Friday, July 6, 2012

Pizza, Pizza

A big fat slice of New York style pizza is the stuff of my dreams. I just can't find it here in Atlanta, even with Antico and Double Zero.

I just crave those giant slices of crispy crust pizza dripping with oil and topped with gobs of melting, mouth burning cheese. The kind you fold in half that over hangs the plate it comes on. The kind that comes from those tiny 100-year-old joints where you can step up to a window that opens to the street. Am I homesick for that kind of pie? You bet!

I tried to reproduce it in my own kitchen. Didn't come close. My oven isn't hot enough. I couldn't make the pie big enough. The dough didn't have NY City water. I didn't have cheap paper plates.

However. I did turn out a pretty decent home-made pizza. (I added anchovies to one and there was no one there to make a face at me for eating those salty little fish).

How to Make Pretty Decent Pizza at Home
(makes 4 personal size pizzas)
Ingredients for the dough:
Unbleached flour makes a lovely crispy light crust
3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast---1 pkg
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/4 cup of tepid water
1 cup room temp water
3 tablespoons of good olive oil

The ingredients
  • Add the yeast and the sugar to the 1/4 cup of water, stir gently and set aside, uncovered, until the mix is foamy and double in volume
  • Lightly (olive) oil a large mixing bowl and set it aside
  • Add the flour and the salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse 3-4 times.
  • When the yeast has doubled, add it to the 1 cup of water along with the olive oil.
  • With the processor running, slowly pour in all of the liquids.
  • Continue processing until the dough comes together into a ball. Process one minute more.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 1 minute. If the dough is too sticky add a little more flour (1 tablespoon at a time); if it's too dry sprinkle on a little tepid water (1 teaspoon at a time). Knead for 1 minute after adding extra flour or water.
  • Put the dough into the oiled bowl, turning it so all the dough is slicked with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in a draft free place to rise. The inside of your oven is perfect (heat off!).
  • When the dough has doubled in volume (1 to 2 hours) turn it out onto an unfloured board, punch it down and cut into four equal parts. 
  • The dough can now be used, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen.
  • Bring the dough to room temp before using.
Baking your pie:
  •  Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Lightly sprinkle a cookie sheet or pizza pan with corn meal. If you're lucky enough to own a pizza stone, set it in the oven while it's pre-heating and toss some corn meal onto the stone right before adding the pizza.
  • Stretch or roll out the dough to form a rough 10-12" round. Don't worry if it's not exactly round. Sprinkle lightly with olive oil, S&P to taste and add your toppings. Do not over load the pie. Less is better.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden. Eat!
The pie...I used fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and topped it all with lots of grated parmesan and a light sprinkle of Maldon salt

1 comment:

  1. You had me with the title of the post! Pizza's are a Friday night staple in our house. I'm all about free form pizza, which I call rustic. Couldn't make a round one if I wanted too! Great post and beautiful pizza!

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