Sunday, February 16, 2020

Artisan Pizza Crust



Yep....all these years and we're still indulging in Friday Night Pizza and a Movie!  Certain family traditions become so ingrained that they become the stuff of legends...and Friday Night Pizza is one such tradition.

I have made the same pizza crust recipe since my children were little.  It is light and fluffy, flavorful and bready.  It makes wonderful bread sticks as well as both thin and thick crust pizza.  It's tried and true.  However, I was itching to make something a little different.  I wanted to try my hand at a chewy, Neapolitan style crust.  I'd read numerous recipes and they all looked a little fussy.....pulling the dough together the day before, allowing it to raise overnight, stretching instead of rolling....It seemed much more labor intensive than my simple Light Pizza Dough.

Finally the time came to spread my wings and try something new and Artisan Pizza Crust was born.  I found a recipe I could finally get my head around and changed it into something manageable for me.  Most recipes I found weighed ingredients rather than measured them, something that I'm sure all good cooks do, but I'm not one of their number.  I changed grams to cups, teaspoons and tablespoons (to the best of my ability) and then, quite frankly, I added things until I thought it looked right.  The dough does rise overnight but comes together quickly and is wonderfully workable.  The stretching is easy, as well as the shaping of the dough.  And the crust....oh, the crust.....chewy, flavorful, chewy....perfect!

I quadrupled the original recipe, however, you can just as easily adjust it back down.  I found this recipe makes about five 12 to 14 inch pizzas.  I make all different sizes based on the pizza stones I have.

The recipe seems complicated, but isn't...it's definitely worth the effort.

Artisan Pizza Crust

DAY BEFORE

8 C. + 4 T flour
1/2 tsp. yeast
2 tsp. sugar
1 T + 2 tsp. salt
3 C. + 3 T warm water (I always add more after I've mixed dough together if the dough is dry and shaggy)

-  Mix the dry ingredients then add the water.  Stir until just combined.  If the dough looks dry, add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water.  Dough should be well hydrated but not soupy.

-  Cover the dough and allow to rise for 24 hours (leave on the counter).

PIZZA TIME

-  Pour dough onto well floured surface.  Divide into 4 or 5 sections (I made 5 pizzas).  Using one piece of dough at a time (and making sure the surface and your hands are well floured) stretch the dough into a long piece.  Fold 1/2 the dough back into the middle, then fold the other 1/2 of the dough back on top of the first fold.  Turn the dough and stretch the other direction and fold back over itself.  Form the dough into a ball with the gathered side down and place on a floured cookie sheet or a floured bowl.  Repeat with the other sections of dough.  Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rise 45 minutes.

-  Preheat oven to 550 degrees (or as high as your oven will go).

-  Please pizza stones into the oven while it heats up.

-  Place ball of dough in the middle of a floured surface.  With finger-tips push dough down to form a circle (make sure not to touch the edges of the dough....that will become your crust).  Once the dough is large enough, place it over your fist and pull and stretch (making sure not to touch the edge), until you've reached your desired size (I did 12 to 14 inch pies).

-  Place your crust on a piece of parchment and continue with the other balls of dough.

-  Put on toppings, making sure not to put any on the edge.

-  Trim the parchment to the size of your pizza.

-  Use a peel to slide each pizza onto a hot pizza stone in the preheated oven.  Bake for 7 to 14 minutes.  I bake 4 pizzas at once, changing racks at 7 minutes so the pizza's are even - done both on bottom and top.

The dough having risen for 24 hours


Stretched, made into balls and on its 2nd rise

On parchment and ready to go into the oven

Fresh out of the oven and slid on a cookie sheet to slice

Oh, that crust!
That's it!!  It sounds more complicated than it is....and the few extra steps are worth the effort.  I'm thinking an outdoor pizza oven is sounding good!!




1 comment:

  1. Yummy, I do so enjoy your blog Thank you! You make my day.

    ReplyDelete