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Midwest Today, January 1995


photo of delicious pizza dishes


Invite friends over for a pizza party. Here are some novel combinations to try

By SALLY KNIGHT / Lifestyle Editor

This is a great time to have a pizza party, and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board has come up with some tasty ideas!

Imagine the wonderful aroma of pizza wafting from your kitchen as guests assemble on a snowy Winter weekend afternoon. Get everyone involved by letting your guests make their mark on the meal. They'll be out to top each other with unique combinations, so give them all the ingredients they'll need. Offer a variety of toppings, pizza sauce, refrigerated pesto, assorted cooked sausages, cooked shrimp, sliced bell pepper, various mushrooms, chopped fresh tomato, anchovies (someone will like them), sliced onions and other favorites.

Offer a selection of crust options: pre-baked individual pizza crusts; Boboli; pizza rounds; or thawed, frozen bread loaves divided into fourths and patted into round cake pans or baking pans. Keep refrigerated until each guest is ready to top and bake his or her own individual pizza.

The anticipation will peak as you display an assortment of flavorful shredded or thinly sliced Wisconsin cheeses to finish off the creations. While mozzarella and parmesan are traditional favorites, provide a little excitement by offering crumbled Wisconsin feta or Blue cheese as well.

Guests simply bake their pizzas in the oven, heated to 400-degrees, until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

When making a large pizza, put less topping in the center so that the pizza cooks evenly and the crust becomes crisp.

Sprinkle baking pan with cornmeal to give crust added texture and crispness. After baking, transfer pizza to a wire rack to cool.

Try some of these interesting combos:

Classico: Pizza sauce, Italian sausage, mushroom and green pepper topped with a combination of Wisconsin Cheddar, Monterey Jack and mozzarella cheese.

California:Pesto, shrimp, onion, fresh basil topped with a combination of Brick and Smoked Gouda cheeses.

Mediterranean:Ripe olives, fresh tomatoes, salami, capers topped with a combination of mozzarella and feta cheese.

Four Cheese: Pizza sauce, green onion and chopped red pepper topped with a combination of Cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan and Brick cheeses.

All American:Ground beef or ground turkey, spaghetti sauce and chopped onion topped with Colby-Jack and mozzarella cheeses.

Vegetarian:Pizza sauce, green pepper, zucchini slices, chopped tomato, onion rings, sliced mushrooms and cut asparagus topped with a combination of mozzarella, Brick and parmesan cheese.

New York Deli Style: Whipped Cream cheese, corned beef, caraway seeds, sauerkraut and red onion topped with Swiss and Wisconsin Style harvarti cheeses.



1 pound onions, sliced

2 Tablespoons olive oil

3/4 cup crumbled crisp bacon (about 1/2 pound uncooked)

1 egg

Black pepper, to taste

2 cups shredded Wisconsin mozzarella and/or Provolone cheese (8 ounces)

1 cup Prego Regular or Extra Chunky spaghetti sauce

1/4 cup grated Wisconsin parmesan or asiago cheese (3/4 ounce)


1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package Fleischmann's Rapid-Rise or Active Dry Yeast

1 teaspoon rosemary leaves

1 cup very warm water (125 to 130 degrees F)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 egg, at room temperature

For filling, cook onions in oil in large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 10 to 15 minutes; cool. Stir in bacon, egg and pepper, reserve.

Prepare dough while onions cool: Combine 1 cup flour, salt, yeast and rosemary in large bowl. Add very warm water and oil. Beat 2 extra minutes at low speed with electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add egg and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make stiff batter. Cover, let rest 10 minutes (20 minutes for Active Dry Yeast); stir batter down. With back of large spoon or greased hands, spread batter in bottom and up sides of greased 9-inch springform pan.

Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over dough. Top with onion mixture. Spread spaghetti sauce over top. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm, draft-free place 20 minutes.

Bake at 400-degrees for 40 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and return to oven 10 more minutes, or until golden. Cool on base of pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Cut into 6 wedges.


Half of prepared Master Pizza Dough

1-1/2 cups shredded Wisconsin fontina cheese (6 ounces)

1-1/2 cups Prego Regular or Extra Chunky spaghetti sauce

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto or ham, cut into thin strips

1 jar (6 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, drained, cut into thin wedges

1/2 cup pitted ripe olives, halved

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Grated Wisconsin parmesan cheese

Prepare pizza dough (see Master Pizza Dough recipe on this page). Spread dough evenly in greased 14-inch pizza pan. Sprinkle 1 cup fontina cheese evenly over dough. Cover with spaghetti sauce. Place remaining fontina cheese in center to form a 2 to 3-inch circle. Arrange prosciutto in a ring around cheese. Arrange artichokes and olives in another ring. Arrange mushrooms in a ring around edge of the crust. Top with walnuts. Lightly brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 425-degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is crisp and browned. Cut into 8 wedges.


Half of prepared Master Pizza Dough

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 1 pound)

1 jar (15-1/4 ounces) Prego regular or Extra Chunky spaghetti sauce

2 cups shredded Wisconsin mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)

1 cup crumbled Wisconsin feta cheese (4 ounces)

1 cup sliced pitted ripe olives

Prepare pizza dough. In large skillet cook onion in hot oil over low heat until soft but not brown. Add eggplant; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until eggplant is soft. Stir in spaghetti sauce. Cook about 5 minutes to blend flavors; cool. Add mozzarella and feta cheeses and olives to sauce; set aside.

Punch dough down. Divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into 7-inch circle. Place about 1/2 cup filling on 1/2 of each side. Fold dough over filling; pinch seam or press with tines of fork to seal. Place calzones on oiled baking sheets. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Bake at 400-degrees for 25 minutes or until the crust is browned. Serve warm.


Half of prepared Master Pizza Dough

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 cup shredded aged Wisconsin Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

1/2 cup each shredded mozzarella and fontinella cheese (4 ounces total)

1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese (3/4 ounce)

1-1/2 teaspoons Italian herbs

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Prepare pizza dough. Spread dough evenly in greased 14-inch pizza pan. Brush with oil and sprinkle with garlic. Distribute cheeses, herbs and pepper flakes evenly over crust. Bake at 425-degrees for 20 minutes or until crust is crisp and lightly browned. Cut into 8 wedges.


(Makes dough for 2 pizzas)

5-3/4 to 6-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1 package Fleischmann's Rapid-Rise or Active Dry Yeast

2 cups water

1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil

In large bowl combine 2 cups flour, salt and yeast. In small saucepan heat water and olive oil to 125 to 130 degrees. Add to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes with electric mixer at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, 4 to 6 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes (20 minutes for Active Dry Yeast). Divide in half; shape and bake half according to selected recipe.

To freeze dough: Wrap airtight in double thickness of plastic wrap.


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