Sunday, February 05, 2012

Yum, Pizza Night

We love pizza in our house!!   
Over the last couple months, Gordy and I have been perfecting our recipe and technique   I think we finally have it down!!!   The original recipe I started with was from Tyler Florence, I believe, but I have tweaked it just a bit.  We made 2 pizza the other night and almost demolished both of them, they were JUST that good.  I did manage to hide 3 pieces in the fridge, I mean a girl has to eat lunch.
 I start by proofing the yeast, just to make sure it is active.  In the bowl of my KitchenAid, I combine 1 package active dry yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees F.) and stir gently to dissolve.  I let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes. 
While the yeast is proofing, I preheat the oven to 500 degrees with 2 pizza stones in the oven.  Preheating the oven  AND the pizza stones for at least one hour is one of the secrets we have learned.  It is the best substitution for a authentic pizza oven I can find.
To make the dough, I start on the lowest setting  of my mixer and add 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil.  I have started adding flavored oils to the crust, what a HUGE difference this makes.  This crust was made with 
 I begin adding the flour, a little at a time until the flour has been incorporated. When the dough starts to come together,  I increase the speed to medium until dough gathers into a ball.  I remove the pizza dough and form it into a round and place it in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it over to coat the dough entirely with the oil. I cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it rise in until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
While the dough is raising, I prepare our toppings
Gordy prefers a "meat lover's" pizza
while I prefer a "veggie lover's". 
Another thing we have learned is the importance of a pizza peel (paddle) and cornmeal.    When the dough has double, I divide it in half and stretch each into our desired shapes.  (one stone is round, one is rectangular). 
I place each pizza crust on our 2 pizza peels that are WELL coated with cornmeal.  Notice I keep saying cornmeal.  Gordy was sharing our pizza technique with a friend at work a couple of weeks ago.  All Mike heard was corn, so he used cornSTARCH to coat his peel, needless to say it did not SLIDE off the peel.  Read on and you will understand
After stretching the dough just a little more, it is time for all the toppings.  Just a quick lesson learned, if your dough keeps springing back or tearing, let it rest for a couple of minutes.  5 or so minutes usually does the trick and makes the dough much easier to work with.
After we each completed topping our pizzas, I decreased the oven temperature to 475 degrees and opened the oven and Gordy carefully slid the pizzas
on to the hot pizza stone.
Giving the peel just a light "shake",
until they slid off perfectly.  Another tip, the first couple of time we tried this, we had cornmeal EVERYWHERE.  A liner in the bottom of the oven is helpful for cleanups.  Also, if you get some on your oven door, clean it up, before you shut the door and bake your pizzas. 
I do rotate our pizzas after about 8 minutes of baking to make sure the bottoms brown and the toppings melt evenly.  These pizza where a combo meat lovers and veggie lovers.  YUM!!       

Easy Homemade Pizza
(print recipe)

  1  package  active dry yeast
  1  teaspoon  sugar
  1  cup  warm water (100 to 110 degrees F.)
  1  tablespoon  kosher salt
  2  tablespoons flavor infused or extra virgin olive oil
  3  cups  unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  cornmeal -- for dusting board

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. and put a big pizza stone in the oven to heat. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook (or a regular mixing bowl), combine 1 package active dry yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees F.) and stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.

If using mixer, apply lowest setting and add 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 3 cups flour, a little at a time until the flour has been incorporated. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium until dough gathers into a ball. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook.

If you're making dough by hand, stir in salt and olive oil, and then begin stirring in flour. When the mixture becomes too stiff to stir with a spoon, knead the rest of the flour in by hand, a little at a time. Adjust as necessary -- if the dough feels crumbly, add more water, if it's sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times, kneading until smooth and elastic.

Form the dough into a round and place it in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it over to coat the dough entirely with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot (like over a gas pilot light or a on a windowsill) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Check the dough. Once it's domed and spongy, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to a large circle, about 1/2-inch thick. If you prefer a thinner crust, cut the dough in half and make two smaller pizzas. Dust a pizza paddle with some cornmeal and slide the paddle under the pizza dough.

Reduce oven heat to 475 degrees F. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp and the cheese is bubbly.

8 comments:

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

I love home made pizzas! yours look excellent and such a fun way to cook with the family!

And love seeing O Olive Oil still!

Dave
Thanks for sharing eRecipeCards.com

Jay said...

well prepared & mouthwatering..;)
Tasty Appetite

Julie at Burnt Carrots said...

Don't get me started on pizza!! It is my favorite food! I could easily eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I love the idea of using flavored oils in the crust. Jalapeno and lime sounds fantastic!!

Creative Cooking said...

wonderful photos and tasty recipe!Thanks for sharing =))

Crunchy Creamy Sweet said...

Hi Shari! We are also fans of homemade pizza - aren't they the best? :) I have a surprise for you on my blog - hope to see you there!

Lizzy said...

Oh, I've been craving homemade pizza all week...and here I see your tempting version. Need to put some mozzarella on my shopping list :)

Missy ~Cooking For Two said...

We love pizza too! It is really hard, isn't it! The balance of making it delicious enough and easier than ordering! yours looks great!

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