This one came together with the help of a pizza expert.
Dimitri Syrkin-Nikolau opened the doors, and the pizza ovens, of Dimo’s Pizza on Chicago’s North Side—and really went to town. We tested some pretty outrageous waffled pizzas: mashed potato, stuffing, and gravy pizza; chicken, waffles, and crème fraîche pizza; and crab, cream cheese, and sweet-and-sour sauce pizza. Most important, we learned what works and what doesn’t.
There are two ways to go here: the more traditional pizza-like waffled pizza, where the toppings sit atop the crust, and the calzone-style waffled pizza, where the dough encases the filling. The first method marries waffle and pizza with minimum fuss: Cook the dough in the waffle iron and then fudge it ever so slightly—really, it’s not cheating because I’ve done this myself and what am I if not the arbiter of all things waffled?—and stick it under the broiler to finish. Voilà. Pizza on a waffled crust.
If you can get the dough thin enough, the calzone-style waffled pizza has something to offer; it’s certainly the version that looks most like a waffle. And you don’t have to heat up the oven. The only possible drawback with doing it this way is the tendency for the result to be too bready. After all, it’s going to have two crusts.
Iron: Belgian or standard
Time: 3½ hours (including time for dough to rise)
Yield: Serves 6
- Make the crust: In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and mix until the dough is shaggy and most of the water has been absorbed. Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured counter and knead until it is just blended but not too smooth. Cover the dough with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Knead the dough until it is fairly smooth, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Coat a bowl with the oil, add the dough to the bowl, and turn to coat. Let the dough rise in a warm place, covered with plastic wrap, for 21⁄2 hours, or until nearly doubled in size.
- Dust your work surface with more flour. Punch down the dough, divide it into 6 pieces, place the pieces on your work surface, and form each into a smooth ball. Allow the pieces to rest for 5 minutes, covered by a cloth or plastic wrap. When you are ready to waffle, remove the wrap and shape each piece into a disk, pulling gradually on the dough to expand it. If it resists, let it rest for 5 minutes before continuing.
- Preheat the waffle iron on medium. Coat both sides of the waffle iron grid with nonstick spray.
- Pull a disk of dough evenly until it’s as thin as possible, roughly circular, and about 8 inches in diameter (but no bigger than your waffle iron). If the dough tears, repair the tear by pushing the dough together and continuing to stretch other parts of the dough. Repeat with each dough disk
- Preheat the broiler.
- Put a disk of dough in the waffle iron and cook about 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove the disk from the waffle iron and set it on a baking sheet. Repeat Step 8 with the remaining disks.
- Top each waffled crust with about 1⁄2 cup of sauce, 1⁄3 cup of cheese, and a handful of the tomatoes, if using, and place the baking sheet under the broiler for about 2 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Remove the pizzas from the broiler, sprinkle with basil, and serve warm.
Interested in a version that is waffled from start to finish? I give you the Waffled Calzone:
- After the disks have been formed in Step 6, put 1⁄4 cup of sauce, 1⁄4 cup of cheese, a few tomatoes, if using, and a small handful of basil on one half of the dough, leaving a margin of about 1⁄2 inch all around. Fold over the dough to envelop the toppings in a pocket and pinch the edges to seal. Place the pocket in the waffle iron and close the lid.
- Cook for 5 minutes and then check. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the dough. Calzones with very thin dough may be done after 5 minutes. Thicker dough may take a few more minutes. The dough should be golden brown and the cheese should be melted.
- Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve warm with extra marinara sauce for dipping.
For more recipes check out the book!
About the Book:
How many great ideas begin with a nagging thought in the middle of the night that should disappear by morning, but doesn’t? For Daniel Shumski, it was: Will it waffle? Hundreds of hours, countless messes, and 53 perfected recipes later, that answer is a resounding: Yes, it will! Steak? Yes! Pizza? Yes! Apple pie? Emphatically yes. And that’s the beauty of being a waffle iron chef—waffling food other than waffles is not just a novelty but an innovation that leads to a great end product, all while giving the cook the bonus pleasure of doing something cool, fun, and vaguely nerdy (or giving a reluctant eater—your child, say—a great reason to dig in). Waffled bacon reaches perfect crispness without burned edges, cooks super fast in the two-sided heat source, and leaves behind just the right amount of fat to waffle some eggs. Waffled Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Pressed Potato and Cheese Pierogi, and Waffled Meatballs all end up with dimples just right for trapping their delicious sauces. A waffle iron turns leftover mac ’n’ cheese into Revitalized Macaroni and Cheese, which is like a decadent version of a grilled cheese sandwich with its golden, buttery, slightly crisp exterior and soft, melty, cheesy interior.