Tuesday, May 22, 2012
So yeah. Pizza. The basic recipe for pizza dough--the pizza equation--is simple. 2-ish cups of flour to a cup of water, yeast to make the dough rise, sugar if you don't use instant yeast &/or to aid browning, olive oil to make it stretchier (or "supple" if you like to make food sound sexual, you pervert). Salt. I'll get into pizza dough stuff (like, you know, how to make it) some other time. One of the many great things about making pizzas at home is that you can make a batch of dough months ahead (3-4 thin pies following the pizza equation) when you're not too busy keeping up with the kardashians, freeze it and then use it when you run out of ideas. It'll be thawed by the time the oven is ready. Plus, people are easily impressed by homemade 'za. They're looking at it going, "oh shit, I bet they worked hard on that. Why am I not as cool as this person?" Your friends are so dumb. They have no idea.
Now, if you don't have the stones to make your own dough, you can just buy (a mediocre) one at a supermarket, but look for specialty markets or pizza joints around you that may offer better dough (if you're near east dallas, buy it here. Get me some sausage while you're there. And a sandwich). You also kinda sorta want to have a pizza peel & a baking stone* or unglazed construction tile. Actually, if you have all that shit, you probably don't need to be told how to do this, but whatever. And come to think of it, this isn't really a recipe. It's assembly. But I already took the pictures sooo....
Everything here is leftover. I made this pie with dough that had been frozen for a few months (3-4). I think there was some whole wheat flour in there. This is the concept I follow when making pizza dough. I've found that, as the article suggests, using the food processor works the dough really thoroughly, which means you have to do less kneading and you can spend more time stalking your exes on facebook. Sensational!
(serves one fatty or two not very hungry people**)
ball of dough
basil for garnish
preheat oven to 500, with baking stone on bottom rack. if you don't have one, use an upside down cast iron skillet. let it heat up for at least 45 minutes.
flatten and stretch out dough ball by hand, gently stretching in a circle until its nearly 12". cover with a towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
flatten dough into thin circle with rolling pin, leaving outer rim thicker for puffier crust if desired.
sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel. transfer dough to pizza peel. with a fork, gently poke holes in the top of the dough where the sauce and toppings will be. careful not to pierce the bottom of the dough.
top with sauce (i used a cilantro pesto & roasted pepper puree-- careful not to overdo the sauce. a little goes longer than you think), toppings (dried shiitakes and leftover carnitas) & cheese (crumbled feta & shredded mozzarella). give the pizza peel a little shake-- you want the pie to be able to slide (that's what the cornmeal's for) onto the baking stone. if it doesn't want to slide, you can take a flipper, gently lift up the sides of the pie & sprinkle in some more cornmeal underneath it. if you have to resort to that (it happens), be careful not to dump cornmeal all over the bottom of your oven. unless you love the comforting smell of burnt cornmeal wafting through your tiny apartment...
cheese cooks fast, so you might want to experiment with adding the cheese last, after the pie has been in the oven a few minutes.
bake about 12 minutes, checking after about 8. what? ovens vary. don't judge me.
pull from oven. top with basil, parm &, if desired, brush the outer crust with olive oil (helps give it a nice deep color) or, if you're into it, truffle oil.
*You could substitute a wooden cutting board for the pizza peel and an upside down cast iron skillet for the baking stone if you're too cheap to get the real stuff.
** Two people my ass. I ate the whole goddamn thing, I'm not gonna lie. In one standing. I cut it up & then I was walking around thinking "this pizza doesn't look that great. (chomp) Pretty good though. (chomp) I'm only (chomp) going(chomp) to eat half & then have the rest tomorro.... Oh. Shit. I ate it all."