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Tuesday
Jul272010

Pizza Crust (and Pizza)

Pizza crust is one of the most simple yeast doughs you can make, and Brian showed us that tomato sauce is simple and customizable. Plus, you can get fresh mozzarella anywhere. (A recipe for fresh mozzarella is on the list for projects for this site.)

Why, then, do people subject themselves to relatively crappy, unnecessarily expensive, too greasy, delivery pizza? Good question. Cue the ingredient shot.

I'm not sure why the baking powder is in that shot, in retrospect. You won't need it. We'll proceed with the Ruhlmanian 5:3 bread ratio. For a pizza for 2, use 20 ounces of flour, and 12 ounces of water. Halve it for a personal pizza. Throw in 1/2 teaspoon of yeast for the full dough, 1/4 tsp for the halved. 

The amount of salt you'll want to use will vary based on what kind of salt you're using. The kosher flake salt I usually use has more salt per volume than the fine grained table salt. Either way, you'll be looking for about 1/2 a teaspoon for the full recipe. Add whatever else you'd like to the dough. A little olive oil goes well. I always throw in red pepper flakes. Try some garlic, too.

Mix the dough in bowl until it comes together, then Flour your favorite baking surface and turn out the dough. You can do this all in a Kitchen-Aid with a dough hook, or Cuisanart with dough blade, but I really suggest using your hands the first few times, so you get a feel for what the dough feels like when it's done. 

Knead it for ten minutes by lifting the near edge of the dough and folding it on to itself, pushing forward and down, firmly but gently. You shouldn't be pushing so hard you touch the countertop, through the dough. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, and repeat.

When you're done the dough will appear, and be, smooth. If you're not sure, pick up the dough and hold it up to a light source. The dough should stretch until it becomes translucent, without ripping.

Form the dough into a ball, cover it with a cloth and let it rise for a couple of hours.

Now here's a little trick, while the dough is rising, go to home depot and pick up six quarry tiles. They run about 59¢ cents each and look like this.

Cheapest. Pizza. Stone. Ever. Pre-heat the oven to As-Hot-As-It-Goes. Leave it there for a while, too. I let it pre-heat for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough as thin or thick as you like it. Apply the pizza sauce (mine was tomato paste, water, olive oil, garlic, and fresh rosemary), cheese, and toppings. Throw it in the oven.

Length of cooking time will vary from oven to oven, and pie to pie. My advice, don't put it right near the top of the oven, you'll burn the top and not cook the bottom. Start with at least 7 minutes, and then check it regularly after that until the crust is golden. In this case, you'll notice that the pizza halved in size between when I put it in the oven (above), and took it out (below). It's a different pizza. I like the way the second one came out better.

Ingredients

20 ounces of all purpose flour

12 ounces of water

1/2 tsp yeast

salt

whatever else you want to add to the dough

Procedure

Mix everything in a bowl, when it comes together, fold it out on a floured surface

Knead the dough for 10 minutes, or until smooth

Cover it and let it rise for at least two hours

Pre heat the oven to 500F, or your oven's highest setting

Roll out the dough and top it with what you will

Bake it on a pizza stone, or quarry tiles for at least 7 minutes. Closer to 9 or 11, though.

 

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Reader Comments (1)

You can also heat your grill to high and then cook the pizza on one side, flip it over, add your topping and by the time the bottom is done your toppings have cooked..... Fresh vegies this time of year are great.

July 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergail
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