Speaking like we are best buddies or something. Sadly for me, we do not run in the same circle. Shoot, I’m not sure I run in any circle.
Anyway… Michael Ruhlman declared this week National Homemade Pizza week or something of the sort. While I don’t think his declaration carries as much credence (sorry! I mean that in the nicest way possible) as the government’s declaration of April as National Grilled Cheese month, I am certainly willing to play along.
Amending previous pizza fail
Alright, I need to save face cause awhile back I posted a disasterous recipe for Mario Batali’s pizza dough. Due to my errors in translating fresh yeast to dry, I somehow managed to invent a pizza dough that mysteriously disappeared before your eyes. Too much yeast literally ate away at the dough. Perhaps I could learn something from Ruhlman’s new Ratios book? Oh wait, was that what I was SUPPOSED to do for this challenge? There I go again – not following directions!
Keeping it simple today
Sooo…we had already planned to have pizza on the menu this week due to an open bag of pre-shredded mozzarella (yeah, that’s right) so stepping up to Ruhlman’s request was no problem. Alas, no interesting toppings this go around. I mean, I COULD slap a fried egg on top just to be trendy. But I’m not dying to be part of the in-crowd. So it’s strictly pepperoni today because I have to make it to my 7pm spinning class.
I learned a neat trick from Sarah Moulten whilst watching PBS this weekend that I was wanting to try out – she rolls out her dough on a board using a little bit of olive oil under the dough instead of flour. AND she uses a rolling pin. Hey, this is new to me. I keep trying to convince myself that I can be part of a pizza dough tossing contest, but my results are usually disasterous. Since one of my biggest hurdles is stretching out the dough without it snapping back in my face, I thought I’d give the rolling pin method a shot. Lo and behold, it works pretty well.
She also parbakes her crust. Of course, this is only possible when baking in a pan. I used to do this before I got my pizza stone. But now I have a stone and the world is a different place.
New and improved (well, for me) recipe:
Mario Batali’s Pizza Dough
This makes a nice, crisp, thin crust (2 big, 4 individual). I usually do an overnight rise cause when I get home from work, I want to eat PRONTO.
1/4 cup light red wine or white wine
3/4 cup warm water
1 package dried yeast (converts to 2.25 t)
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups double zero flour and 1/2 cup AP flour, sifted together
1. Combine the wine, water, and yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. I usually let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
2. Add the honey, salt, and the olive oil and mix thoroughly.
3. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon to make a loose batter. Add 2 more cups of the flour and stir with the spoon for 2-3 minutes to incorporate as much flour as possible.
4. Bring the dough together by hand and turn out onto a floured board or marble surface. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until you have made a smooth, firm dough.
5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel. NOTE: this is the point where I put it in the fridge for an overnight rise. If you do this, bring to room temp the next day. OTHERWISE: Set aside to rise in the warmest part of the kitchen for 45 minutes.
6. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F for at least a half hour.
7.Cut the risen dough into 4 equal pieces if you are making individual pizzas or two for larger ones. Knead each portion into a round. Cover again and let rest 15 minutes.
8. Shape, top and bake for about 10 minutes at 450 degrees.
Ms. Pantry Raid