In our house, we are huge fans of corned beef. That means somewhere in the middle of February, when we start noticing it in every store we enter, we get totally excited. Not just normal joyful excited but jumping-up-and-down, happy-dance-in-the-middle-of-the-store, enthusiastically animated excited. People stare, people giggle, but who cares? Let 'em talk. We'll be the ones scarfing down on corned beef in absolute glee, oblivious to their questioning glances and mocking remarks.
These Corned Beef Pizza Swirls make corned beef everyday accessible. You won't even have to wait till St. Patrick's Day to enjoy them. They can become a Tuesday-night special, a Sunday late-afternoon snack or even a Friday-night quick fix if you purchase premade pizza dough and Thousand Island dressing. That's the beauty of this recipe: Making everything from scratch isn't required. You can cheat — although I wouldn't, but that's just because I'm me, the girl who dances in the middle of grocery stores because she sees corned beef.
Thousand Island Sauce:
Warm the milk to 100 degrees. This should take about 45 seconds in the microwave. If too hot, allow to cool to the correct temperature. Add sugar and yeast to the warm milk, then let sit 15 minutes. On low speed, combine the milk mixture, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and caraway seeds in a mixer for 1 minute. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 10 minutes. Using your hands, coat a glass bowl and a silicone spatula with the 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Use the oil-coated spatula to scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl, then use your hands to shape it into a smooth round ball. Place the dough ball into the oil-coated glass bowl, and cover with a slightly damp dishtowel. Allow to sit at least 2 hours in a warm area of your house.
Thousand Island sauce:
While you are waiting for the dough to rise, combine all the sauce ingredients. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Liberally dust hands, rolling pin and countertop with flour. Place the ball of dough onto the counter, sprinkle with flour and roll out evenly into a rectangle, roughly the size of a cookie sheet. Use a pastry brush to dust off any additional flour. Top the rolled-out pizza dough with the corned beef and then the cheese. Roll dough into a log lengthwise, place with the seam side facing down, then use a knife or mezzaluna to cut 1-inch pizza swirls. Place the swirls onto a Silpat or a parchment paper–lined baking sheet, slightly touching one another. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover pizza swirls with foil brushed with olive oil, and allow to sit 20 minutes. Bake 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 10 to 20 minutes, until pizza swirls are golden brown. Serve with Thousand Island sauce.
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