Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pizza, the real stuff

I love thin crust pizza and am continually looking for a dough recipe that can be easily replicated to produce a cracker thin crust. It's really all about the crust. You have to be very careful with the toppings else you'll have a soggy, floppy pie. This recipe produces a very elastic dough that doesn't have too much recoil, in other words you can stretch paper thin until almost see-through. This is NY style pizza, not the heavy, bloated Chicago, Pizza Hut crap. I have devoted quite a bit of time to this lately and I think I finally have a winner.

You'll need:
Stand mixer with paddle attachment
Pizza stone
Pizza peel
Oven or BGE

For dough:
Semolina or cornmeal for dusting
2 c. AP flour
1/2 c. Whole wheat flour
1 T. Yeast
1 1/4 c. Water
1/4 c. Olive Oil
~ 1 T. Honey
2 t. Salt

Combine warm water ~ 110 F with yeast and honey and set aside to bloom for 10 minutes. Meanwhile measure the flour(s) and salt and combine in the bowl of your stand mixer. After 10 minutes, add Olive Oil to yeast mixture and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix on low until dough pulls away from side of bowl (atleast 5 minutes). After 5 minutes if this hasn't occurred, add about a teaspoon of flour every 15 to 20 seconds until this does happen. Remove from bowl, portion into 4 balls of dough and rest on a baking sheet dusted with semolina and covered with plastic wrap for about an hour.

Preheat oven with stone for as high as it goes, atleast an hour beforehand.

Remember this makes a very thin dough. When you have everything ready, work expediently. Form dough as desired and place on a WELL-DUSTED peel. Spoon 1-2 T of sauce on the pie, sprinkle with toppings and a minimal amount of mozzarella. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the exposed areas of the crust begin to blacken slightly. Serve immediately, and as the chef, eat a slice or two while you prepare you're next pie!

My favorite quick sauce recipe:
14 ounce can of fire-roasted, diced tomatoes
1 T olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Simply puree in blender until well combined. Does need any cooking and gives pizza a very fresh taste.

My favorite pizza toppings
The classic: fresh buffalo mozz and basil with red sauce
Proscuitto and sauteed shitake or button mushrooms
Hot sausage and black olives

Jen's favorite
Anchovies, capers, mushrooms

Let me know how this turns out for takes very little time and is a helluva lot better than anything I can get in Augusta.


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