my newest love. homemade pizza crust.

Henry and I have been searching for a go to recipe for home-made pizza crust. Every recipe has turned up short. The crust is too thick, the gluten doesn’t have a chance to rest and therefore can’t be rolled out without “bouncing” back, and pretty much any other bad crust experience you can think of would happen to our crust. I was beginning to think I was just destined to never make home-made pizza crust. Until I stumbled upon this.

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I actually can’t take credit for this stumble. My gracious neighbor, Zion, who also gets all the credit for my newfound love of baking, let me borrow her book and from there it was love at first sight.

Back to the pizza crust. The secret is to let the dough rest overnight in the fridge. If you find recipe that doesn’t need 24 hours to rest, DO NOT use it.

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Another secret, which they mention in the book, don’t overload toppings on the pizza. We have tried a few with “fancy” toppings and have found that the very classic tomato and basil pizza turns out the best.

Last night I made another batch of dough and can’t wait to eat pizza tonight as our new Friday night tradition!

Here is the recipe:

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Directions:

1. Mix dry ingredients in your kitchenAid mixer bowl.

2.Combine water and oil and add to dry ingredients. Stir together with a metal spoon (or you can use your paddle attachment on your KAM) until all dry and wet ingredients are incorporated together.

3. Once all liquid is absorbed switch to your dough hook attachment and mix on medium speed for 5-7 minutes or as long as it takes to create a smooth sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl (I will tell you if you add the optional oil, which I have done every time, I always end up adding a little more flour so the dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. I also don’t like it to be SUPER sticky to the bottom of the bowl, so I keep my flour out until it reaches the appropriate consistency). The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, just not tacky, and should be between 50 to 55 degrees.

2. Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper and spray with oil (I just use canola spray). Using a dough scraper (I don’t have one so I just use a bread knife) cut into 6 even pieces. If you feel comfortable shaping a larger pizza (they recommend the toss method) you can cut your smaller. I did 5 the first time (from the photos on this post) and then last night I only cut 4.

3. Lightly flour hands and dough pieces. Create balls with each piece of dough.

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4. Place on lined baking sheet and spray with oil. Cover with a plastic food grade bag(I end of using two and place one on each side).

5. Stick in fridge and wait for 24 hour to up to 3 days.

6. Two hours before you are ready to bake your pizza take dough out of the fridge. Dust counter with flour and flatten to disks 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter (thanks mom for the kitchen measuring tape-I’ve used it a TON since you gave it to me). Spray with oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rest for 2 hours.

7. 45 minutes before you plan to bake your pizza preheat your oven to as hot as it goes up to 800 degrees(if you have an awesome oven-mine only goes to 550, but it does the trick) and place your baking stones in it.

8. After the two hours have passed you are ready to getting pizza making! The cookbook tells you to top your pizza then transfer it to the pizza stone, that is WAY to complicated for me (maybe I don’t have some magical tool) but I get all my ingredients ready to go, get my pizza crust ready…

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Good luck with the pizza toss. I’ve found that my crust turns out just as well just shaping it by very gently  laying the dough across my fists and carefully stretching it by bouncing or rotating the dough in circular motion on my hands and giving it a little stretch with each turn or bounce. (At this point you can do the pizza toss-Maybe I’ll try it tonight and have Henry photograph it). If you dough isn’t relaxing for you, let it rest 15-20 minutes and try again. If you are making your pizza alone take out the stone from the oven before you toss your dough and sprinkle with cornmeal, if not, toss your dough and have someone else take it out and sprinkle with cornmeal while you are doing the great pizza toss (this keeps the stone as hot as possible).

9. The dough for the 6 ounce portion should be 9-12 inches in diameter. Once you have done this, place your dough on the stone, top with sauce, cheese and toppings. I have  seen a lot of great ideas for pizzas at Williams-Sonoma.

10. Stick in the oven for 5-8 minutes (maybe a little longer if your oven only gets to 550) and take out once the bottom and top both look done. Transfer to a cutting board and ENJOY!

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Oh! And buy this book, every recipe I have made has been awesome!

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