February 18, 2015

New Favorite Pizza Dough

We all have our favorite pizza dough and an Alice Waters one from The Art of Simple Food II has been mine for the last year. This Animal Vegetable Miracle one used to be my go-to. While that dough is really sturdy and easy to handle and its 30-minute rise time is a perk, I have been loving the flavor of this recipe that involves letting it sit in the fridge overnight (or out at room temp for a couple hours). The dough is yeasty-smelling and wet and you have to move quickly, but the thin, crispy deliciousness of the final product is worth it. 

I have been preheating my pizza stone and transferring the dough onto it hot. Once when I did this, with the rolled-out pizza already topped, the toppings skid across the counter as I slid the pizza from board to stone. So sometimes I transfer just the dough itself to the hot stone and top it quickly on the stone, but the hot stone that's been in the oven for a half an hour makes a difference thin- and crispy-wise. 

The other thing that I've found to up the deliciousness of a homemade pizza is to brush a tablespoon of oil mixed with a minced garlic clove over the rolled-out dough before adding the toppings (an idea I got from this asparagus pizza recipe). So good. 

Pizza Dough
from The Art of Simple Food II
Note: It is a wet and sticky dough so use a lot of flour for the counter and for handling it. Start this dough the night before to sit in the fridge, then take out of the fridge 2 hours before baking, OR to just let it rest at room temperature start it about 2 hours 45 minutes before you want to eat.  

2 t yeast
3/4 C lukewarm water
1/2 C bread flour (I've used all-purpose flour in place of all the flours)
1/4 C rye flour
2 2/3 C bread flour 
2 t salt
3/4 C cold water
1/4 C olive oil

In large bowl or stand mixer bowl, stir together yeast and lukewarm water. Add and mix well the 1/2 C bread flour and the rye flour (or 3/4 C all-purpose in place of these). Allow this mixture to sit until quite bubbly, about 30 minutes. 

Stir together in another bowl the 2 2/3 C bread (or all-purpose) flour and salt. Stir this into the yeast and flour mixture with the cold water and olive oil. 

Mix thoroughly, either by hand or with dough hook in the mixer, for about 5 minutes. The dough is the right texture when it pulls away from the sides of the bowl of the mixer, but still adheres to the bottom. 

Turn dough out onto a well-floured board. Cut into 2 pieces and form each into a ball. Place on a parchment-lined and floured sheet pan. Sprinkle the balls with flour and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 2 hours. Dough will keep in fridge for up to 3 days. (After this resting time, dough freezes well in balls wrapped in the floured parchment placed in a freezer bag.) 

Take the dough out of fridge 2 hours before baking (skip this if it has rested at room temperature instead).  

Preheat oven to 500. Place pizza stone on lower rack and let it heat for 30 minutes. With well-floured hands and surface, roll out each round of dough. Place shaped dough on a floured cutting board or back of a sheet pan. Put toppings on the dough and slide it onto the pizza stone. Bake 5 - 8 minutes until puffed and browned.    

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