We eat a lot of pizza. Usually that means we take a blank canvas of soft dough and apply our favorite colors -basil, tomato, cheese, meats, veggies- then cut it into triangl-y pieces and eat the pointy ends first. But what if, this time, we changed neither the canvas nor the paints but the whole approach to eating pizza? How about dipping bread sticks in a cheesy, saucy pizza? Well, that's pretty good, except that bread sticks are boring. Then Claramecium (my oldest daughter's Instructables screen name), thought up the Octopizza, complete with pepperoni suckers. I love having kids!
Step 1: Ingredients
You can use whatever ingredients you like, canned sauce, fancy cheese... I think only two things are imperative to this recipe: pepperoni sticks and fresh dough.
I also used
one can tomato sauce (not diced, for ease of dipping)
some oregano, basil, fennel, garlic, onion, pepper, salt and oil to coax out the flav's
4 cups flour mixed with 1 Tbs salt and a shot of olive oil
2 cups warm-ish water with a Tbs of dissolved, happy yeast, all bright-eyed and foamy.
Mix and knead the dough at least 10 minutes. We want big, muscular tentacles and that means kneading lots.
I like to soften and encourage the herbs in warm olive oil before the tomato sauce shows up and pushes everyone around. I call it coaxing. Try it. It makes a nice sauce and fills the whole house with nostalgia and love.
When the dough has more than doubled cut off a third and use that small bit as the main crust. On an oiled sheet stretch it out into an 8" round and peak the crust into a high sharp edge. This will keep the sauce in and ensure that the good stuff will go right up to the very cusp. Very dippable.
Cut the remaining dough into eight pieces (or more if you are overrun with offspring) and snake the ends with your palms. Tuck the fat ends under the round crust and spray or brush the tentacles with water or watery egg.
Apply the pepperoni suckers, sort of on one side of each tentacle because it looks better.
Pour in the good stuff and bake it at 350 until it's done.
Step 3: Delayed by an Instructable!
Coincidentally I happened to be following an 'ible for fruit leather earlier today that wasn't quite done and was still tying up my oven. Turned out great but it delayed our dinner a little while. Instructables.com is like heroin for makers. This website is taking over our home.
Step 4: RED HOT LAVA COVERED IN CHEESE!
Here it is! So crispy and soft and chewy and saucy. Just tear off a tentacle and start scooping pizza. But be careful to let it cool a little first because it is ridiculously hot!
I did end up giving the tentacles an additional light salting, like the Olive Garden bread sticks that we all love.
As predicted by Claramecium the suckers did cook up cupped and were a lot of fun to talk gross about. Then, when we had finished all the tentacles, we were left with the sauce and cheese and pepperoni covered crust, baked golden crispy on the underside, to cut and eat. Then we polished off two boxes of Oreos. What a night. Happy kids.
I hope you try our unconventional pizza!