Introduction: Basketballizza

With the annual college b-ball tournament season upon us, I wanted to take a shot at creating a pizza that looks just like a basketball.   This unusual pie can be made with either a homemade crust or one purchased; and once cut definitely is finger food.

Step 1: Ingredients for Crust

For one 12 inch crust
1 teaspoon corn meal
1 3/4 to 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast
1 ½ teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup 120° tap water
3 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary 

Pre heated 425°F oven

Step 2: Sprinkle Cornmeal

1. Sprinkle the cornmeal over a 12 inch pizza pan.

Step 3: Mix and Knead Dough

2. Follow the Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast directions found on the package by combining 1 cup flour, the yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Add the water and oil and with a spoon mix together with the spring onions for 1 minute until well blended.  Gradually add ½ cup of the remaining flour until a soft dough ball is formed  which will be sticky.  Add additional flour if necessary to form the ball.

3. Knead for about 4 minutes on a floured surface scattered with rosemary until smooth and elastic.

Step 4: Press and Prick the Dough

4. Wet your fingers with tap water and press the dough into the pan mounding it slightly at the edges.   With your index fingers press the edges together to form a rim then prick the dough with a fork 15 to 20 times.

Step 5: Parbake the Shell

5. Bake for five minutes on the bottom shelf of the oven.  With a fork, pierce any bubbles that have formed.  Allow the crust to cool long enough to handle –about 5 minutes.

Step 6: Ingredients for the Topping

For the topping
1 cup canned pumpkin (not spiced pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt

6. While the pizza is par baking, make the topping.  In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, Sriracha sauce, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic  powder, onion powder and salt until thoroughly blended.

Step 7: Topping and Finishing the Basketballizza

Spread the pumpkin mixture evenly over the crust then smooth it with an offset spatula.  Using the tip of a paring knife, draw the outline of a basketball on the surface of the pizza.  Press the chives into the outline making sure that there is a little overhang at the edges, since the chives will shrink while baking.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust is lightly browned.  Give everyone a chance to ooh and ah over your work then cut into wedges and serve immediately.