Sunday, August 19, 2007

Pizza Revelation

A Saturday Night Tradition...

After doing virtually nothing all day today (as opposed to getting virtually nothing done), I fired up the new oven and worked on my thin crust pizza recipe. The solution is coming along nicely, and I feel good enough about things to publish it for public consumption.

Here's what you need to make a nice 15" thin crust pizza...

For the starter dough:

1/4 cup of 110 degree F water1 pack of yeast

3/4 cup of flour

For the main dough:

3/4 cup of room temperature water

1-1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of sugar


(add or subtract as you like, but you really should try this combo unless something on the list gives you hives or makes your spleen rupture or something...):

olive oil

1 pound whole milk mozzarella cheese, cut into little blobs and evenly distributed
Enough pepperoni slices to cover the affected area
Four (4) strips of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1 small chicken breast half--pan seared to about 140 degrees and diced into 3/8" cubes
A couple of hand fulls of baby spinach leaves
Fresh sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup of diced colored bell peppers (I used orange, Red, AND Yellow)
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1 small can of sliced black olives
6 oz of crumbled feta cheese (put it right on top of everything when you're finished)

First things first.

Put your yeast in the warm water, stir it up well, and let is sit for about fifteen minutes.

Once you have a bunch of hungry yeast breasties, howling for something to eat, dump your yeast/water mixture into your 3/4 cup of starter flour, stir it up to form a blob of dough, cover it with a clean dishtowel, and walk away and ignore it while it rises for a half hour or so.

Make yourself a nice glass of iced tea or open a beer and watch TV while you wait.

Now here's the difference between thick and thin crust...

You DON'T do a secondary rise on the dough. It's just that simple.

You dump your 3/4 cup of water into your starter dough to dilute, stir it all up, then pour it into a medium mixing bowl with your flour, salt, and sugar mixture.

Stir, stir, stir.

Do you have a stiff, yet slightly wet dough mixture yet?


Then add a LITTLE flour or water until you get it right, then dump it all out onto a floured surface and start working it over with your hands.

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F.

Now the idea is to incorporate some more flour into the slightly wet dough, ending up with extra on the outside surfaces as you begin to flatten it out to form a crust. After two or three minutes of kneading, break out your rolling pin and roll things out to a nice uniform disk about 18" in diameter and 1/4" to 3/8" thick (I use a 15" pizza stone to cook on.)

When you're finished rolling, pick up your crust and carefully place it on your pan or stone (dusted well with flour), then fold and pinch the extra 1-1/2" of dough over around the edges to form a rim on the crust.

Next spoon out some olive oil (a table spoon or two) onto the middle of your masterpiece and smear it around the area inside the rim, then add your cheese, meat, and veggies, toss the whole thing into the oven for 17 to 20 minutes (depending on your oven), pull it out and let it cool a little, cut it into slices, then grab yourself a napkin and EAT.

Regards Y'all,

The Redneck Gourmet

No comments: