Ah, Friday, a big sigh of relief. Who doesn’t love Fridays? It’s the last day of school and/or work for the week, and the start of wonderful weekends. So why not have pizza for dinner? Better yet make it homemade pizza and get the whole family involved!
I’ve been trying to perfect my pizza technique over the past couple years, and at one point I thought I had it down, then I got prideful. My husband asked me what we were having for dinner one night, I replied pizza, he looked at me with the face that can tell no lies and said softly and honestly, I haven’t really liked your pizza lately.
Whhaa! Oh my pride, my confidence, I was brought low and humbled. And I didn’t make pizza that night, and haven’t for a couple months. Until I was inspired by one of my friends’ blogs who had picture of her recently made pizza; it looked so perfect, so delicious, so cheesy, so yummy, I wanted her to invite me over for dinner. I knew I must have some. I must try to make pizza again!
My desire for pizza was strong, and when you have strong desires great things come to pass. Here is the dough recipe I use:
Dewy’s Pizza Crust (I think this is from a restaurant in Cincinnati. My sister-in-law gave me this recipe, and it just so happens she lives in Cincinnati.)
Makes 2, 12 inch pizzas
1 ½ c. of warm water (110 – 115 degrees)
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 c. flour
Proof yeast, sugar, and water in a liquid measuring cup. Meanwhile combine salt, flour and olive oil in a mixing bowl. When yeast has proofed add it to flour mixture, and stir until a wet dough forms. At this point the flour and liquid should be combined to form a wet and sticky texture. If you have too much flour add some water, or a better idea is to not put in the whole 4 cups of flour and only add enough flour to make a sticky dough. Dump sticky dough onto a lightly floured surface and start to Knead. (See my tips below to watch a video on how to knead dough.) Once the dough has been kneaded and can be handled without sticking completely to your hands (it should still be a tiny, tiny bit sticky) place it in a lightly oiled bowl cover with a plastic bag and let it rise slowly in the refrigerator until doubled.
I’m not going to tell you what sauce to use, or what to put on your pizza that is all up to you. As long as your foundation is good, you can’t really go wrong with sauce and toppings.
Here are some tips that will help you to make the yummiest pizza ever.
Tips from Emily the not so professional pizza chef:
-Make your dough in the morning and let it rise slowly in the refrigerator all day. This develops the flavor and gluten, which makes the dough taste less like flour.
-Follow the said dough recipe, being careful not to add too much flour.
-Knead your dough by hand! You don’t have to do this; but it makes me proud to tell my family that I kneaded the dough by hand. Plus it’s a good skill to have for the end of the world. Check out Julia Child kneading her croissant dough, watch the whole video, or skip right to the kneading at 6:24 (this video was that ah ha, light bulb moment for me)
-Use whole milk mozzarella cheese, for a hot stringy mess.
-Use a HOT, HOT oven and a HOT, HOT pizza stone. So hot that every time you open the oven the smoke alarm goes off!
-Accompanied by a pizza peal of course, making sure your newly formed pizza crust has enough flour and corn meal so the pizza won’t stick when you try to slide it onto the stone.
-Let your pizza rest a couple of minutes after its out of the oven so the cheese can set.
-Practice makes perfect.
And finally the eating of the the pizza. Oh it’s so yummy. My husband said this was one of my best pizzas! I was very proud of it, and didn’t share any of the leftovers the next day.