Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why we rarely eat perfectly round pizzas anymore...

Years ago my mom gave me a wonderful present, the California Pizza Kitchen Cookbook. I love their pizzas and being able to make them at home is quite the kitchen rush.I modified their Honey Wheat Pizza Dough recipe to come up with this pizza dough recipe that is a real winner.

A couple tips that have helped us make the best pizza ever: first, use your stand mixer or food processor to mix the dough. Second, use active quick-rise yeast and make sure your water is about 105-115 degrees...very hot, but not scalding. Third, before you top your pizza, roll it out and let it rise for about 10 minutes. Last, think about investing in a pizza stone. A pizza stone allows you to reach crisp-on-the-outside-tender-on-the-inside dough perfection...the trick is to let it get super hot while you are prepping your pizza, and the put the pizza on the stone right before you slide it into your oven.

Sweet Pea Pizza Dough
2 1/4 t active quick-rise yeast (the amount in one packet)
1 c of hot water (105-115 degrees)
2 c white flour
1 c whole wheat flour
3 T brown sugar
1 t salt
1 T olive oil

Dissolve the yeast in the water and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Add the flour and sugar and give a quick mix, then add the salt and olive oil. Mix until it forms a ball. Feel the dough...if it is still sticky, add a tablespoon or two of flour, and repeat until the ball is moist, but not sticky. Then mix or process for 1-2 extra minutes to knead the dough.

Shape the dough into a ball, coat with some olive oil, and place in a bowl and cover with a towel to rise. Be sure to let it rise somewhere not cool or drafty. Dough is ready when it doubles in size, about 1-2 hours.

(If you want to make the dough ahead of time, you can do it the day before and then put it in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to use the dough, let it rise again for about 30 minutes before you roll it out.)

Once you are ready for pizza, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place your pizza stone in the oven. Divide the dough into 4 balls, rolling each ball into an 8-9" circle-ish shape (ours is never perfectly round...we call it pizza rustica) and let rise for about 10 minutes. Top and bake for about 10 minutes at 450 degrees.


Deep in the Heart said...

Hope Baby G is feeling OK. Wanted to let you know that when we made your BBQ quesadilla recipe we had left over filling (everything minus cheese) which I have been eating for lunch mixed with lettuce and rainbow slaw for a yummy taco salad.

Sweet Pea Chef said...

I love the idea for the easy taco salad.

G is doing fine...he is just still so out of sorts with everything.

Good to talk to you last night!

JerseyBaby said...

Making your pizza dough tonight for some spinach pizza pies... or maybe calzones. Jury's still out.

Hope all is well in OH!