25
Oct
07

pizza

I used to make a lot of pizza the first year we were married. I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing it was a rudimentary understanding of what guys like to eat (I figured that since my husband was a guy, pizza must be in his top 5, so I’ll make it a lot!). After a while though, we sort of got tired of it. And it was getting expensive (we got to the point where I was buying the crusts because it was easier and they tasted better than my homemade crusts). But, with the publication of this cookbook, my interest was renewed. There are three recipes for pizza dough in the back, for no time, some time, and ahead of time (brilliant). I made the ‘some time’ recipe a while back, and then through a series of delays, managed to leave the dough in the fridge for probably three days before getting to actually use it (yes, we were a little apprehensive). But it turned out beautifully! Very wonderful and fluffy and perfect. Here’s the recipe (so simple):

Mix 1 cup of warm (120 F) water with one package of yeast. Set aside. In your stand mixer, mix 3 cups of flour with 1 teaspoon of salt, then add the yeast mixture and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Knead with the dough hook for 5 minutes or so, adding more flour as needed to get the dough to pull cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. I sometimes add a pinch of garlic powder to give the dough a little more flavor. Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl.
unrisen-dough.jpg
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for one hour, then transfer to the fridge.
risen-dough.jpg
You can reportedly use it as soon as you need (and that does work okay), but I suggest leaving it in the fridge at least overnight for best results. Roll it out, paying no regard to symmetry or aesthetics (it’ll still taste the same, don’t worry) and prick with a fork to prevent ginormous air bubbles. The recipe says to put it on a pizza peel with cornmeal, but I use one of my plastic cutting ‘boards’.
rolled-out-crust.jpg
Then top with whatever you want (our faithful recipe is tomato paste, lotsa mozzarella, pepperoni, salami, salt, and olives). Then you’re supposed to blow a puff of air under the dough and slip it onto your preheated pizza stone. After five tries to get the pizza from the plastic to the stone (and dumping ALL the toppings onto the stone at least once) this is how mine looked:
poor-mutilated-pizza.jpg
But then I baked it for 12 or so minutes and it came out looking like this:
finished-pizza.jpg
And it tasted great.
Enjoy with beer.

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