Episode 5: Pizza

I went over the ten-minute mark on this one, and I feel bad about that. But thirteen minutes isn't massively over the limit. I may go back and re-do the first segment, since I spend a lot of time measuring out ingredients there.

This method makes enough dough for two smallish pizzas or one really big one. I like to make several crusts in advance and have them sitting in the freezer or fridge ready to go.

Don't trust your oven! Especially when it's heating up. When my brand-new oven beeped and claimed it was at 500 degrees, the thermometer inside showed it was only at 350. I have to wait at least twenty minutes for my oven to reach its target temperature. And that's with a calibrated oven; yours might consistently heat over or under its target temperature.

3 cups all-purpose flour (replace up to 1 cup with semolina flour) 2 tablespoons dough relaxer/improver (optional) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1.5 teaspoons salt 1 and 1/4 cups water Picante sauce Mozzarella cheese Cheddar cheese (optional)
Large bowl Plastic cutting board Parchment paper

Mix all ingredients, then knead into a whole ball of dough. Let rest for 45 minutes. Optionally, refrigerate in plastic wrap for up to 36 hours to improve flavor.

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Divide dough in half and, for each half, hold it up in front of yourself like a shirt and let gravity drag it down. Rotate it, and squeeze the edges so they get thin, too. Continue until the crust is as big as you want it. If a hole develops, fold the dough over and re-stretch it.

Bake at 500 degrees for 4 minutes. The crusts can now be refrigerated for up to five days, or frozen for up to a month, or baked right now.

Put the oven at 425 degrees. Spread picante sauce on crust, then shred cheeses over (I like about three parts mozzarella to one part cheddar). Bake for at least eight minutes, until nice and browned.

About this site   Episodes   Essentials   Colophon