Monday, May 17, 2010

Pizza!


I waited a while to post this, but it was worth it, I promise. I wanted to see how well this dough would freeze. It's awesome! Freezes beautifully, and the crust crisps up and puffs just a little bit, just like it's supposed to.

I will be the first to admit here - I actually have 3 recipes for pizza dough - one for super thin crust, one for medium thick crust, and one for very thick crust. This one is the medium one - you can use it for a thinner crust, or up to about 1/2" thick. It crisps well on the bottom, yet retains a slightly chewy center.

This crust recipe is based on Alton Brown's pizza crust, with a few modifications. I didn't add as much sugar as he did, and a little less salt. I also changed the flour to all purpose, which seemed to work for me.

The pizza shown in the picture is brushed with olive oil, and topped with sliced tomatoes, some dried basil and oregano, mozarella cheese, and parmesan cheese. It's one of my favorite combinations. If you want to use a tomato sauce, I use my Spicy Marinara Sauce when I am in the mood for a tomato sauce on my pizza.

If you want to freeze the crust, make the pizza as if you were going to put it in the oven, then freeze between two sheets of parchment paper, and wrapped in foil. It will keep in the freezer for 3 months. To cook it, place in a cold oven, and turn the oven on to 425. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden.

Pizza Crust

1 T. Sugar
1 t. yeast
1 T. olive oil
2 cups flour
3/4 c. warm water

In a bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in water. Let sit for a few minutes until bubbly, to make sure the yeast is active. Add remaining ingredients, and mix until dough forms a ball. If you have a standing mixer, attach a dough hook and knead for 5 minutes. If kneading by hand, knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. You can test the dough to see if it can stretch to a very thin membrane. If it breaks, continue kneading.

Place a tablespoon of olive oil in a gallon size ziploc bag. Add the dough, and refrigerate for up to 1 day, and at least 18 hours.

Divide dough into 2 equal pieces and roll as thin as you want. Don't stretch too much, or it will contract. Let rest for 30 minutes, while you heat oven to 475. Place your toppings on the pizza, brushing the edges with olive oil. Bake for 10-20 minutes, until pizza is golden. I prefer to bake on a cookie sheet or pizza pan, but if you want a crisper crust, you can bake on a pizza stone or the oven racks.

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