Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pizza Crust

For being a person who spends a lot of her time thinking about food, I'm really not all that picky of an eater.  Besides not eating seafood, I'm pretty much happy with anything edible.
The same cannot be said of people who fancy themselves "pizza aficionados."  I'm not talking about people that like to eat pizza often.  I'm talking about people who make their own dough.  They've developed their recipes and tested and redeveloped and retested.  They have notes that go on for pages about the temperature of the water and exactly how many times the dough should be kneaded at each step.

I can't be tied down to something like that.  I need the process to be much more forgiving.  Also, I don't think I'll ever call myself an aficionado of anything.  Maybe sarcastically.

3 1/2 - 4 c. bread flour
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/4 tsp. yeast (1 packet)
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. water (110˚ F)
2 Tbsp. olive oil

1.  In a stand mixer, combine 3 1/2 c. flour, sugar, yeast and salt.

2.  Get you water up to 110˚ F.  You can either heat it in the microwave or in a saucepan or if your tap water will get hot enough, you can just run it until it gets to the right temperature.

3.  Slowly add the water and olive oil while the mixer is running.  If the dough seems a little bit sticky, add the remaining 1/2 c. of flour or a portion of it.

4.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth ball.  Lightly grease a mixing bowl and transfer dough to bowl.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 hour or until it doubles in size.

5.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 2 balls.  Cover loosely with a clean dish towel or lightly greased plastic wrap and allow to sit for 10 minutes.**

6.  Spread each ball of dough into a 12 inch round (or press into a cookie sheet).  Top with sauce, toppings and cheese and cook at 450˚ for 18-22 minutes.

**If you're making your dough ahead of time, prepare up through step 5 then wrap in plastic wrap (use more wrap than you think you need as the dough will continue to expand) and place in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.  Take the dough out of the fridge at the same time as you turn on the oven to preheat.  Once the oven is at 450˚, then spread out the dough, top and cook for 18-22 minutes.

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