I quite like pizza.
I would probably make it more often but I can't usually stop with just one slice. Or two. Sometimes I get a wee peckish right before bed (of course!) and must have "just a little slice". Then it's cold pizza for breakfast the next day. I look for any little occasion or tummy grumble to justify having another slice.
Quite simply, I find pizza intoxicating.
But, let me set the record straight.
Only if it's good pizza. And as always, what I find good may not be your good.
This pizza dough recipe is my go-to recipe. And I think the reason is that the crust is so great. The pizza crust is chewy but with a nice crispy crust. And I think the reason is due to the bread flour.
Bread flour has more protein in it which allows more gas to be trapped during baking process. This in turn, gives a nice bread rise and a hearty feel to the crust.
Bread flour, you say? Don't have any? Don't want to buy any? I'm with you. I don't need a pantry cluttered with big pails of flours. So what I do instead is buy gluten. By adding gluten to your all purpose white flour, you essentially, make your own bread flour.
The question is how much do you add?
Many sources on the web say to add one teaspoon of gluten to each cup of all purpose flour. I did that once and my bread rose sooooo much, that it was a super thick deep dish. It was however, still a great texture... chewy inside with a nice crispy crust.
I prefer a thinner crust so I use half as much gluten. I would advise that you experiment at home for yourself to find your preference.
You can find gluten in most stores. I buy it in the bulk aisle at my local Save-0n.
This margherita pizza was good but I think I still prefer my basic tomato sauce and toppings.
So there you have it, my secret to good pizza dough. I have people ask me sometimes when they try my pizza. Now you too can have a delicious crust. Though I'm not telling you my "secret" tomato sauce recipe. I'm taking that one to the grave. :)
makes 2 pizzas
2 pkg active dry yeast
2-1/4 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup oil
5 cups bread flour, plus extra if needed (you may substitute 1/2 tsp or up to 1 tsp for EACH cup of all purpose flour instead of bread flour).
1 tbsp salt
fresh tomatoes, diced
fresh basil leaves
grated mozzarella cheese
In a mixer, dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand until foamy (about 5 minutes).
Add sugar, oil, flour and salt and knead with dough hook until soft and smooth, about 8-10 minutes. Add up to one cup of flour while kneading so cough will pull away from sides.
Form dough into ball and tranfer to lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubles, about 1.5-2 hours.
Punch down and take dough out onto lightly oiled surface and divide into two. Let rest for 10 minutes. Dust with all purpose flour and roll out to fit pan. Pizza pan should be oiled and dusted with cornmeal.
Spread parmeson cheese, diced fresh tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake until brown 10-15 mintues at 500F. Serve hot.
Crust adapted from: Pizza margherita, Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking