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Friday, June 13, 2014

Homemade Pizza

Pizza is delicious, and I wish that I didn't love it as much as I do. A few years ago I got the book, Pizza and Other Savory Pies by Brigit Binns, along with a pizza peel and stone, and I couldn't get enough of the delicious recipes. I always had a ball of dough frozen in the freezer for last minute pizza nights. And then, for some reason, I just stopped making my own pizza and fell into the habit of buying a frozen or take-and-bake pizza instead.

So, when I was at the store and the King Arthur's Bread Flour caught my eye, I immediately thought about making a homemade pizza again. 

Makes two pizzas

2.5tsp of active yeast
1.5c of warm water (100-110F)
3 3/4c of bread flour, plus more for dusting
2/3c cornmeal
1.5tbsp sugar
1tbsp salt
5tbsp olive oil and extra as needed

Choice of sauce, spread or oil
Choice of toppings

1. Either follow the directions on your yeast to proof it, or what I did was take 1/4c of the warm water and a pinch of sugar (helps speed up the process) and combine with the yeast. I let it stand (and double) for about ten minutes.

2. While yeast is proofing, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a food processor. Mix dry ingredients.

3. Once yeast is done proofing, combine it with the rest of the warm water and the olive oil. While the food processor is running, pour the liquid, in a steady stream and continue mixing all ingredients in food processor until it all comes together into a large mass. (If it doesn't form a ball, try adding a few drops of water). 

4. Let the dough "rest" for 5-10 minutes. Then process again for another 30 seconds. The dough should be cohesive and not sticking (and breaking apart from the mass) to your fingers. If it is too sticky, try adding a tad more flour and process again.

5. Move the dough to a lightly floured area and form it into one large ball. Place it in a large bowl that is already oiled. I like to cover the ball in the oil as well.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise to at least double its size (just around two hours).

7. Then punch it down and cut into two balls. Let these rise just a tad longer (45 minutes to an hour) or until you need to use them (or freeze one for later!). Preheat the oven to 400F. If using a stone, you want it to be hot for at least 45 minutes for best results.

8. Roll out the dough using some flour on your rolling pin and the rolling surface so that the dough doesn't stick to either. After you have it the right size you want (don't be perfect!), let it sit for at least 10 minutes with just a dish cloth over it.

9. Then start loading up your toppings! I did an olive oil base with figs, goat cheese and spinach. I put a little bit of cornmeal on my peel and then transferred the pizza to the hot stone in the oven. It cooked in about 15 minutes, but just watch until you start to see the crust during a light golden brown.

10. Pull the pizza out and let sit for two minutes (if you can!) and then cut and serve! Unfortunately, I started eating before I took a picture, so this is a picture of the one piece that was leftover for the next day's lunch...sorry!

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