Saturday, October 20, 2012

50 States of MoFo: Rhode Island Pizza Strips

For a small state, Rhode Island has plenty of distinctive food, from clear chowder (what it sounds like) to cabinets (an ice-cream drink).  What to choose?  When I discovered that cheeseless "pizza strips" or "bakery pizza" are a Rhode Island thing, that settled the question.  With help from an omnivore Rhode Island blog, I dove right in.  

Make the crust:
Dissolve 2 1/4 t dry yeast in 1 1/4 c warm water.  Gradually stir in 1/2 t salt and about 3 c all purpose flour.  Gradually knead in a little more flour until you have a smooth, tacky but not sticky (think Post-It Note) dough.  It took me about 3 1/2 cups total, but it will vary.  The 4 cups in the original recipe is too much.  Knead about 5 minutes, let rest 5 minutes, and then knead 2-3 minutes more.   Place the dough in a covered, oiled bowl, and let rise for about an hour, until doubled.

Make the sauce:
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes ("Italian" style if your store has it), 1 T olive oil, 1/2 t black pepper, 3/4 t oregano, 2 cloves garlic (sliced very thin), 1 t sugar, and 1 T nutritional yeast.   That's it.  No cooking.  Yeah!

Lightly oil an 11x17 baking sheet, and gently spread out half the dough until it covers the baking sheet  completely.  Spread with sauce and bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes or until it looks done.  Slice into rectangular strips, which are traditionally served at room temperature or cold.   Cold cheeseless pizza?  I love Rhode Island!   You can use the rest of the dough and sauce to make another sheet of pizza strips, or freeze them for future use.  You can also deep fry pieces of the dough and toss them with sugar (regular granulated sugar, cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar) to make "doughboys" - the R.I. version of zeppoles!

Note:  There appear to be strong feelings about how thick the pizza strip crust should be.  The formula above makes a thin, crispy crust, which I, frankly, LOVED.  If you want a thicker, more focaccia-like crust, use more dough per pan.

I was very happy with the speed and ease of this recipe, and the great results!  Definitely a MoFo make-again.


Bethany said...

Way to represent RI! Pizza strips are definitely the thing here. Also - coffee milk (cold milk with coffee-flavored syrup), clam cakes, grinders ("grind-ahz"), and NY system weiners (don't ask). Good job! said...

Pizza strips are definitely something I can get down with!