Monday, September 26, 2011

Pizza- even better

This dough is also from smittenkitchen. I finally buckled and bought some cooking wine to try this recipe, and boy am I glad I did. Last night's pizza was the best I've eaten in a long time, and although I did have some great toppings (like Trader Joe's quattro formigia shredded cheese, fresh mozzerella, and basil I grew myself), I really think the crust was the deciding factor. The first measurements are for "one small thin crust." I quadrupled it to make 3 large (12 inch?) pizzas which fed 6 adults, 4 toddler/preschoolers, and a baby. Adjust as you will.

6 Tbsp warm water
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp honey
2 Tbsp white wine
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt

1.5 C warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
2 tsp honey
½ C white wine
¼ C olive oil
6 C all-purpose flour
4 tsp salt

1. Dissolve yeast and honey in warm (100*) water. Let sit till frothy.
2. Measure out flour into large bowl and stir in salt. (I substituted one cup of white whole wheat flour in mine to no ill effect)
3. Add wine and olive oil to water. Add liquids to flour.
4. Use a spatula to stir it all up until it's clumpy, then use your hands to mash it all into a ball, making sure to incorporate all the floury bits.
5. Knead on a lightly floured counter/pizza peel until smooth and mostly uniform in consistency. (This shouldn't take long)
6. Oil the bowl your dough was in, roll the dough in it, and cover with plastic wrap.
7. Let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours.
8. Lightly press the air out of the dough and let it sit for 15 minutes or so while you prep your ingredients. Preheat your oven to 500* with the pizza stone inside it.
9. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface/pizza peel. Fold one side over and sprinkle the surface with cornmeal, then do the other side.
10. Add your toppings, and bake 10 minutes or until everything's browned and bubbly.

Here are some of my favorite topping combos:

For a traditional, tomato sauce pizza, I like to herb my crust. First, I lightly rub it with olive oil. Then I sprinkle on garlic powder, oregano, thyme, and sometimes rosemary. Then, I just use jarred spaghetti sauce and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top of that rather than making or buying special pizza sauce.

Tomato sauce pizzas:

Fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, tomato slices, and bacon.

Fresh mozzarella, shredded sharp cheddar, bell peppers, red onions, olives, and pepperoni.

1/2 red sauce, half pesto, mozzarella, and italian meats.

White pizzas:

Alfredo, chicken, brocolli, or zucchini

olive oil, goat cheese, pear, caramelized onion. once you cook that, add fresh arugula, and candied pecans.

equal parts ricotta and sour cream, seasoned with salt and pepper, topped with bacon and caramelized onions

Other pizzas:

sour cream and salsa, topped with sharp cheddar cheese, grilled chicken, red onion, and grilled corn. once you cook that, add fresh cilantro and avocado slices

peanut satay sauce topped with mozzarella, grilled chicken, carrots, and onion. top with fresh cilantro.