Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pizza Pizza!

I looove pizza! Who doesn't? My fiance and I eat pizza about once a week. I've got muffin tops to prove it. :) We usually order out for pizza, we've made it a few times, but always got Trader Joe's crust (which is a pretty good crust). I've just decided I'd like to make my own and have it taste even more magnificent. I also know exactly what ingredients are going into my pizza. I found this recipe on It looked very yummy, I decided I had to try it. You'll need to make the dough in advance and chill for at least 24 hours. Very well worth it, and super easy to make from the crust to the sauce. What's even better? Left over dough and sauce for next time! The crust is perfect and crisp, the sauce is amazing, and the cheese is perfect. My mouth is watering even thinking about it. I loved it so much I'm making it Friday night, which is usually pizza night or eat out night in our house. I am a cheese pizza lover (I know boring, right?) my fiance loves sausage, so he made himself a sausage pizza. The crust makes 2-13" pizzas, so we had one for the each of us. I didn't finish mine, but I did get pretty close, like I said I love pizza! We had left over sauce so we froze it for next time. The only change were making is cooking his sausage before he puts it on the pizza, due to lots of grease. Other than  that this pizza was pretty perfect.
Thin Crust Pizza

Yield: 2-13" Pizzas
3 cups (16½ oz.) bread flour
2 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. instant yeast
1 1/3 cups ice water
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1½ tsp. salt

1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Olive oil and garlic powder for brushing dough
1/2 cup (1 oz.) finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded whole-milk mozzarella

Combine the flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a food processor* (I used a kitchen aid stand mixer with a dough hook and it worked just fine) fitted with the metal blade.  Pulse just to combine.  With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube and process just until the dough is combined and all dry ingredients are incorporated, about 10 seconds.  Let the dough set for 10 minutes.Add oil and salt to the dough until incorporated into a smooth tacky ball that pulls away from the bowl about 30-60 seconds.  Remove the dough from the bowl, knead briefly on a lightly oiled work surface, about 1 minute.  Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. You may refrigerate for up to 3 days.  If you plan on only making one pizza you may freeze half of dough. To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor.  Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Transfer to a bowl until ready for use. One hour before baking the pizza, adjust an oven rack to the second highest position and place a baking stone on the rack to preheat.  Preheat the oven to 500˚ F.  Remove the pizza dough from the refrigerator and divide in half. Form each half into a ball and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Spray the dough balls lightly with cooking spray. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. To make the pizza, transfer a dough ball to a well floured work surface.  Flatten into an 8-inch round, leaving a slightly thicker edge around the outside for your crust. Gently stretch the dough with your hands to a 12-inch circle. Place the dough on your preheated pan, being very careful! Stretch to a 13" circle.  Lightly brush the thicker edge of the disk with the olive oil.  Spread the pizza sauce over the dough, and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan and shredded mozzarella.  Bake until the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned, 10-12 minutes.  Let cool, slice and serve! Enjoy!  
Source: Cook’s Illustrated, January & February, 2011

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