Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I heart pizza

One of our favorite things to do around here is to make our own pizza. It's kind of messy, but so much fun. No arguing over toppings, everyone can customize their own, (and you don't have to do ALL of that nights' cooking...), it's a DIY pizza party. With a scorching hot oven, (500), and 2 pizza stones awaiting, the production line moves along quite nicely, 2 at a time, which keeps hungry pizza eaters constantly fed.

Truth be told, most of the time I buy pizza dough from Trader Joe's. It's good, but fickle. It resists being manipulated and we often find ourselves with small, stubbornly thick pizzas. ( I have discovered that if you remove the dough from it's package and leave it out at room temp in a covered bowl for a few hours, it becomes much more cooperative.). For your toppings, the thinner, the better, so as to not weigh down the pizza dough. Also, I like to drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil before adding toppings and gently rub over dough.

If you are interested in making your own dough, a much more rewarding endeavor, here's is a fool-proof, easy recipe which will yield a small, thin crusted pizza - my favorite!

Easy Pizza Dough
from smittenkitchen

1 1/2 cup flour (you can replace up to half of this with whole wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (you may need 1 to 2 TBLS more)
1 TBLS olive oil

Stir dry ingredients together, including yeast, in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil. Stir mixture into as close as a ball as you can. Dump everything onto a floured surface and knead until you have a homogenous ball. If this is difficult, take the now empty bowl and place over ball and step away for a few minutes.
Knead for a minute or two and place it into a lightly oiled bowl, turn the dough over so that all sides are lightly coated with oil and cover with plastic wrap for and hour or two. It should double in size.
Dump it back onto a floured surface and gently press air out of the dough with the palm of your hand. Fold it back into a ball and place it under plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle pizza stone or baking sheet, with corm meal and set oven to its highest temp.
Roll out dough and place toppings on, erring on the side of skimpy, so not to weigh down pizza.
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until just blistered.

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