Per my last post about Luzzo’s pizza, I fell in love with pizza once I moved to NYC. Determined to save money and be a responsible young person, I bought a $45 pizza stone from Williams-Sonoma, intending to make my own gourmet pizza every night I craved it instead of going out and paying $20 a pie. Terracotta pizza stones are supposed to suck out all the moisture and give your crust a nice crisp. The first time I made pizza dough, I found the most complicated recipe because I figured any recipe that was that complicated must be good. I mixed and matched all these ingredients, pounded the dough left and right, froze the dough overnight, eagerly took it out the next day and played around with it some more… and finally made my pizzas. TOTAL FAIL. Not only was the kitchen a mess (flour e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e), the pizza stuck to either the surface I was working on or onto the pizza stone itself. Pizza turned out soggy and half raw. I was so dejected about the situation I didn’t have the courage to try again… until now.
Last night I made 7 personal sized pizzas (not including 2 test pizzas) and they were all a success! This time, I chose a suuuper simple pizza dough recipe and was less of a spaz chef. I found that when working with dough/bread, you just have to leave the dough let it do its own magic. Don’t play around with it too much because the more you do, the stiffer it gets and the harder/less airy your bread will be. This time, the crust turned out nice and crisp and a few of the better pies were soft and chewy on the inside. I bought all my favorite ingredients (minus the truffle oil… need to find truffle oil) and mixed and matched to my glory.
The three of us watched My Week with Marilyn and ate 7 pizzas. I have enough dough left for 2 more that I shall make for myself for lunch – not today though, I’m all pizza-ed out. Here is the recipe I used for this gloriously simple dough (I doubled it for the quantity I made):
3 c. flour
2 tsp. salt
2.5 tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. lukewarm water
2 tbs. olive oil
1. Stir dry ingredients
2. Add water and olive oil
3. Knead into a homogenous ball
4. Coat ball with a thin layer of olive oil and set aside in bowl (cover bowl with saran wrap or wet paper towel – leave room for dough to double in size!)
5. Wait 1-2 hours
6. Either freeze it for later use or…
6. Turn on oven to 520 degrees fahrenheit
7. Take out dough and knead out all the little air bubbles and then set aside for another 20 minutes. Dough should be very airy and soft.
8. Slice dough into two or three, depending on size you want your pizza and roll out into pizza shape (this dough tends to grow a lot in the oven – which is what makes it soft – roll it out very thin if you want thin crusted pizza … my first one ended up being fat and small because it swelled up so much*)
9. Add on ingredients quickly and slide pizza onto pizza stone (it helps if you sprinkled the bottom of your pizza with some dry flour. I used whole wheat because it has a grittier grain. My pizzas were not huge so I didn’t need a pizza peel, I simply used a wooden spatula to push the pizza around and ultimately remove it)
10. Turn down oven temperature to 500 degrees and bake for 5-10 minutes, depending on size of pizza
*failed pizza – didn’t roll it out enough so it shrunk in diameter but grew in height… as a result, center was a bit raw.