It’s YYC Pizza Week, which means some 40 Calgary restaurants around town are cooking up special pies and donating part of the proceeds to Meals on Wheels.
It’s not only pizzerias on the roster. Some eateries pushed the limits of their usual offerings, creating pizzas to reflect their menus. Here are some of the more unique pizzas you’ll find this week only — and a classic dough formula to create your own at home.
For more information and to see a full list of participants, visit yycpizzaweek.com.
The Reuben at Grumans
They’ve gone all out at Grumans Deli by building a Reuben — complete with Montreal smoked meat, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing — on a giant latke rather than a traditional pizza crust.
Grumans Deli, 230 11th Ave. S.E., 403-261-9003
Colima Pizza at Añejo
As a Mexican restaurant, Añejo was a surprising contestant in pizza week. Their toppings of choice are Oaxaca cheese, adobo pork, charred corn, caramelized onions, roasted vegetable sauce and avocado, built on a (gluten-free!) corn crust.
Añejo, #2 - 2116 Fourth St. S.W., 587-353-2656
Mountain Meadow Pizzahh from the Coup
At the Coup you’ll find a pizza unlike any other — a gluten-free crust with wild B.C. mushrooms, root vegetable pave, cedar glazed apricots, spinach, chèvre and mozzarella cheeses and pine nuts topped with — get this — leek ash.
The Coup, 924 17th Ave. S.W., 403-541-1041
Quattro Stagioni at Cibo
Although the ingredients are more traditional, this "quattro stagioni" — meaning “the four seasons” — is broken into four quadrants inspired by the seasons: tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella for fall; crimini, oyster and shitake mushrooms for winter; ham and olives for spring; artichoke and white anchovy for summer. It’s four pizzas in one!
Cibo, 1012 17th Ave. S.W., 403-984-4755
Meatballs of Fire at Christo's Greek Restaurant
Italy meet Greece. This pie has spicy capicola, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, sautéed mushrooms, mozzarella, feta stuffed Greek meatballs, diced tomatoes, fresh parsley, oregano and a three-cheese Alfredo sauce.
Christo's Greek Restaurant, 1324 11th Ave S.W., 403-244-0099
Make your own
Making your own pie isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Mix up a batch of dough on Thursday for pizza night on Friday. To emulate the heat of a wood-burning pizza oven at home, cook your pizza directly on a preheated grill — the dough won’t stick.
Cook until it’s golden and charred on the bottom, then flip, top with your choice of toppings, turn the heat down and close the lid to create an oven environment. Alternatively, bake it in a 450˚F oven on a large preheated cast iron skillet.
Classic Pizza Dough
The longer a yeast dough is alive before baking, the more its flavour develops. If you’re in a rush, let it rise for an hour. Otherwise, slow the rise in the fridge overnight for a better texture and flavour.
- 1 tsp. active dry yeast
- pinch sugar
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
In a large bowl, stir the yeast and sugar into 1 cup of lukewarm water. Let it sit for about five minutes until foamy.
Add the flour, olive oil and salt and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let rest for half an hour, then punch it down, divide into two to three balls, cover with a tea towel and let rest for two to four more hours, or refrigerate for 24 hours. Refrigeration slows the rise. If it’s been in the fridge, let it come to room temperature again before using it.
Makes enough for two to three pizzas.