Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Basic Pizza Crust

Pizza is delicious and so easy to make and so customizable that we should all know how to do it. Emergency dinners at my house consist of pizza. I always make a large batch and freeze the dough for later use. Here is my recipe based out of Peter Reinhart's Pizza Napoletana.

15 oz all purpose flour
5 oz whole wheat flour
0.5 oz salt
1 tsp instant yeast
2 oz olive oil
14 oz water

1.First you mix all the ingredients in a bowl except for the water.
2. Then you add half of the water. Never add all the water in at once, Chances are you will not need the full amount. Mix on first speed with  a dough hook. You can also make this dough by hand by kneading it. It will take a few minutes longer but it works just as well.
3. When the dough feels hydrated and not slippery wet, that's when you stop adding water. But do it at minute intervals as it takes a while for the starch to absorb the water. If you add it all in at once the chances are you over wet the dough. If this happens, add more flour gradually until the dough is not slippery wet.
4. When the dough starts to rise up the hook and peel off the sides you are in very good shape.
5. Poke the dough. If it springs back up then you are done and ready to portion the pizza dough.
I do individual pizzas at 6oz each but you can portion them at any weight.

6. Freeze the dough individually wrapped. When you want to use it, take it out of the freezer and leave in the fridge over 8 hours to defrost.

7. Take dough out of the refrigerator and leave at room temperature for about 1-2 hours.
Stretch the dough and add whatever toppings you like!
My favorite toppings are a little seasoned olive oil that I season with herbs ahead of time, then a little tomato sauce, cheese and marinated artichokes.

8. This pizza bakes for 11 minutes in a preheated 500 degree oven.

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