I know I keep deviating from my theme. Some Izakayas serve non-transitional small dishes such as German potatoes (now this has become a classic Izakaya “teiban” dish), Poutine-like French fries and cheese dish, taco, and even variations of pizza. We saw pizza in the menu at one of the rather inexpensive chain Izakayas last time when we were in Japan. We refuse to order pizza at an Izakaya, though. Although there are many “excellent” pizza places in our neck-of-the-woods, we are partial to my home-made pizza. (Certainly, my pizza is much better than any chain Pizzaria pizzas and we usually make pizzas without much sauce and without meat unlike American Pizzas which usually have too much cheese, too much meat and too much tomato sauce). I promise I will post some of my pizzas which are not bad at all for a home-made pizza (this is called “Jiman” 自慢 which literally means “boast” or “self-praise” but it is with some sense of “pride” such as in the name of sake “Isojiman” 磯自慢 which means both “Pride of shore” and “Beach boast”.)
Pizza dough: There is nothing unusual about my pizza dough. For 4 pizzas (about 8 inch), I add bread flour* (3 1/2 cups) and salt (1 tsp) in a food processor with a dough blade. While the food processor in running at a low speed, I stream in olive oil (2 tbs) and stop after few seconds. I proof one package of active yeast in a small amount of tepid water (1/5 cup) with just a pinch of sugar dissolved. Once proofed, I add cold water to make it one cup. Stream the yeast mixture into the tube of the food processor with the blade running at a low speed until a ball is formed above the blade. You probably will need a few more tbs of water. Open the food processor and touch the dough. It should be rather soft and slightly tacky. I let the dough sit in the processor for 5 minutes so that the moisture will distribute more evenly and then, run the blade for 30 more seconds. The dough should be soft, elastic and somewhat tacky. Take it out on a floured kneading board and hand knead for 2-3 minutes until dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky. For raising the dough, instead of using a bowl, I use one gallon Ziploc bag which is sprayed with PAM or a similar non-stick spray and wrap it with towels in a warm non-drafty place (on the center island counter top in my case) for 2 hours or more until the volume doubles.
Filling: I mixed Ricotta cheese (1 cup), large eggs (2), chive (fine chopped, 1/2 cup), shallot (one finely chopped), dill (1/2 tsp dried since I did not have fresh one), salt (1/2 tsp) and black pepper (1/4 tsp). This filling made two 8 inch tarts (see below).
Baking: I had my convection oven set at 450F with a Pizza stone* in and preheated for, at least, 30 minutes before sliding the filled tart directly onto the hot pizza stone. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the surface of the filling becomes slightly brown.
(* I have a square pizza stone almost the size of the inside of my oven. I keep it (almost) permanently in the lowest rack. It is essential to have a pizza stone to make a nice crust.)
I took it out on to the cooling rack and graded Riggiano-Parmigiano cheese. I cut the tart into 4 wedges and served. The filling is nicely eggybready crust, this is a very good dish. This can be breakfast as well.