The beauty of pizza is that you can make it the way you like it.
The problem is that I haven’t found a way I DON’T like it, yet!
I’ve been making a lot of thin crust pizzas because all of that bread is just an extra load of
carbohydrates that I don’t really need. But last night I made a thick crust or deep dish pizza
that was loaded with toppings. Sausage, onions, green peppers, mushrooms and three kinds
of cheese ( provolone,mozzarella, and parmesan) so I needed a thicker crust to stand up to
the weight of the toppings! It was so very good. I really like thick crusted pizza so much
and because it was so filling I only had one piece.
So – goodbye thin crust – at least for a while. I’m making my pizzas THICK!!!
Here’s my recipe for pizza dough- it is also the recipe for knotty Italian rolls.
5 cups bread flour
2 tsp sea salt( or less- I like the salty yeasty,EVOO flavor)
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 F)
1 1/2 TBS yeast
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
Proof yeast in half cup of water- you can add 1/2 tsp sugar to expedite this step.
In large bowl stir salt and 4 1/2 cups flour together and make a small well at the bottom of the bowl.
Add warm water, olive oil and stir the flour just enough to moisten it, then add the foamy yeast
and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon . You may need to add a little more liquid at this point-
the dough should be soft and slightly sticky.
Dust surface of counter with remaining flour and dump dough out. Knead for at least 10 minutes
until dough is smooth and pliable. You may need to add a handful of flour – but not enough to dry out dough.
Smooth , pliable,and slightly sticky is the description of what you want at this point.
Then form a ball and place in bowl that has been oiled, cover with plastic and let raise at least an hour until double in size.
Now! Punch the dough down, knead gently for at least 5 minutes and let raise a second time until doubled again
(around 45 minutes) this second raise is what gives the dough that stretchy, yeasty, Italian flavor. Don’t skip it!
At the end of second raising, shape into desired bread or roll out (or toss) for pizza. Allow to raise about 1/2 hour
add toppings of your choice and bake at 350F until golden brown.
I’ve been roasting up my Roma tomatoes from the garden with garlic, basil , and olive oil- and I used that
in a paste form with a little Italian tomato sauce to use on the base of this pizza. It added an extra dimension
to the flavor and a very nice texture to the sauce. All in all- this is my best pizza, yet!