Saturday, June 19, 2010
The Perfect Crust
I love pizza. Any kind, style, texture, you name it. What is so amazing about pizza is that it is simple and can be made quite efficiently from scratch. I don't remember the last time I've ordered a pizza to consume in my home since I've discovered how to make it from my mom-in-law. It has taken me several months to perfect the crust, and I just wanted to share with you my findings. I found that the type of yeast used makes a HUGE difference! I am a scientist so I get a thrill out of tweaking small parameters to get great results :) Hope you enjoy!
CRUST- Makes 1 14" round pizza
One Envelope Yeast- I prefer Fleischmann's Activedry to anything else!
1 cup (250 ml) warm water - just slightly warmer than lukewarm- this makes a difference- too hot will cause the yeast to rise too much!
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
Olive Oil for brushing surface(see below)
Mixture of veggies- Pineapple, Olive, Yellow Peppers, Green Peppers,
Mushrooms, Campari or Roma Tomatoes, Red Onion
Cheese: I like to mix Fresh mozzarella with a bit of sharper cheddar, and some regular mozzarella. I prefer just a sprinkling of cheese and tons of veggies
Sauce- I'm a big fan of plain and simple. Ragu old world style spaghetti sauce works very well for me.
In measuring cup dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over and let stand ~10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, stir mixture and add the 3 Tbsp Oil. Measure flour and salt in a bowl. Stir. Add yeast liquid and stir until thoroughly, until mixed well with the flour. Knead ~50-100 times, and it should have a good amount of elasticity. Place dough in a steel bowl, and place in an oven that has been pre-heated to ~100 degrees F. To achieve this, Preheat oven to 425 degrees for 1-2 minutes. This dough should now rise on its own for a bit, while you prepare the toppings.
Roll out the dough roughly to the size of a 14" diameter pan greased with olive oil- the shape of this does not have to be exact. Stretch the dough out on the pan to reach the rim of the pan, and crimp the edges around to make the crust. This may take some practice. You should not have to spend a lot of time rolling, and should spend more time stretching.
Finally, top your pizza with spaghetti sauce, generous amount of veggies, and cheese to your liking. Bake at 425 degrees for 17 mins. Broil ~ 1 minute, but don't overdo it! Make sure the bottom of the crust is golden, and not too charred. It should taste light and fluffy.
ENJOY with your favourite soda:)