Friday, April 22, 2011

New pizza crust recipe!

I have a new pizza crust recipe!

Lately my pizza crusts have been more bread than crust. That is to say, thick and chewy and delicious, but not really, you know, thin and crackly like pizza crust. I wanted to get back to the thin and crackly end of the spectrum.

So I tried out this recipe from the New York Times:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
3/4 teaspoon yeast
2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

To be made the day before cooking (or at least the morning of).

Using a hand whisk, combine flours, yeast and salt in the bowl of your KitchenAid. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in 1 1/2 cups cold water and olive oil until a rough dough forms. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low for 1 minute. Increase to high and beat for 4-6 minutes.

Pour onto well-floured surface, fold over, and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into two pieces, shape each into a ball. Place each ball on a well-oiled plate, dust with flour, and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, at least 3 hours. Shape into rounds and place each in a Ziploc bag. Refrigerate between 1 and 24 hours. Makes 2 balls (which make 1 pizza each).

Notes: This recipe makes an EXCEPTIONALLY sticky dough. Don't be tempted to add more flour.

Using a rolling pin to roll the dough out, with more flour, works best. It's a very elastic dough, so you won't get a very big (or square) crust.

I heated my oven as high as it would go (500, though 550 would have been better) and let the pizza stone blaze away in there for a good 45 minutes. I tried several methods of getting the pizza onto the hot pizza stone--using a pizza peel, making the pizza directly on the stone, a combination of the two--but because this is such a sticky and elastic dough, you'll have a very hard time transferring it easily from the peel to the stone.

I ended up with several strangely-shaped (but delicious) pizzas as a result.

So I recommend rolling the crust out, prepping all the toppings, then taking the hot pizza stone out of the oven, dropping the rolled-out crust on top, and VERY CAREFULLY adding all the toppings before popping it back in the oven for 10 minutes. (You'll want to add the toppings with a quick and light hand, as well, to avoid pressing it down unnecessarily.)

What you'll get is a light, thin, crackly, delicious pizza.

I made two kinds: cheese, and one with andouille sausage and red peppers. Both delish.

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