Sunday, April 17, 2011
Pretty Darn Perfect Pizza Crust
For years we've been searching for the perfect pizza dough, as well as the perfect pizza cooking method. We've tried many kinds of flour (bread flour, all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, semolina flour, etc.). We've tried no-knead dough and dough you knead the heck out of. We've tried baking the crust on pans, on baking stones, partly on pans and then finishing it on a baking stone. And, we have had plenty of good pizzas, but our latest dough recipe and cooking method combination has produced the best pizza yet! The dough is a combination of bread flour for chewiness and whole wheat for flavor and whole grain goodness. It benefits from an extra long rise in the refrigerator, and it is baked in a very hot oven in a cast iron skillet. The resulting crust has a crunchy bottom and a light chewy interior that is incredibly flavorful.
Pizza Dough (Enough for 4-10 inch pizzas)
3 Cups Bread Flour
2 Cups Wheat Flour
1 Tablespoon Honey
2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Yeast
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Cups Water
1) In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to combine all of the ingredients. Once everything is well mixed, let the dough rest 5 minutes.
2) After the dough has rested, stir it or mix it with your hands for 3-5 minutes, until it is nice and elastic.
3) Divide the dough into 4 equally sized pieces, shape the pieces into balls, and coat them with a little olive oil. Place each of the oiled dough balls into a quart-sized baggie. Refrigerate the dough for at least 8 hours or overnight. *You can also freeze the dough balls, just let them thaw in the fridge overnight before proceeding with the recipe.
1) One hour before you intend to bake your pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
2) Thirty minutes prior to baking the pizza, place a large cast iron skillet on the lowest shelf of your oven, and heat the oven to 500 degrees. *Put the other shelf on the very top level - you'll use it later.
3) Remove the dough from the bag and use your hands to shape it into a roughly 10 inch round. Let the shaped dough sit on a piece of parchment until you are ready to bake it.
4) After 30 minutes, remove the skillet from the oven, coat the bottom of the skillet with a little olive oil, place the dough in the hot skillet, and put the skillet back on the lowest shelf of the oven. Let it cook for 5 minutes.
5) After 5 minutes, remove the skillet from the oven and cover the crust with your desired toppings. Place the skillet back in the oven, but this time place it on the top shelf. Let the pizza bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown, 10-15 minutes.
As usual, I've included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Foodie, Friday Favorites, and Foodie Friday.Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!