|The girls' pizza: half cheese and pepperoni, half pepperoni and olives|
As with just about everything, the key to pizza success is in the preparation. Before making the dough, preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. In our house, we have a cast iron pizza "stone" which I give at least an hour to get to temperature. During that time, make the dough and let it rest and rise.
(Go watch the Olympics, or do something fun while you wait.)
After the oven is hot, and the dough has doubled in size, spread out a square of parchment paper and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Flour will work if you don't have it, but Kathy wants you to know that it tastes better with cornmeal.
Roll out the dough, brush it with olive oil, and finish with your favorite toppings. Kathy likes to help with this step. Her favorite part is spreading olive oil and tomato sauce to the edges.
When ready to cook, transfer the pizza (on parchment paper still) to the hot stone. In our oven, it bakes to crusty perfection in 12 minutes.
|The grown-ups' pizza includes spinach (and sometimes blue cheese)|
My dough recipe:
2 1/4 Cups all purpose flour
2 Cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons yeast
1 3/4 Cups warm water
- Set up stand mixer with dough hook. (You can do this all by hand, but I prefer not to.)
- Combine dry ingredients and olive oil in the mixer's bowl.
- Add the warm water.
- Turn the mixer on low to combine the water and flour mixture.
- After all the water has been absorbed, turn the mixer's speed to medium and let the machine knead the dough for five minutes.
- Remove the bowl (with dough in it) from the mixer. With oiled hands, form the dough into a ball, replace it back in the bowl, and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel.
- Let the dough rise until it doubles in size, about one hour. Could be less, could be more.
- Finish your pizza as above. If it isn't to your taste the first time around, make some tweaks to the process next time. Let me know what works for you!
I do take a shortcut with the pizza sauce, but only because we found a great tasting one in a jar. That's why I could take that hour to relax while the dough was resting. This is the one we like: