Monday, January 16, 2012
Thin Crust Pizza
First of all, please excuse my horrendous picture! We seldom eat dinner much before 6 or 7pm and by that point, the lighting is AWFUL! This pizza, however, was anything but "awful"--talk about a huge hit at my house! The kids both said that they preferred it to any pizza they had tried out--of course part of that could have been that they were involved in the whole process :) The recipe was a little unusual for me, because the dough was actually made in my food processor--as opposed to my mixer. It was so very easy to make the dough and for that matter, the actual pizza making process was simple, as well! The downside: you have to make the dough ahead of time and then wait at least 24 hours (but preferably 48-72 hrs) to make your pizza, so the dough sits in your refrigerator taunting you for a while! Trust me, it was well worth the wait and honestly-speaking, it was much easier in the long-run to divide the work. I contemplated making this recipe back in March when we had our kids' pizza-making birthday party, but didn't realize that the recipe required allowing the dough to sit for at least 24 hours...oops! We really enjoyed the dough that we used for the party, but this was equally as delicious! I made the homemade sauce that I made for their party, which is SUPER simple to throw together and freezes well if you have excess. The single recipe makes (2) 13-inch pizzas and it seemed much more filling than take-out pizza. We did struggle a little to get it as thin as we wanted and I'm wondering if it wouldn't have been easier, had we allowed the dough to sit in the refrigerator an extra day??? (I believe the dough was in there for approximately 30 hours). While the recipe calls only for cheese, we added some pepperoni and I would definitely do that again! Our pizzas were done in about 10 minutes and I served them with salad. We had about 3/4 of a pizza left, after the four of us ate, and trust me when I tell you...we're all good eaters!
Thin Crust Pizza
Yield: 2 13-inch pizzas
For the crust:
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
For the sauce:
1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. red wine vinegar (I was all out, so I used Balsamic vinegar)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
Olive oil, for brushing
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella
To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a food processor* 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 dough rest for 10 minutes.
Add the oil and salt to the dough. Process until the dough forms a smooth, tacky ball that clears the sides of 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 and up to 3 days. (After the period of refrigeration, the dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen for later use.)
To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl or container and refrigerate until ready to 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. (If you plan to freeze a portion of the dough, this is the time to wrap in plastic, place in a freezer bag and freeze for later use.) Form each half into a ball and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Spray the dough balls lightly with cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
To assemble the pizza, transfer a dough ball to a well floured work surface. Flatten into an 8-inch disk, leaving a slightly thicker edge around the rim. Using your hands, gently stretch the dough to a 12-inch circle. (We used a rolling pin, per Annie's suggestion, to get the crust thin enough.) Transfer the dough to a well floured pizza peel and stretch to a 13-inch circle. (We don't have a pizza peel, nor do I know what one is, so I left Marcus in charge of stretching the pizza out as best as he could!) Lightly brush the thicker edge of the disk with olive oil. Spread ½ cup of the pizza sauce over the dough. Sprinkle evenly with the grated Parmesan and the shredded mozzarella. Carefully transfer the pizza to the preheated baking stone. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
*This dough can also be made in a stand mixer or by hand. Keep in mind, the idea is to avoid warming the dough, so a food processor or mixer is optimal.
Source: Annie's Eats