Thursday, January 20, 2011
The Perfect Pizza Crust
I think I got it or at least as good as it's going to get without getting a brick oven installed at home. This crust is the best I have made, crispy on the outside with a bit of chewy in the thin middle. I am a purist when it comes to pizza, just the basics, my favorite is Margherita (tomato sauce, a bit of cheese and basil) but you can go crazy and add your favorite toppings. This recipe is really just for the crust, to complete the pizza add your tomato sauce, cheese and toppings. I made 2 batches of this recipe and froze half with the works to see how it will turn out once cooked... I will let you all know. I thought it would be great to have a homemade pizza right out of the freezer when you are in the mood, which I am quite often - I probably don't even have to freeze it but since I am being healthy I have to ration my guilty pleasures :)
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing
1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup warm water.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and the salt.
3. Add the oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water.
4. Mix until the entire mixture forms a ball.
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
6. Knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes. The dough should be smooth and firm.
7. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a cool spot for about 2 hours.
8. Divide the dough into 2 balls.
9. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times.
10. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest 1 hour. (At this point, the balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 6 months).
11. Preheat oven to 500º F. Lightly oil cookie sheet with extra-virgin olive oil. Roll out dough ball, on a lightly floured surface - to the shape desired
12. Carefully transfer dough to cookie sheet
13. Add sauce, cheese and toppings.
14. Cook for 10 - 12 minutes, or until crust is cooked and cheese is bubbling
Servings: 2 (large) personal sized pizzas