Monday, October 25, 2010

Homemade Pizza-- Yum!!

Man it's been a long time since I posted here.
I had a great time making pizza with my Peach last night!!!
When she asked if she could help, my heart did these wonderful flipflops and I couldn't stop smiling. I love playing in the kitchen with my (grand)kiddos!

Peachies Pizza Dough 1 (yeah, there are several variations on it...)

In my opinion, the best way to get a yummy pizza crust is to bake on a stone (or quarry tiles) in a very hot oven. Put the pizza stone on the rack in the middle of the oven (I usually take out the other rack) when you turn the oven on. Cold stone, cold oven. Preheat the oven temperature (and the stone) to at least 425F. This is going to take a good half an hour in most home ovens.

If you don't have a stone, use a baking sheet, keep the temperature high but don't preheat the sheet in the oven. I've tried it, and it's very hard to keep the dough from sticking if you don't grease, and burning if you do.

  • In a small bowl, dissolve 1 - .25 oz. package of yeast in 1 cup warm (110F) water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Combine 2 cups bread flour, 1/2 teas. salt, and 2 teas. granulated sugar (I use unprocessed, but not turbinado) in the food processor bowl.
  • Add 2 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil to the yeast mixture.
  • Place the cover on the food processor and add a bit of the yeast mixture to the flour mix. I use the Pulse feature until I've added all the yeast and oil, and then run the processor for 10 - 15 seconds. If the dough is still sticky and unmanageable, add bread flour by scant tablespoonfuls, pulsing after each addition, until the dough is sticking to itself and makes a ball in the center of the bowl. You should not have to add more than 4 tablespoons.
  • Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and with floured hands, knead a few times until dough is smooth and pretty. The Peach was really good at this!
  • Cover and rise until expanded, about 30 minutes.
  • Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Roll or stretch into your favorite pizza crust shape. Handle as little as possible. Whether you place this dough on a stone or a baking sheet, cover your peel, parchment paper, or baking sheet with a thin layer of cornmeal, before putting the dough on, to keep in from sticking. Cover with toppings and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Sometimes the top of the crust doesn't want to get really brown before the topping ingredients need to come out of the oven. If you find you have a problem with that, brushing with olive oil before baking may be helpful.
Have fun!

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