Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pizza Dough

At last. AT LAST.

In Kentucky, we purchased pizza mix. But stop right there before you get all judgemental: it was local pizza mix, made by a local mill that had been around forever. And it was good. The dough mixed in a flash, sat for 30 minutes max, and made thin, crispy pizza in the oven without a pizza stone. Perfect.

Flash forward to Utah. We still have no pizza stone. And thanks to the configuration of the kitchen, we can't really handle a pizza stone or peel. So we do the same thing we've always done: bake on a high-quality sheet pan in a hot oven (500 degrees F).

But our pizza was fluffy. It was dough-y in the middle. "Grill it!" said friends. We gave our grill away. "Get a pizza stone!" said friends. We can't use a pizza stone because I can't get the pizza on it because of the kitchen's shape!

What we needed was the right recipe. And tonight I found it here. Ingredients: basic. Mixing: easy! Rising: if you like, or not, if you prefer. Result? Crisp! Brown! Chewy and Delicious!!! Even better, I doubled the recipe and that worked, too (it doesn't, always, in baking). Then I made a third batch on the fly while the first pies baked, and the third batch was just as good.

1 Tablespoon yeast (mine is the kind in the jar. I keep it in the fridge.)
a pinch of sugar
3/4 of a cup of warm water

1 and 3/4 cup flour
1/2 a teaspoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of olive oil (or more - I greased the bowl after the dough was mixed, and that probably added another Tablespoon)

Mix the yeast, warm water, and sugar, then let it sit for a few minutes (10-ish) and get all foamy. Then add the flour and salt. Mix it up with a wooden spoon, then squish with your hands a bit. Add some olive oil and more water if necessary (I added a bit more by filling one cupped palm under the tap and just flinging it in).

Swirl a bit of olive oil over it, twirl it around in the bowl to coat, then cover with a dishtowel and walk away for a while (30 mins, an hour, whatever). Go prep your pepperoni or whatever.

When you're almost ready, turn on the oven to 500. [Note: the original recipe calls for 550. My oven, which is pretty standard, only gets to 500, and even then it sets off the fire alarm after about 30 minutes. So just get it as hot as you can). Get a heavy cookie sheet or sheet pan, and line it with a silpat.*

Pull off a chunk of the dough (like a handful - you'll get the idea by feel), and squish it into a rough circle. Lay it down on the sheet and press with your fingers to make it bigger and bigger. Get it really, really thin. Now put on some toppings (not much sauce!!! This will make a huge sloppy mess if you glop on sauce).

Pop that in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. You can open the oven to look, but don't singe your eyebrows, dude.

When it comes out, slide it onto your cutting board (I use my huge-o cake spatula for this) and slice. Don't burn your mouth, and if you gain 10 lbs. next month don't call me.

*If you do not own a silpat your life is an empty shell. I'm not a gadget girl, but those things are amazing. They cost $20. Go get one.

1 comment:

Linus Kafka said...

I may try this someday, but not until it's too cold to use the grill that you gave away that made all this possible.

I am loving that thing.