American Cuisine – Homemade Pizza

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American Cuisine (Cuisine américaine) is a French Movie. After a conflict with an officer, Loren Collins got fired from the US Navy, where he was learning to be a Chef. Too poor to pay for cooking studies he went to Dijon and got hired by Louis Boyer, the bad tempered owner of a prestigious restaurant.

French-born, UCLA-trained screenwriter Jean-Yves Pitoun made his directorial debut with this French comedy in which self-taught cook Lorenzo, aka Loren (Jason Lee) is discharged from the U.S. Navy after hitting a superior who accused him of serving “sissy food” to the Admiral’s guests. Back in Brooklyn, Loren works at his Italian-Irish family’s pizza parlor and then heads for France to study with his idol, chef Louis Boyer (Eddy Mitchell). After the death of his wife, Boyer raised his daughter Gabrielle (Irene Jacob), now a successful restaurant architect engaged to physician Vincent (Thibault de Montalembert). Gabrielle and Loren compare recipes and finally choose romance from their menu, while Boyer begins to cave in from the stress of tax problems, restaurant critics, and police seeking illegal foreign workers. Jason Lee learned French in order to do the French dialogue version. In the English-language version, actors speak French but switch to English when Lee is onscreen.

Movie speaks about pizza parlor so let’s check out pizza but something different! Yes I am talking about a healthy pizza recipe for your kids.

Pizza Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105°F-115°F)
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose but bread flour will give you a crisper crust)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Pizza Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Cornmeal (to slide the pizza onto the pizza stone)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Feta cheese
  • Mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • Bell peppers, stems and seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • Italian sausage, cooked ahead
  • Chopped fresh basil
  • Pesto
  • Pepperoni, thinly sliced
  • Onions, thinly sliced

 

Equipment:

  • A pizza stone, highly recommended if you want your pizza dough to be crusty
  • A pizza peel or a flat baking sheet

 

Method:

  • In the large bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer add the warm water. Sprinkle on the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved. Stir to dissolve completely if needed at the end of 5 minutes.
  • Attach a mixing paddle to the mixer. Mix in the olive oil, flour, salt and sugar on low speed for about a minute. Remove the mixing paddle and replace with a dough hook. Knead using the mixer and dough hook, on low to medium speed, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If you don’t have a mixer, you can mix and knead by hand. If the dough seems a little too wet, sprinkle on a bit more flour.
  • Coat the dough with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place (75-85°F) until it doubles in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
  • Punch the dough down so it deflates a bit. Divide the dough in half. Form two round balls of dough. Place each in its own bowl, cover with plastic and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Working one ball of dough at a time, take one ball of dough and flatten it with your hands on a slightly floured work surface. Starting at the center and working outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Turn and stretch the dough until it will not stretch further. Let the dough relax 5 minutes and then continue to stretch it until it reaches the desired diameter – 10 to 12 inches. Use your palm to flatten the edge of the dough where it is thicker.
  • Brush the top of the dough with olive oil. Use your finger tips to press down and make dents along the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Let rest another 5 minutes.
  • Repeat with the second ball of dough.
  • Lightly sprinkle your pizza peel (or flat baking sheet) with corn meal. Transfer one prepared flattened dough to the pizza peel.
  • Spoon on the tomato sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and place your desired toppings on the pizza.
  • Sprinkle some cornmeal on the baking stone in the oven,
  • Gently shake the peel to see if the dough will easily slide, if not, gently lift up the edges of the pizza and add a bit more cornmeal. Slide the pizza off of the peel and on to the baking stone in the oven. Bake pizza one at a time until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 10-15 minutes. If you want, toward the end of the cooking time you can sprinkle on a little more cheese.         
  • Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
  • Punch the dough down so it deflates a bit. Divide the dough in half. Form two round balls of dough. Place each in its own bowl, cover with plastic and let sit for 10 minutes.
  •  Working one ball of dough at a time, take one ball of dough and flatten it with your hands on a slightly floured work surface. Starting at the center and working outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Turn and stretch the dough until it will not stretch further. Let the dough relax 5 minutes and then continue to stretch it until it reaches the desired diameter – 10 to 12 inches. Use your palm to flatten the edge of the dough where it is thicker
  • Brush the top of the dough with olive oil. Use your finger tips to press down and make dents along the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Let rest another 5 minutes.
  • Repeat with the second ball of dough.
  • Lightly sprinkle your pizza peel (or flat baking sheet) with corn meal. Transfer one prepared flattened dough to the pizza peel.
  • Spoon on the tomato sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and place your desired toppings on the pizza.
  • Sprinkle some cornmeal on the baking stone in the oven
  • Gently shake the peel to see if the dough will easily slide, if not, gently lift up the edges of the pizza and add a bit more cornmeal. Slide the pizza off of the peel and on to the baking stone in the oven. Bake pizza one at a time until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 10-15 minutes. If you want, toward the end of the cooking time you can sprinkle on a little more cheese.