Pizza is really the perfect food for this moment. You can use any old stuff moldering in the fridge… and make something delectable…BUT…you do need the perfect dough recipe. Suzanne Lenzer at the NY Times comes through with what I think is the perfect perfect recipe. It’s stupendously simple to make and the dough is lovely…the baked crust delectable. It makes two big pizzas so I can make one for supper and put a ball of dough in the freezer…it freezes well. It calls for a food processor, and I used one, but I think this dough could easily be made in just a bowl.
2 3/4 c. bread flour (though any flour you have in this day and age)
2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast (i packet)
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup warm water
* Put flour, yeast and salt in processor bowl. Turn on machine and pour the oil through the feeding tube followed by the water in a slow steady stream. Continue to process (or stir in bowl) for 2-3 minutes until a dough ball is formed (and this dough comes together very quickly.) The finished dough should be soft, slightly sticky and elastic (and I have found the proportions to be correct).
* Lay a 12 inch long piece of plastic wrap on a clean surface. Work the dough into a rectangle on the plastic…about 8 ” long and 6″ wide. Work the dough into a rectangle on the plastic (about 8″ long and 6″ wide).
Press your fingers into the top of the dough all over (think focaccia). Fold the left third over (think letter) and repeat indentations. Fold the right third over and more indentations. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 20 minutes.
* Cut dough in half forming each piece into a ball…here I use one and freeze one.
When it’s time for the pizza we’ve come to make a yummy one like this:
I just use a pizza pan greased and dusted with cornmeal. With the ball of room temperature dough in your hands begin to stretch into a circular shape (being careful not to tear.) Work in a circular motion pulling the thicker parts out with the help of gravity…lay on pan (and I crimp the edges because I like to)…top and bake at 550 for 6-10 minutes…though my new oven runs very hot so I’ve been doing 450/15.
Topping: One time we wanted pizza and had no sauce so I spread dijon mustard over the pizza dough and sauteed onion, peppers, pancetta, mushroom or whatever less or more) and then combined some spinach and shredded cheese which cuts the cheese-load…our new favorite…the only one I make these days.
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