Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Making It Easy

Crazy, isn't it? How long it takes to change over to another schedule. But I'm about there—back on farm time. That means I've been puttering in the kitchen a bit more. After a couple of peaceful days at the lake, I was ready to cook. Looking at what was in the pantry and in the refrigerator last night, I decided it was the time to try my hand at homemade pizza again.

The last time I made it, I remember thinking the dough was easy to put together, but I had trouble getting the shaped crust onto a heated pizza stone. It must have really been a pain because last night I couldn't find that stone anywhere! Did I really get rid of it in a fit of frustration? So this time I just used a pan. Much easier.

I also tried a slightly different recipe. If you start looking up recipes for pizza crust, you'll find that they are all pretty much the same. There are slight differences in the mixing directions and in some statements, such as, "You should always use bread flour" and "You should never use bread flour." To me, that says just use whichever you have on the shelf.

This time I used Bobby Flay's recipe because I liked the easy way he mixed the dough. There is also a super short video with his recipe to let you see what the dough should look like. If you haven't tried yeast dough recipes before, that helps.

     -adapted from Bobby Flay' recipe

3-1/2 to 4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 envelope instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons to grease bowl

Combine 3-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. While mixer is running (use dough hook), add the water slowly, then 2 tablespoons olive oil and beat until dough into a ball.
If dough is sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until dough comes together in a ball. If dough is too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. 
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth ball.

Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, add dough, turning over to coat top with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in 2 equal parts. Cover each with plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.

That's where Bobby's recipe stops. So I'll continue on with the "how to make pizza" part.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Shape one piece of dough into a circle and press into a 14-inch pan that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. (last night I used a 12-inch pan and had a thicker crust) or just press it into a rectangle shape on a cookie sheet.
Press edge up into a rim. Spread with toppings of your choice.
Bake on low rack for 10-15 minutes, or until crust is browned.
Refrigerate (for a couple of days) or freeze the other dough ball, if not using now. (I'll let you know how the frozen dough works out.)

The pizza was delicious. The best part, though, was sitting down to a simple supper on the porch with Daddy-O.

You can check here for a couple of pizza sauce recipes I've made before. That link also gives you the recipe I used last time. No dough hook or mixer required. I think either recipe could be made with a mixer or by hand. This is not rocket science! Google for more pizza ideas or check Pineterest.

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