dry when frozen and baked. Hope this helps!

CHEW THIS! Homemade Pizza and Tomato Sauce

Homemade Pizza and Tomato Sauce 


The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, May 15th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Homemade pizza is far superior to anything you could buy…
Blaise Doubman

My family loves pizza! But really though, who doesn’t? I read somewhere once, that pizza is the most consumed food in the World, and I believe it! I can name ten pizza places right off the top of my head – all locally! I really think that pizza places are the new Starbucks. It seems there’s one popping up on every corner. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve tried most of them – ok, all of them, and none of them are as delicious as pizza you could make at home! Sure there’s more cleanup involved, and a few more dishes, but so what? Make the time to really learn what goes into your pizza. When you control the ingredients, you know exactly what you’re eating! It’s healthier and it’s a lot more fun making your own pizza, and creating memories in your kitchen, than swinging by and picking up or ordering a pizza. Make this with your husband, your wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, grandparents, grandkids… Create a memory with them to share.

I wanted to create a recipe that could be made time and time again, not just because of the ease of the recipe, but because it was flavorful and crowd-pleasing. I really believe this recipe does that. With this recipe, there’s no waiting for the dough to rise, and no messing with leavening agents that some recipes are notorious for. If you have a pizza stone, I highly recommend using it with this recipe. I haven’t used anything but a pizza stone in several years, and I find it’s well worth the investment. Every time I serve this, people rave about not only the chewy crust, but the well bodied flavor of the homemade sauce.

Homemade Pizza and Tomato Sauce

This recipe is super versatile! Top with any combination of toppings you like – pineapple, ground beef, ground sausage, mushrooms, onions, green bell peppers, jalapeños, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, Munster cheese, pickles, zucchini, ham, bacon, and so forth. Let your imagination fly! It’s very important to use bread flour for this recipe. Keep it on hand – stored in an air tight container – for when you want to make this recipe again. This recipe can easily be doubled. This particular recipe makes enough for one standard medium/large pizza. If you find the pizza sticking to the pizza pan, sprinkle a little cornmeal on before stretching the dough. In place of the cranberry juice, feel free to use grape juice, pomegranate juice or for a richer flavor, red wine.

For the pizza dough…
1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
1 ½ teaspoons white granulated sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
2 ½ cups bread flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

For the tomato sauce…
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup cranberry juice
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper

Start by making the tomato sauce. In a large skillet, over medium heat, sauté the garlic for about 90 seconds. Add the cranberry juice and simmer with the garlic for about 2 minutes. Next, add the can of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, white granulated sugar, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper. Stir everything together well and simmer mixture over medium-low heat for about 7 minutes.

After the mixture has thickened slightly, keep under low heat stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, make the pizza dough. Start by preheating your oven to 450-degrees F and lightly spraying your pizza pan or stone with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, dissolve the active dry yeast and white granulated sugar into the warm water. Swish this mixture around with your fingertips and allow to stand about 10 minutes.

Next, stir in the bread flour, olive oil and salt. Stir vigorously until combined and then allow the mixture to rest about 5 minutes.

Finally, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and pat into a round shape. Transfer the ball of dough to the prepared pizza pan and spread out gently with your hands, being careful not to pull or stretch the dough.

Once the dough is formed onto the pizza pan, spread with the warm tomato sauce and finish with desired toppings.

Place in preheated oven for 16-21 minutes or until golden brown.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to rest 5 minutes before cutting.

CHEW THIS! Puff Pastry Pizza

Puff Pastry Pizza


The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 7th 2014 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Rustic Italian Pizza – with a Twist
Blaise Doubman

My family and I have always appreciated a good pizza and judging by a recent survey saying that “94% of all Americans eat pizza regularly” – everyone else shares our love. Toppings on a pizza are just as talked about as the places where we buy them. Some prefer hamburger, while others are strictly cheese only, while other people like barbeque sauce instead of tomato. Some people locally prefer ordering their pizza from “Pizza King” while others prefer “Top Hat 2”, while others prefer homemade (like me). But what about trying something new and something different? What about trying a pizza topped simply with mozzarella cheese, fresh sliced tomatoes and what about using puff pastry instead of a traditional pizza crust? Let me explain…

Pizza was traditionally topped with only mozzarella cheese, olive oil, sliced tomatoes and scattered with fresh basil. What we now call “rustic pizza” was traditionally just the “normal” when first invented. Researching the pizza, I just described gave me the idea to change things up a little. I took the traditional rustic pizza toppings, added a little garlic, puff pastry and a little grated parmesan cheese and wow! Talk about delicious! Don’t have the use of puff pastry scare you away from trying this recipe – it’s amazing and couldn’t be easier! Just remember to put the frozen puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight for a slow and gentle defrost.

Puff Pastry Pizza

Puff pastry can be used for sweet or savory recipes and can be found in the frozen section (usually next to the frozen whipped topping) in your local grocery store. Be sure to buy puff pastry and not phyllo dough – that is something completely different. The puff pastry will add a buttery flavor and tons of “crunch” with the layers of dough. Fresh tomatoes give this pizza a delicious fresh flavor – but store bought can be substituted. Basil ties together the flavors but is optional and still good without it.

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 large tomatoes sliced about ¼-inch thick
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (optional)

Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place one sheet of the puff pastry in the center of the baking sheet and brush with the lightly beaten egg.

Next, poke the puff pastry all over with a fork – being sure to go all the way through.

Sprinkle on the grated parmesan cheese and place in preheated oven for 17 minutes.

Place sliced tomatoes on a layer of paper towels and sprinkle with the salt and pepper (this will help remove the moisture) and let set for several minutes.

When the pastry has finished baking, remove and allow to cool slightly before sprinkling on the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Press away any excess moisture from the tomatoes by lightly pressing them with paper towels before placing them on top of the mozzarella cheese.

Whisk together the olive oil and minced garlic and drizzle evenly over the top of the pastry.

Bake again for 13 minutes (still at 425 degrees F).

Remove from oven and sprinkle on chopped basil (if using).

Cut into squares and serve hot.