Friday, August 01, 2008
Every now and then we have make-your-own-pizza night. It takes a bit of planning, but the end result is well worth the trouble.
The most important step is to start the dough early. It is best if it has two hours to rise before you make the pies. The recipe I used is one I found on the back of a bag of King Arthur Flour.
Their web site has a great tutorial on how to make pizza, but for whatever reason they changed the recipe. The original one is what I use:
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 packet/tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a big bowl dissolve the sugar in the water, then add the yeast. Once the yeast has finished proofing (it needs to sit a few minutes, once its bubbly you are ready to go) add the salt. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the flour. Add the olive oil and mix some more. Then turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and springy. Clean the big bowl add a bit of olive oil and return the dough it the bowl. Roll the dough around in the olive oil (this keeps the surface of the dough moist) and then cover the bowl. Let rise until the dough is doubled in size (1 to 2 hours).
Preheat the oven to 450. Punch down the dough and divide into 4 pieces (two of the four get divided again- this results in four pie tie 9 in sized pies and two 12 inch pies). slowly roll out and stretch the dough to fit the appropriate sized pan. I like to lightly brush the pan with olive oil and the top of the crust. If you allow the dough to periodically rest it will eventually fill the pan and not shrink back.
Then top with sauce, cheese, what have you. I used fresh tomatoes marinated with balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and basil instead of sauce. Then a liberal sprinkling of cheese, some onions, a little bit of minced garlic and pepperoni. It takes about 15 minutes for the pie to cook.
And oh boy does it taste good!