I’ve been slacking. I haven’t posted in some time and I promised a pizza crust recipe awhile ago and have yet to deliver. Well here it is.
If you are looking to make a pizza tonight, this isn’t the recipe to use; it needs to rise for up to 2 days. However, the hands-on time is less than a half hour. So this recipe is really quite easy, it just takes a bit of planning. The other plus is that this will make enough dough for 3 large pizzas and it can be frozen.
4 cups bread flour
1-1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
1-1/2 cups water at room temperature
2-1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Whisk the flour and yeast together.
- Using a wooden spoon, slowly mix in the room-temperature water. The dough should be raggedy looking but should clean the bowl. If you need to, add a few more tablespoons of water to get the right consistency.
- Stir in the oil and salt.
- Brush the dough with olive oil to keep the dough from drying. Then cover the bowl with a dry kitchen town and let it rest for 1 hour.
- After the dough has rested, turn out the dough on a floured surface. To turn out the dough: stretch it, fold it in half, and using the heel of your hand with a bit of a rolling action, pinch the ends together. Every time you repeat this action, rotate the dough 90 degrees. I do this about a dozen-or-so times, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Generously oil a large bowl. Roll the ball of dough around in the bowl so to coat the entire surface with oil. The bowl and the dough should both be well-oiled, but there shouldn’t be pools of oil.
- Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in the refrigerator until it has doubled in size. (At least 24 hours and up to 48 hours.)
- Handling the dough as little as possible, divide it into 3 equal balls. One ball should be adequate for one large pizza. (I have a small, propane-powered pizza oven, so I divide the dough into 6 equal balls. But I use 2 balls per meal, so I still get a total of 3 uses out of the dough.)
- If you want to use the dough right away, proceed to the next step.
- If you are going to freeze the dough, this is the time to do it. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer.
When you want to use the dough, let it defrost in the refrigerator and then proceed to the next step.
- Let the dough rest, at room temperature, for one hour.
- Stretch your dough to the desired shape and size. To stretch the dough, hold the dough up and lightly work it with your finger tips while slowly rotating it around. Or you can place the dough on a surface and lightly use your knuckles to stretch the dough from the center.
- Place your toppings on. (See below for some inspiration.)
- Bake your pizza. If you are using an oven, bake the pizza on a corn-meal-dusted baking sheet at 475ºF.
- Dig in!
Here’s some of my favorite pizza toppings I’ve made so far:
Fried chicken breast tossed in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (I grew up in Buffalo, NY so trust me – use Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.)
Diced celery and carrots
Chunks of mozzarella cheese
Chunky blue cheese dressing
Fresh Spinach and Garlic
Thinly-sliced roma tomatoes
Sliced mozzarella cheese
Garlic olive oil
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Ricotta
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Fresh ricotta cheese
Sweet and Spicy Pizza
Find the recipe here.
Arugula, fontina cheese, fresh tarragon and olive oil
Salami, thinly-sliced zucchini, mozzarella, and olive oil (I can’t believe I don’t have a picture of this one, because right now it’s my favorite.)