Monday, October 1, 2007

Easy Pizza Crust

4 -1/2 cups flour
1 -3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil (optional)
1 -3/4 cups ice cold water

Mix the flour, salt, and yeast together. Then stir in the oil and water. I use a dough hook with a kitchen aid, and let it stir for 5 to 7 minutes. the dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl but not the sides. I have tried this with wheat flour and had to add a little more water. I also added 1 Tbs gluten for every cup of flour, it helps the dough be more stretchy.(If you add the gluten, add it with the dry ingredients)

I then break the dough into 4 even balls, put them into plastic baggies and refrigerate them over night, up to 3 days.If you have Semolina Flour, or cornmeal you can use it for dusting the balls when they get sticky. You can also freeze them and pull then out the day before you want to make the pizza.

If you have a pizza stone you will want to pre-heat the stone for about 45min on the bottom rack of the oven as hot as you can. Most ovens only go to 500-550 degrees. (you will also want the pizza to have been sitting out and ready to go for a while so the dough has had time to warm up some. I was too excited to eat and have cracked 2 stones so far.) I just bought a pizza pan, it looks like a cook sheet with holes all over it. I got it from Ross for $5. Cant beat that.

Once the pizza is placed in the oven, cook time should be 8 to 10 min. For a crispier flakier crust you can spray the edges of the crust with some water just before placing it into the oven. If you are cooking directly on the stone it may be done in as little as 5 min, so keep an eye on it. If you think the crust is done but the toppings need a little more you can always turn the oven to broil. But if you do you need to watch very closely. It will quickly caramelize the cheese and can burn the toppings in no time if not watched.

The pizza we made tonight had a barbecue sauce for the base, sprinkled with mozzarella cheese, and sliced roast beef for the toppings.
I really liked it and wanted to just eat the whole thing tonight. Thanks to Joanna's "will power"
I did not.

This crust is easy and once you have made the dough, it is easy to throw something on and have a fresh cheap pizza any time. Or you can make a desert pizza with cinniman and sugar cooked on top and dip the pizza into frosting.
I have some ideas for the sauce, but will have to post them later... I took an ambien before I started this, and it is getting a little weird.


Janette said...

Craig, thank you for always making me laugh. I had to read the whole recipe because I knew that with you, it would be SO much more than a recipe! Miss you guys!! I laughed out loud over the "Joanna's will power" and the ambien. You are one funny guy!

I'm totally going to try your recipe, especially since I can make it and freeze it. You say it makes 4 pizzas? Right?

Craig & Joanna said...

Hey Janette,
Yes it should make four 12-14" pizzas. I usually make my own pizza sauce with fresh garlic, a few tomatoes and whatever spice smells good to me at the time. I just throw it all in a food processor. The fresh tomatoes are really juicy so you may want to put cheese under the sauce to keep the crust from getting soggy. Or try to squeeze out some of the liquids. (Just a tip)
Let me know what you think? I have been looking for a good crust...
Joanna says " I love that crust!!"