Unit D Pizzeria Austin, TX

Unit D Pizza_Sausage and Dill PizaI know you just want to put that whole pie in your face! I know you do because so do I! I had been hearing a lot about Unit D Pizzeria on Manor Road from two of my girlfriends who live over there. It was on my list to try after seeing a few Instagram pics pop up on my feed. Then luckily I got an invite to come to a media tasting! One good thing about media tastings, besides the free food of course, is that you get to try lots of different things on the menu and hear the whole story behind the place. I love telling stories and I love food, so this whole thing works out pretty well for me! Thanks for always being so awesome and listening patiently to all my stories. I know I have a bad habit of trailing off, using run on sentences, overusing the exclamation point like whoa and trying to make sense of things that, well, sometimes don’t.

In case you were wondering, yes the pizza is as good as it looks! It’s a small place nestled on Manor Road next to Dai Due and Sugar Mama’s. There’s no pretense involved here. Even the name, Unit D, comes from the actual name of the space, Unit D. The couple moved here from the Pac Northwest and were wanting a good pizza spot and decided to open their own right here in Austin after not being able to find something that really fit their tastes. I am a sucker for neopolitian pizza, so of course I loved it!

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Pizza Bianca with Whipped Ricotta Goat Cheese

All this rain and chilly weather really had me craving pizza. Like the amazing Pizza Bianca from Backspace. Which I love Backspace… did you know they are serving lunch now? Who wants to be my date?

So I dreamed up the idea for a whipped ricotta and goat cheese spread for this number. Creamy, white goodness. Best of all, you get to slather it on with a spatula. It’s really fun actually.

I made the dough using this recipe . I used a pizza stone instead of grilling. The crust wasnt quite as crispy and didnt have that fire roasted taste, but it got the job done on a chilly evening.

For this recipe you’ll need:

1lb pizza dough (recipe)
3 cups fresh arugula
2 ounces lemon juice
1 cup part skim ricotta
1/2 cup goat cheese
1/4 pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Whip the ricotta and goat cheese together. I used my stand mixer with the whisk attachment for about two minutes on medium speed. You could also use a hand mixer. You could even do it by hand with a whisk or fork, just might take a while. Use those muscles!

Roll out the pizza dough on the stone and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees or until the edges are crispy. Be sure to roll the dough out very thin, less than a 1/4 inch thick before baking.

Slather on the creamy ricotta and goat cheese. Try not to lick the spatula until you’re done.

Toss the arugula with olive oil, lemon juice, pine nuts, salt and pepper.

Load the arugula on top of the pizza and eat up! I mean, I personally like a little salad with my pizza, so if you’re into that, this is the pizza for you!

Red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese go very well with this pizza.


Whole Wheat Grill Pizza

I heard about this recipe/idea for grilling pizza crust back in the summer. I never got around to trying it. Mainly due to my old fear of working with yeast but now that I’m over that and have my handy-dandy mixer, I was ready to make my first pizza crust!

I decided to go straight for the gold and make a whole wheat crust even though I’ve heard whole wheat can be harder to work with. It’s harder to work with mainly because whole wheat tends to be a drier crust but don’t worry, easy fix!

For grill pizza, you will obviously need a grill. You can also make this exact recipe, skip the grill and bake it in the oven. I also used a pizza stone after grilling for melting the cheeses and toppings. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can put the pizza on a baking sheet or straight on the oven grate.

For the whole wheat pizza crust, you’ll need:
1 package of active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

First, we are going to proof the yeast. I’m not a big “you must use certain brands” kinda person but according to my Granny, it’s very important to use Fleischmann’s Yeast.

That’s what yeast looks like. Little cardboard colored balls.

Proofing yeast is kinda old school. Basically we are making sure the yeast is active. Back in the day it could become inactive so bakers would proof it first, to make sure it would rise before going through the whole recipe and then not having the bread rise. Nowadays, packaging and expiration dates are much more efficient so proofing is not as necessary. But whatevs, I wanted to see what all the hype was about it.

For any recipe, to proof, combine the yeast and the amount of lukewarm water in the recipe together.

Add a pinch, literally a pinch, of sugar to the mix. This gives the yeast something to feed on and expedites the proofing.

Mix all of that together and let sit for about 10 minutes.

After about 10 minutes the yeast should start to foam and bubble a little. It will also have a very distinct yeast smell. This is what foaming looks like.

Alright, now add the all-purpose flour to the water and proofed yeast mixture.

Add in the whole wheat flour.

Half a teaspoon of kosher salt.

Add a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of olive oil.

Now, I finally get to use my dough hook!! Woohoo! You can also mix this by hand… But it just might take a while. It’s possible, people have been doing it for millennia.

Mixy Mixy!

And there is that dough ball we are looking for!

Now, move the dough ball to a well oiled bowl. I used olive oil and a large plastic mixing bowl.

Take a mental note of the size of the dough ball.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and place the bowl in a warm place and let rise for 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. A warm place might be a really sunny window or on top of the preheating oven.

Ok now for the fun part! While the dough is rising, set up your pizza topping bar. Go crazy, use whatever you want! Lots of cheese though!!

I drained a can of diced tomatoes.

Brown some sausage.

Chop some fresh basil! And of course, mince some garlic…

Add some arugula and fresh lemon, and your pizza topping bar is complete!

2 hours later… Pizza dough! Technically at this point you are supposed to punch the dough down, knead it and place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. I didn’t have time for this and completely skipped this step. The dough still worked out… so, up to you. If you plan ahead enough to fully prep the dough, great. If not, it still works.

When you are ready to use the dough, divide into 4 balls. This will make 4 personal pizzas. Or you could do 2 larger pizzas. I had four people and did a pizza topping bar so everyone could make their own.

Place the dough on a floured surface. Now it’s time to work the dough. My dough was dry so I got my hands wet and then started in on the dough. This takes some time, patience my friend. The whole phrase “working the dough” took on new meaning for me at this point.

After a few minutes, you’ll have a nice little pizza crust! If it

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tears, just patch it up and keep going. You want the dough to be fairly thin or you’ll wind up with more of a bread-y crust.

Drizzle both sides of the crust with olive oil. Now it’s time for the grill!!

Heat up the grill… About medium flame. Then carefully place the crust on the fire. It could tear easily at this point so use caution.

It should start to puff up on the top. Do a little side check to make sure it’s not burning. It’ll take a minute or two on each side. When you can easily scoop the dough with the tongs, you’ll know it’s ready to flip. It should flip easily at this point.

VICTORY!! Check out those grill marks!! I may have done a happy dance at this point… Dancing while cooking is always encouraged in my kitchen.

After you finishing grilling the crusts, have everyone top their own pizza. Yummy! This is Luke’s pizza.

Place the topped pizza in the oven on the pizza stone for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

And there you have it folks! A perfect personal pizza!

This is my pizza, lots of arugula. I like a little salad on my pizza!

I went halfsies on my pizza. On one half margherita and the other half pizza Bianca with sausage and lemon.

The grill really gives the pizza that fire-flame taste and crispy crust just like a brick oven at the pizza place!