In this special guest post, Susie from Cheapskate shows you how to make a terrific pizza sandwich for the Jewish holiday called Shavuot. Whether or not you're celebrating this holiday, ...
You will need:
- 1 loaf of Rhodes dough white bread
- 1 t. dried oregano
- ½ red pepper, sliced into rings
- ½ yellow pepper, sliced into rings
- ½ green pepper, sliced into rings
- 2 mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 pickled hot pepper
- 1 shallot, diced
- ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup soy meat (I use Morningstar Farms)
- 8-10 slices soy pepperoni (I use Yves veggie cuisine)
- 1 egg, beaten
- sesame and poppy seeds (optional)
- olive oil cooking spray
Shavuot or Shavuos is one of the nicest YomTovs (holidays) on the Jewish calendar. Each of the Jewish holidays is marked by its own type of special food, and Shavuot is no different. On Shavuot, we eat mostly dairy foods, traditionally cheesecakes and blintzes. I like to make this Shavuot pizza each year, because it includes lots of veggies (so we can pretend that it’s really not that fattening), and because it has a challah base, which makes it more “Yomtovdik” (holiday-ish). Making the pizza with Rhodes dough as my base cuts hours off prep times, and assures me that my base will always turn out perfectly.
There are two parts to this recipe. The first is making the challah. While you’re doing this first step, you can save time and make the rest of the challah that you will need for the holiday as well. Making challah with Rhodes dough is an incredible time-saver and it always comes out delicious and consistently good. Because keeping kosher involves using different utensils for dairy and for meat, don't forget to use pareve (neither meat nor dairy) baking pans for your Shavuot challah. If you don’t own pareve bread baking pans, use disposable ones.
So let’s start with making the challah that will be the base for the pizza. My recipe for making Rhodes dough challah is here, and I cover many of the details of challah-baking there, (including the "taking" of challah,) but I’ll cover some of the basics with you now. When we bake challah for Shabbat, we braid the bread, but since this challah is for a holiday, we’re going to make the challah in the traditional round shape to symbolize the cycling of the seasons of the Jewish calendar. Just take one of the Rhodes dough loaves, roll it between your hands so it becomes a thinner and longer rope, and tie it in a single fat knot, with the tip of the loaf sticking out of the top of the knot. Place it in a round or flat pan that you’ve sprayed lightly with olive oil cooking spray. Then spray the top of the challah with the olive oil so it doesn’t dry out. Let it rise about an hour. It will look like this.
After an hour, baste the top of the challah with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame and poppy seeds. This part is optional. I love a lot of texture and crunch in my challahs, so I pile on the seeds.
Put the challah in a 350 degree oven for about a half-hour. The challah should be light brown, but ever so slightly underdone, because it’s going to go back into the oven for another ten minutes once we get the pizza topping on it, and we don’t want to dry it out. Rhodes dough challah always comes out looking golden and beautiful.
Once the challah is out of the oven, we’ll let it cool and start preparing our toppings. I like to use sliced red, green and yellow pepper rings, mushrooms, and shallots. You can use whatever veggie combos you like; I have a friend who uses broccoli and zucchini. I also put on one finely diced pickled hot pepper to give the pizza a little kick. Since we keep kosher and cannot mix milk and meat together at the meal, I use non-meat soy based pepperoni and ground “beef.”
Once the challah has completely cooled, slice it in half across the middle, like a giant English muffin. Set aside the top half.
Now we’re going to make the pizza part of the recipe. Spread the tomato sauce across the bottom half, sprinkle the oregano on top of that, and layer on the mozzarella cheese. On top of that, layer on the sliced mushrooms, pepper rings, diced shallots, hot pepper and soy meats, and then top everything with another light sprinkle of cheese, so it will get all melty and coalesce in the oven. Pop back into the oven for about ten minutes until the cheese has melted. It will come out looking something like this.
While it’s still hot, place the top half of the challah back on top of it, and push it gently into the pizza. Wait about five minutes for the cheese to cool. With a sharp dairy bread knife, cut the challah into six pie wedges. Make even, neat slices.
Now you’ll have six challah pizza “sandwiches.” When you’re ready to serve, warm it up again for a few minutes so that the bread is piping hot and the pizza inside gets all gooey. If you want to make it extra cheesy, sprinkle a little mozarella on top of the challah before warming it up. Enjoy your Rhodes dough Shavuot pizza and have a wonderful YomTov!